I'm relatively new to WordPress theme development, and I had to create a theme with options available. I did a Google search to see what are the possibilities, and I read articles about such, and read about frameworks, and I came across Option Tree, which was recommended as a framework to develop with.

What my question is, when I'm developing themes to sell, what are the advantages and disadvantages of Option Tree over the Customization API built into WordPress?

2 Answers 2


disadvantage using option tree:

  1. Your theme depend on other work as a core
  2. You need to always keep an eye for the plugin update ( which is really not good if you're going to use it in premium theme )
  3. If you're going to integrate it in your theme, then when there is update from the plugin you will need to do lot of things to update it in your theme.

advantage :

  1. Save you the time to create your own theme options

If you have lots of time I suggest you to create your own theme options which will be better if you're gonna use it in a premium theme to sell, you'll have more control over the theme options.

And if you're not going to write your own script, I suggest you to use Options Framework Theme which is specially build to include in theme rather than using plugin. The author is keep updating the script itself so its safe to use it, I also use it in my premium theme.

  • The "Options Framework Theme" still doesn't use the Theme Customization API... And where is the advantage of another Framework over "Option Tree"?
    – kaiser
    Jan 3, 2013 at 11:58
  • Thanks, I think you gave the answer that answers most exactly the original question, so I'll accept this, however kaiser, and brasofilo pointed out something very important, that if I'm developing for WP 3.4 or above, these frameworks actually break convention. Jan 3, 2013 at 17:14
  • Well options framework may not use Theme customization API yet but, it's mean to use for the theme, rather than integrating plugins in the theme, I think it's better to use options that can integrated in to the theme directly. I don't know whether Devin will use the Theme Customization API in the further version (I've ask but not yet get the reply) Jan 4, 2013 at 3:31
  • Options framework can be use with Theme Options API together, here is the link wptheming.com/2012/07/options-framework-theme-customizer Jan 6, 2013 at 6:14

Why one should consider other ... options

Frameworks like "Option Tree" (there're also several others) shouldn't be used anymore. The "Theme Customization API" is what you should use now, as it also adds the possibility of live editing a Theme in the Theme Customizer and binding the Theme options to the "Theme Modification API".

The "Settings API", which is the underlying API for Frameworks like "Option Tree", nowadays is meant to be used with plugins and WP core instead.

  • 3
    Yes, Barta, please, follow the standards. The other day I found a theme that was spilling its scripts and styles all over the admin area, of course breaking some things along the way... From a relatively known company, and it was not ThemeJungle, mind you.
    – brasofilo
    Jan 3, 2013 at 1:40
  • Thanks for your answers. These were admittedly the answers/comments that helped me decide which method I'm going to stick to. However, I think the question itself is answered by nackle, so I'll accept his answer. Jan 3, 2013 at 17:10
  • Except that it's been more than a year since WP Theme Customization API Was released, and it is still heavily lacking in the UI. It is nearly impossible for me to document the "controls" (which lack too). Poor separation and easy to clutter the UI. In my opinion the Customization API should only be used for minor theme options, which I think was the intention of the API in general.
    – pyronaur
    Nov 9, 2013 at 21:37

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