So last week the WordPress Theme Review Team made the decision that all themes hosted in the WordPress Theme Directory will have to use the Customizer to display theme options.
The decision was expectedly met by resistance from many developers who had their own way of displaying theme options, which makes sense given how much those folks have probably worked on those templates. As for myself, I wasn’t exactly pleased that I had to redo an entire template, but was going to give it a chance.
And now, after completely making the switch to the Customizer, I have to say that I like the move.
For one, the code required to create options in the customizer and implement them is a whole lot easier. It only took one tutorial to understand what was going on and how change it a bit to fit my needs. In fact, the hardest part was trying to figure out how the category options to work and then copying and pasting the code for all of the options.
Second, and likely most importantly, it makes it easier for the end user to make the changes and see what each thing does on the site. Instead of having to save the options and then reload the front page to the see the changes, the Customizer does that all in the same screen and in real-time, meaning that it reloads the page when an option is changed. So now the users will feel like they have a lot more control over what’s going on with the look of their blog.
In the end, yes, it was more work, but the customizer is a worthwhile venture because in the end it’s not about developers, it’s about the end users.