Which one is better? Customizer or Options Panel? Wordpress.

Hi, I’m about to create my first theme to sell on ThemeForest, and i would like to know which one is better to use on a theme, i see a lot of themes Creating a Custom Options Panel, and some themes that uses the Customizer, but i don’t know which one is better.

What do you guys think?

Customizer is more future-proof approach. I wouldn’t waste time with classic old theme options panel (but I am sure some authors would disagree). Check out Kirki framework.

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I was using redux but today I just started to use Kirki. It looks good but starting was a little annoying. If you are going to use Kirki I will suggest start from _S theme.


Thank you so much guys.

We have (almost) completely ditched options panel, and we based all theme options on Customizer with a little help from Kirki Toolkit, for our latest theme.
When I say “almost”, I mean - there are some options for WooCommerce custom theme settings, but we integrated those in WooCommerce settings.
But - no separate options panel. From out latest theme to future themes, too …

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Great. I am also trying to get rid of options panel. one question have you used Kirki background type ? and what is the best way for import export.

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Customizer. Everything that is WordPress core based should be first choice. Also I recommend creating customizer options from scratch in your functions.php file, there are some good tutorials on Tutsplus and elsewhere for that.

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Yes, I have used the background setting.
I’m using “Customizer Export/Import” plugin for import/export ( via TGMPA )

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I am also using background type but in my case it display textbox for color picker field is that normal? Although if I use color type it works fine.

Thanks for Customizer Export/Import tip:)

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I started using the customizer one year ago, build my own controls and never look back anymore :slight_smile:


But, what you think, like, for a first theme which one is better for you?
Because from what people said Kirki is nice and i agree, e looked it up and it’s amazing.
From your point of view which one is better, and why do you think so(please).

You will have to customize anything you use, spend time on it, so it is better start with Customizer from beginning.

I prefer Options Panel.
Customizer just can use for simple theme.

mm, kirk seems nice.

but they don’t have gallery options, like for sliders etc. right?

No, there is just a single image upload field. On the other hand, why would you wanted to create a slider via theme options?

Why not? imagine a situation when you want to have slider with different image than featured one.

Use case for multi image upload is really big, e.g. logo carousel etc.

I think that the best approach to create a slider is to use Custom Post Type. You can define Feature image to be used as BG for each slide and some custom metaboxes for additional options. I don’t see any benefits doing it via Theme Options if WP already offers a great way to do something like that. I’ve been doing it like that for all of my themes.

BTW, Kirki offers repeater field so I guess it can be combined with image field to achieve something like multi image field.

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Well yes, undoubtedly that is the most flexible way to go about sliders.

But custom post type has a different use case (arguably), semantically talking… Slider is not a post type, it is a way of grouping existing post types.

I am fan of doing thing semantically, but when something is easier to implement for me as a developer and at the same time allows better user experience (IMHO), then f**k the semantics:) You know the saying: to break the rules, you must first know the rules.

But I don’t think this is really the case of doing it non-semantically. You can choose to omit the CPT from search results and set each of slide posts as private so they will be inaccessible outside the slider itself. Honestly, I don’t see a single issue with this. Not doing it because “slide is not a regular post” is a weak one. For me, it is a post, but displayed only in a specific context.

Let me tell you how I am doing it. I am using slide CPT with slide category taxonomy so I can group slides. Then i place the slider via shortcode anywhere on the page and I can show either all slides or just slides from a specific category. It is super easy to create several unique sliders that way. I can’t really imagine doing this via theme options without coding an unique field for that. And do it just because slide as CPT doesn’t feel 100% semantical? No thanks. If I can give one single advice to new WP authors, it will be “keep it simple”, don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

On the other hand, creating slider via Customizer (not via theme options) have one big advantage - users can see the changes live.

btw, I was talking about customiser, since we are talking about Kirk. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

And I do see all your points as valid.

There is another argument for using customiser instead of CPT in case of larger sites. E.g. I had to work with newspaper with 100,000 unique views per day and around 90,000 articles. In that scenario anything that queries main post table wp_posts is bad and slows things down, since CPT is in the same table, querying the whole thing just for slider is bad architecture.

But I guess that is a fringe case, that can be ignored 98% of the time.