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Quick Preview Of The WordPress 3.4 Theme Customiser

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WordPress 3.4 is expected in April 2012. Like all major updates WordPress, it promises to add a lot of new features to the WordPress platform. One of the best new features of the new theme customiser which is being introduced. Mark McWilliams showed a preview image of the theme customiser yesterday via Twitter.

It shows an options page that lets you customise the header, background, navigation, static front page, site title and tagline.

Twenty Twelve Theme Options

It isn’t clear what can been customised as yet though I’m pleased to see WordPress introduce an in built options area for themes – it’s sure to change how many developers design their themes

The Twenty Twelve design looks similar to the last default designs. I’m a big fan of simple designs and have used the Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven designs in the past for some of my small content websites. If Twenty Twelve is a marked improvement over Twenty Eleven I will probably use it on some of my websites (perhaps even customise it for WP Mods).

What would you like to see in the upcoming theme customiser?


* Note: I originally thought that this theme customiser was exclusive to the Twenty Twelve theme. Thanks to Mark and Chip for clarifying that the theme customiser is part of WordPress 3.4 itself :)

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Comments (7)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

[email protected]’s a bit of a bummer. I was really looking forward. Before changing to this design I was considering using 2012 for WP Mods.

Comment by haymanpl says:

Looks like Twenty Twelve won’t be included in 3.4 now so we’ll have to wait for WordPress 3.5

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

[email protected]_bennett  Thanks for the clarification Chip. It looks a lot better than the current setup.
I’m really keen on trying out the new Twenty Twelve theme. Do you know when the first beta release is expected?

Comment by chip_bennett says:

[email protected] Muldoon  markmcwilliams Cool!
As for your comment, “It isnâ€â„¢t clear what can been customised as yet though Iâ€â„¢m pleased to see WordPress introduce an in built options area for themes â€â€œ itâ€â„¢s sure to change how many developers design their themes” – while I’ve not played with it yet, I get the impression that this is primarily a UI update/refresh. Note that everything in the screenshot (except for the static front page section, which is new to WP 3.4) is currently available via the Dashboard -> Appearance submenus.
If a Theme adds support for custom backgrounds, the Dashboard -> Appearance -> Custom Background submenu link is displayed; likewise with custom image headers, custom nav menus, and Widgets. (Nav menus are a special case, in that custom menus can be added via Widget, even if the Theme doesn’t add support for menus, and/or doesn’t define any Theme locations for custom menus.) So, my  impression is simply that those submenus have simply been reconfigured into a new “Customize” UI.
That’s a quite long-winded way for me to say: I don’t think that this change will impact what Theme Developers currently do, except for the new-in-WP-3.4 Static Front Page feature, that Theme developers can use to define/add a static Page, and automatically assign that static Page to be used as the site front page as part of the Theme activation/setup.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

[email protected]_bennett Thanks for the clarification guys. I misinterpreted the tweet. I’ve updated my post accordingly.
The theme customiser looks great. I’m really looking forward to it. If Twenty Twelve lives up to my expectations I might modify it for WP Mods. Would be good to illustrate what could be done with the design.

Comment by Mark McWilliams says:

Yes, sorry for any confusion caused, the the Theme Customiser is not unique to Twenty Twelve. Where you would normally activate a Theme, there’s a new option, customise. Clicking that takes you to a different page, although I think it’s an iFrame (don’t quote me on that), which allows you to customise the look and feel, seeing the updates happen in front of you. More info can be found in #19910.

Comment by chip_bennett says:

Note, this isn’t a “Twenty Twelve” Theme customizer; rather, it is the new *WordPress 3.4* Theme customizer. It is the redesign of Dashboard -> Appearance submenu content, otherwise known as “Project Gandalf”.

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