Elegant Themes Releases New Theme Options Page
Elegant Themes, one of my favorite commercial WordPress theme clubs, have just announced they’ve released a new theme options page dubbed ePanel. Nick has been hard at work on this for quite a while now because he wanted a streamlined version of his theme options page to use on all of his themes.
Read on to find out more about ePanel…
Pictured above, this is the area where you set the following:
- Color scheme
- FeedBurner address
- Date format
Basically things that are affected sitewide, as well as on the homepage.
This is where you can choose which page and category links are displayed on your site.
This is definitely one of the more intuitive navigation control areas I’ve seen in a WordPress theme. All you have to do is click one of the green checkboxes next to a page name to exclude it.
In the future I might like to see an easier way to re-arrange the navigation links, in maybe a drag and drop interface, for even more fine-tuned control.
This is where you can control a few different layout elements on the homepage, single posts, and pages.
You can also easily adjust the dimensions of the thumbnail images used in the theme.
This is where you can enable and set “unwidgetized” advertisements in the theme.
While you can easily set the location of the image and destination URL, I don’t see any way to set the title and alt tags. This may be something to look into in future versions of ePanel.
This is where you can set things like custom colors and a custom child stylesheet.
At the top is a handy color picker which lets you find hex color codes to use in the options below.
This area gives you control over several SEO aspects of your site, including control of page titles and meta tags.
These settings pretty much eliminate any need for SEO plugins such as All-In-One SEO Pack, as everything is already built into the theme.
This tab makes it easy to insert code into your header and footer, among other areas.
The purpose of this page is for users to be able to add things like Google Analytics code, or other third party script code wherever it may be needed on your site.
Included in each ePanel-enabled theme is a small documentation area which houses some basic information about each theme, as well as links to video tutorials and such.
Overall I’m pretty impressed with this new theme options page. Usually I’m not a huge fan of big flashy options page as I think they might overwhelm users. This one however is very well organized and easy to understand.
Remember, Elegant Themes still remains the best value WordPress theme club at only $19.95 per year. If you want to check out the ePanel options for yourself, sign up and try out any of the following themes where it has been enabled: eNews, Bold, ePhoto, eBusiness, CherryTruffle and PureType. Nick said he’s planning on integrating the rest of the themes with ePanel in batches of six.