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A Guide to the WordPress Theme Customizer: Review and Resources

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In this series, we've taken a look at the WordPress Theme Customizer and built a small theme demonstrating how to implement it in our current and future work.

The amount of material available on the WordPress Theme Customizer and how to actually go about implementing all of its various features are far more than a single series can adequately cover.

So in this final article, we're going to wrap up development of our theme, provide a link to the repository, and then take a look at some resources available that provide a more in-depth look at the Theme Customizer to which you can refer in your future work.


Finishing Our Theme

Theme Customizer

At this point, we've done all there is to do with the code of our theme, so you can officially download the final version of the code from the GitHub repository.

If you've been following along with the series up to this point, then you'll notice that there are very little changes from 0.6.0 to 1.0.0. Primarily, functions have been further documented, and the code has been reviewed for being brought up to WordPress Coding Standards.

Hopefully this theme, like this series, will provide a solid foundation for understanding how the Theme Customizer works, and how you can hook it into your existing themes, or how you can begin building themes with it incorporated into your work.


Theme Customizer Resources

Here's a list of resources that I highly recommend bookmarking and reading as you continue your work with the WordPress Theme Customizer:

  • Using The New WordPress 3.4 Theme Customizer by Morten Rand-Hendriksen. This article is written primarily for beginners who are just getting familiar with what the Theme Customizer offers. It's not necessarily a guide for developers; however, if you're looking for inspiration on how and what you can incorporate into your implementation of the customizer, then this is a good reference.
  • How to leverage the Theme Customizer in your own themes by Otto. This guide was written shortly after WordPress 3.4 was released and covers a wide range of topics on how to work with the Theme Customizer. It also includes a demo video explaining exactly what the Theme Customizer is. This is a great article for those who are new to the Theme Customizer, need an introduction, and are ready to jump into working with the Theme Customizer.
  • Theme Customizer Introduction by Slobodan Manic. This series was published on WP Explorer and walks all readers through an introduction to the Theme customizer, how to interact with it, incorporating it into child themes, and even provides an example boilerplate of code off of which you can base your code.
  • The Theme Customization API in the WordPress Codex. Naturally, no set of resources would be complete without a reference to the official Codex documentation. The Theme Customizer API provides a solid demo of working with the customizer along with the basic set of controls. It does not include documentation for some of the advanced controls - at least not yet - but it's a fantastic starting place for those looking to dive deeper into the customizer.
  • The WordPress Theme Customizer: A Comprehensive Guide by Alex Mansfield. This is arguably one of the most in-depth and advanced articles on the WordPress Theme Customizer. After completing this particular series, you should be ready to read through Alex's content and understand exactly what's going on. It's a handy reference for more advanced WordPress developers.

Sure, there are a lot of resources out there that you can find using Google. Some are good, some are bad, and some may lead you down the wrong path of development. The list above is compiled from work of reputable developers who have done not only an excellent job of showcasing the Theme Customizer for what it is, but how you can further extend it in your work.

For those who are more advanced object-oriented developers, you may also find some of the resources useful as they cover how to extend some of the base classes provided in the Theme Customization API.


Conclusion

With all of that said, we've completed this guide on the WordPress Theme Customizer. Hopefully, the past few articles have not only shown you how to get started with the customizer, but how to understand the relationship between sections, settings, controls, how to sanitize data, and how to modify the theme based on the content saved in the customizer.

Furthermore, the resources linked in this article should provide a more advanced look at what can be done with the Theme Customizer, and the various controls that are available to be used for whatever use case you may have show up in your current, and future, projects.

Finally, for those who are interested, please feel free to contribute to the demo theme so that others may take advantage of the code that's available from the community at large.

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