Have you ever edited the appearance settings of a theme like Omega, and wondered how it provides its own custom options? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could do this for your theme, and enable site builders to take control of their sites without relying on you to develop (and maintain) subthemes to address unique styling requests? Then it’s time for you to dive into custom theme settings!

By leveraging custom theme settings themers can create a variety of controls to help site builders customize their sites while still conforming to visual identity standards, or other layout intentions. It’s the perfect framework for distributing a one-size-fits-all theme on an enterprise level.

This presentation will cover:

  • An introduction to developing custom theme settings, including best practices, advanced options, and a few pitfalls to avoid.
  • Useful examples of where custom theme settings can help alleviate the need for standing up a subtheme just to address design. variations, and how they can be leveraged to offer flexibility to site builders while keeping them from “breaking the mold” of your intended design.
  • A look under the hood at how Georgia Tech’s institute-wide theme is making use of custom theme settings.

This presentation is intended for:

  • Intermediate level front end developers who are looking to offer more with a theme than a pretty UI.
  • Themers who are responsible for maintaining themes that serve sites for a variety of units under one organization.
  • Front-end types looking for an opportunity to become more familiar with Drupal’s form API.

A basic understanding of theme preprocessing functions is helpful, as well as other aspects of theming beyond styling, such as working with custom template files.

A well documented example theme will be included in the presentation so that attendees can play along at home, and have a reference to work from when they’re ready to dive into custom theme settings on their own.