WordPress Customizer Library Provides a Simpler Way to Work with the Customizer


WordPress’ native customizer has evolved considerably since its early days when it when it was introduced for adding live previews to themes. WordPress 3.9 added widgets to the customizer and the 4.0 release is set to expand the role of the feature into other aspects of WordPress with support for a wider array of controls.

Developers are eager to find new ways to harness the power of the customizer without getting caught up in writing a ton of code. Devin Price, co-owner of DevPress, is working on a new project to create a Customizer Library. The library is designed to abstract out some of the complexity of working with the customizer so that developers can easily add options by defining a simple array.

Price describes the Customizer Library as “a collection of classes and functions that make it a bit easier to develop for the WordPress Customizer.” The library currently includes helper functions for Google fonts and inline styles, but he’s considering removing them into their own repositories in order to keep the project more focused for general use.

The library can be included in a theme or plugin as a git submodule, according to the installation instructions. Price has built in only one custom control, for textarea, but he plans to add additional custom controls as the library matures. It currently supports the following options:

  • Checkbox
  • Select
  • Radio
  • Upload
  • Color
  • Textarea
  • Select (Typography)

An example theme can be found in the Customizer Library Demo repository, which shows how to use the library to create options such as logo, primary and secondary colors, textareas, checkboxes, etc.

The Customizer Library project is somewhat similar to the Kirki plugin, which aims to provide a framework for adding advanced controls. Although the projects are constructed differently, they both abstract the Customizer API to make it easier to add options. As the customizer evolves to become more powerful with more controls, libraries/frameworks like these provide an entry point for developers who want a quick way to build options.

If you want to use the customizer in your projects but are having trouble getting a handle on it, the Customzer Library might be a reasonable starting place. Price is looking for feedback and suggestions as he continues to develop the library as a standalone project. You can help shape its future by joining the discussion on the post where he introduces the library.

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