How to add an options form to a wordpress theme using settings_fields

I spent some time today modifying a WordPress theme to take configuration properties.

I want one theme that I can quickly re-configure to create multiple blogs along different topics with different color/graphic schemes. I want easy maintenance so I’d love to share one instance of the theme across these different instances.

We’re using enough different plugins that WordPress Mu isn’t yet worth fighting. So database options and the Settings API seemed the best way.

The documentation on how to extend a theme this way is not so easy to find but there are plenty of examples. They tend to break the process into steps but don’t give as much sense of what you actually get and how to use it.

I based my code on this example:

After the fact, I found this description which seems well written:

I created a menu item and a corresponding properties form:

Wordpress Theme Options FormWordpress Theme Menu Item

My form adds three properties which are stored in the WordPress wp_options table and easily exposed on template pages

<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php $options = get_option('vertical'); echo $options['vertical_custom_css_url']; ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />

Here’s the actual code I added to the functions.php page of the theme. If you don’t have a functions.php you can just create one in your theme folder. You need to make sure the code below is wrapped in “<?php” “?>” tags.

//encapsulate the logic into a class
$cpanel = new ControlPanel();

class ControlPanel {
/* static array to contain default values
the values set an additional css to override standard css in the theme
as well as an image and link that is rendered in the sidebar. These
three settings allow me to use the same theme with minor variations
on different blogs on different topics but with very similar looks and feels */

var $default_settings = Array(
‘vertical_custom_css_url’ => ,
‘topic_banner_img’ => ‘/images/banner.jpg’,
‘topic_url’ => ‘’

function ControlPanel()
//hook to add a menu item in the Theme’s area of the admin sidebar
add_action(‘admin_menu’, array(&$this, ‘vertical_admin_menu’));
/* if options are not already created in the database, add them and set to default values
this creates a single database entry in wp_options with key vertical and
values a hash of key/value pairs */

if (!is_array(get_option(‘vertical’)))
add_option(‘vertical’, $this->default_settings);
//load the existing options into an array accessible as a property of this instance of ControlPanel
$this->options = get_option(‘vertical’);
//the function that ties an html form to the hook defined in the constructor.
function vertical_admin_menu() {
add_theme_page(‘Vertical Theme Control Panel’, ‘Customize Theme’, ‘edit_themes’, “vertical”, array(&$this, ‘vertical_theme_page’));
//function that defines the form for viewing and setting properties for the theme.
function vertical_theme_page() {
//if the form is being submitted, update the options in the database
if ( isset( $_POST[‘submit’] ) ) {
//if the “Save Changes” button was clicked, set the user entered values from the form
if (‘Save Changes’ == $_POST[‘submit’]) {
$this->options[“vertical_custom_css_url”] = $_POST[‘vertical_custom_css_url’];
$this->options[“topic_banner_img”] = $_POST[‘topic_banner_img’];
$this->options[“topic_url”] = $_POST[‘topic_url’];
} //else if “Defaults” was clicked, reset values to default
else if (‘Defaults’ == $_POST[‘submit’]) {
$this->options[“vertical_custom_css_url”] = $this->default_settings[‘vertical_custom_css_url’];
$this->options[“topic_banner_img”] = $this->default_settings[‘topic_banner_img’];
$this->options[“topic_url”] = $this->default_settings[‘topic_url’];
$state=“reverted to defaults”;
} //commit the changes to the database
update_option(‘vertical’, $this->options);
//render a status message of the above actions in the standard WordPress admin dialog box at the top of the form.
echo ‘<div class=“updated fade” id=“message” style=“background-color: rgb(255, 251, 204); width: 300px; margin-left: 20px”><p>Settings <strong>‘.$state.’</strong>.</p></div>‘;
//the actual html form in standard markup to appear standard in the WordPress Admin
<div class=‘wrap’>
<h2><?php _e(‘Customize Vertical Theme’); ?></h2>
<div id=“header”>
<div id=“headwrap”>
<div id=“header”>
<div id=“headerimg”>
<h1><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?></h1>
<div class=“description”><?php bloginfo(‘description’); ?></div>
<form id=“vertical-settings-form” method=“post” action=“”>
<?php settings_fields( ‘vertical-settings’ ); ?>
<table class=“form-table”>
<tr valign=“top”>
<th scope=“row”>Path to Vertical CSS file:</th>
<input size=“70” type=“text” name=“vertical_custom_css_url” id=“vertical_custom_css_url” value=<?php echo $this->options[“vertical_custom_css_url”]; ?>” />
<br/><small>example: <?php echo(str_replace(get_bloginfo(‘url’),“”,get_bloginfo(‘template_url’).‘/’.str_replace(” “, “-“,strtolower(wptexturize(get_bloginfo( ‘name’ )))))); ?>/style.css</small>
<tr valign=“top”>
<th scope=“row”>Path to Category Page:</th>
<input size=“70” type=“text” name=“topic_url” id=“topic_url” value=<?php echo $this->options[“topic_url”]; ?>” />
<tr valign=“top”>
<th scope=“row”>Path to Category Banner:</th>
<input size=“70” type=“text” name=“topic_banner_img” id=“topic_banner_img” value=<?php echo $this->options[“topic_banner_img”]; ?>” />
<br/><small>example: <?php echo(str_replace(get_bloginfo(‘url’),“”,get_bloginfo(‘template_url’).‘/’.str_replace(” “, “-“,strtolower(wptexturize(get_bloginfo( ‘name’ )))))); ?>/images/banner.jpg</small>
<p class=“submit”>
<input type=“submit” name=“submit” class=“button-primary” value=<?php _e(‘Save Changes’) ?> />
<input type=“submit” name=“submit” class=“button-primary” value=<?php _e(‘Defaults’) ?> />
<input type=“hidden” name=“saved” value=“true”>

Fixing markup in cross posts to wordpress using metaWeblog, xml-rpc, & xpost plugin

I’m experimenting with cross posting from one wordpress blog to another using the metaWeblog API and XML-RPC. This led me to the xpost plugin by Jan Gossman.

Easy enough to test. I set up two blogs, activated xpost on one of them and posted to the other.

The plugin works as promised. You can selectively post to multiple blogs and assign categories. Tags and standard properties are preserved. Most impressively, the relationship between source and target blogs is maintained. Changes in the source are updated in the targets.

However markup in the cross posts is broken because single and double quotes are escaped with a backslash. For example, link tags become <a href=\"....

From what I can find this is a known issue intentionally introduced within the WordPress’ XML-RPC implementation as brute force protection against a SQL injection vulnerability.

I don’t want to expose myself to this vulnerability. Nor do I want to hack a wordpress build.

It occurred to me one way to get past this issue is to strip those backslashes at the presentation level within the theme of the blog to which I want to crosspost. I don’t see any reason to render backslashes within posts.

So, with guidance from the WordPress codex, I modified the single and index templates…


<?php the_content(); ?>


$content = get_the_content();
$content = apply_filters('the_content', $content);
$content = str_replace(']]>', ']]>', $content);
$content = str_replace('\\','',$content); /* This strips escapes inserted through XML-RPC */
print $content ?>

I think this will work for me. I’m glad to be proven wrong. Am I missing something?

Outlook -> Office Online -> [insert icalendar hack here] -> Google Calendar -> Google Sync -> Blackberry

I have reason to want an exchange calendar sync’d to my blackberry. Problem being, the blackberry is not on that exchange server’s enterprise services and blackberry internet service doesn’t sync calendars.

Happily, Office Online offers the ability to publish calenders in an icalendar format. With Google Sync for Blackberry and Google Calendar I could subscribe and sync to my blackberry.

At some point, this broke.

Unhappily, it appears the Office Online feed has started failing in Google’s icalendar parser. It also fails in the iCalendar Validator by Steven N. Severinghaus.

Google has just released an Outlook add-in to sync calendars but I have restricted permissions to install software on my Outlook pc. So, I decided to try to solve this on my own.

Using http rather than webcal iCalendar Validator was able to flag the following:

Error: Error was: Error at line 68: Unparseable date: "2"

Looking in the feed, I found word wrapping breaking dates and guids:

EXDATE;TZID="GMT -0500 (Standard) / GMT -0400 (Daylight)":20090316T140000,2

After finding other services that could parse the feed but none that would sync over the wire to my blackberry calendar, I wrote a short php script to make the feed comply with Google’s parser.

//request the icalendar file
$output = file_get_contents('http://[path to calendar ics file]');
//clean up the icalendar content
$output = preg_replace("/[\n|\r]+\t/m", "", $output);
//print out the result
echo $output;

Now I can subscribe to the calendar via my script’s URL and google reads and syncs it to my blackberry. Happiness for now – at least until this kludge train derails again.