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WordPress Options and Theme Modifications

When The Customizer (once called The Theme Customizer) became part of WordPress, we saw a resurgence in the Theme Modification API.

At one point in WordPress history, the `get_theme_mod` and `set_theme_mod` was how we handled theme modifications (hence the function names). Then, we began to use the options table as a way to manage the various settings for our plugins.

And then we began to use the options table as an easy to way to store settings for our themes. It was like we moved the Theme Modification API to the backseat and pushed forward with options.

Should we have done that (or does it even matter)? And what’s the difference in these APIs, anyway? Why do we still have both of them, which is best to use and when?

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