I'm building one of those newspaper/magazine style themes and was very excited about the options page. I have many options that give the user fine-grained control over their site and allows them to create a unique look.
However, in my excitement I realized that I overlooked something. Each of those options is a separate database query. I loaded my front page and it has 214 queries alone when everything is set to display! It loads in about 0.8 seconds. When stored in cache it loads in about 0.6-0.7 seconds. On pingdom.com, it loads in about 4 seconds.
When I install W3 Total Cache the number of queries is reduced to 202. The theme can be scaled back and users don't need to display as many news sections or widgets, but I'm concerned that I have too many queries. When does the number of queries become too much?
Is there a way to write a theme options page that minimizes the number of queries, even if you want to provide a lot of options? What do other creators of magazine themes do?