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WordPress admin dashboard API

From: WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP

Video: WordPress admin dashboard API

Since version 2.7, the WordPress development team gave us the ability to customize our own dashboards. What this means is we can add our own dashboard widgets into the WordPress admin. These widgets work pretty much the same as the ones we looked at earlier, only they are plugged into admin dashboard instead of the front of the web site. They can be really useful in some plugins because they allow for displaying statistical data, or they allow for quick updates. So, let's take a look at the dashboard. Here we are in the admin, and you have probably seen this before.

WordPress admin dashboard API

Since version 2.7, the WordPress development team gave us the ability to customize our own dashboards. What this means is we can add our own dashboard widgets into the WordPress admin. These widgets work pretty much the same as the ones we looked at earlier, only they are plugged into admin dashboard instead of the front of the web site. They can be really useful in some plugins because they allow for displaying statistical data, or they allow for quick updates. So, let's take a look at the dashboard. Here we are in the admin, and you have probably seen this before.

We have all of these different widgets. You can move them around if you want to. Some of them have configuration options you can edit that determine how much you want to see, where you want to get data from, however that works. If you go into Screen Options, you can turn these on and off, and do whatever you want, basically, to customize it. If you want to create your own, you can create a plugin. We have created one here, a simple_db_widget.

We can see, we've created it just like any other plugin. You are going to write a function that's going to output whatever appears on the dashboard widget. So simple_dashboard_widget. So in here I am just going to create some visual codes. I am going to go ahead and do my tags. I'll just say, "Simple Dashboard Widget," "Welcome to WordPress development." And then, if you want, you can do things like add links.

You can add dynamic stuff in here, but for now we are just going keep it as a simple static wizard. There we are, good. So there's our widget, pretty straightforward. In order to add this into the WordPress admin, we are going to need to register it. So we are going to create a function to register it. I am going to use sdbw as the prefix, so we can keep it clean. It's called register_widget, and then in here, we can say wp_add_dashboard_widget, and this is our special dashboard widget function.

It takes the ID of the dashboard widget. We will call it simple-dashboard- widget, and you may refer to this in other places so make sure you choose something unique and something you can remember, and then whatever the name is. This is just going to be sort of a user-friendly name. This will be what you see in the screen options. Then you will pass in the function that's going to be used to generate the widget itself, which is simple. It's a function we already created. You might also pass in a control function, which will handle editing of options, but we are not going to worry about that.

The last thing to do is to add an action, and this action is going to be in wp_dashboard_setup, and it's going to call the function we just created. This will then call this function when this hook is triggered, which will then set this function up to display in the dashboard. So let's go into our admin, and go into the plugins page and activate our simple dashboard widget.

Now when we return of the dashboard, we can see our simple dashboard widget had been added, and we can minimize it, and we can move around just like we can any of the other widgets, and if we go screen options, you can see we can turn it on and off from up here. If you want to find out more about WordPress admin widgets, you can find it at the Codex. There is a whole page at WordPress.org that will tell you about it. You can learn about how to move these around and do all kinds of other stuff. Since version 2.7, WordPress gives you the ability to add your own widgets to the WordPress admin dashboard.

It's basically a three step process: You write a function that outputs your widget, you write a function to register the widget, and then you add an action for Add Dashboard Widget. Once you add it in, you can then see your widget in the dashboard.

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This video is part of

Image for WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP
 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 23m 29s
    1. WordPress overview
      2m 32s
    2. Installing WPI for Windows
      3m 42s
    3. Installing MAMP for the Mac
      3m 25s
    4. Installing and configuring WordPress
      5m 51s
    5. Comparing WordPress 3.0 with previous versions
      2m 57s
    6. Setting up a PHP/WordPress development environment
      5m 2s
  3. 14m 47s
    1. Exploring WordPress plugins
      3m 42s
    2. Administering plugins from the WordPress admin
      5m 23s
    3. Exploring where plugins reside
      2m 51s
    4. Introduction to hooks
      2m 51s
  4. 39m 28s
    1. Creating the plugin PHP file(s)
      3m 12s
    2. More on hooks: Actions and filters
      3m 15s
    3. Installation and activation
      4m 6s
    4. Writing activation code
      3m 45s
    5. Writing an action
      5m 12s
    6. Writing a filter
      4m 15s
    7. About pluggable functions
      2m 1s
    8. Writing a pluggable function
      5m 30s
    9. Using template tags
      2m 46s
    10. Introducing shortcode
      5m 26s
  5. 26m 2s
    1. Widgets and the WordPress Widgets SubPanel
      2m 54s
    2. Comparing widgets and plugins
      1m 8s
    3. Using and customizing built-in widgets
      3m 18s
    4. Creating a new widget
      7m 21s
    5. Writing the constructor and registering widgets
      5m 20s
    6. Enabling configuration of widgets
      6m 1s
  6. 44m 59s
    1. Creating an admin interface
      5m 25s
    2. Saving data to the database
      5m 39s
    3. Securing form submission with nonces
      2m 25s
    4. Options editing post-WordPress 2.7
      4m 8s
    5. Integrating with the WordPress admin menus
      3m 34s
    6. WordPress admin dashboard API
      4m 5s
    7. Using existing options and option editing pages in WordPress
      5m 19s
    8. Using jQuery and AJAX for administration
      14m 24s
  7. 27m 13s
    1. Accessing the WordPress database
      5m 45s
    2. Using the built-in schema
      2m 21s
    3. Accessing data using $wpdb
      5m 15s
    4. Creating new tables
      7m 18s
    5. Inserting data
      6m 34s
  8. 26m 27s
    1. Introducing the Loop
      6m 22s
    2. Using WP_Query()
      3m 11s
    3. Custom filtering and sticky posts
      4m 58s
    4. Using jQuery and AJAX for posts and pages
      11m 56s
  9. 12m 9s
    1. Registering and promoting plugins
      2m 28s
    2. Creating an uninstall function
      5m 53s
    3. Backward compatibility issues
      3m 48s
  10. 15m 3s
    1. Understanding security issues
      11m 20s
    2. Internationalizing your plugin
      3m 43s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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