How to add your own widget to the WordPress Dashboard

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wordpress-iconNow that we’ve removed a few widgets, perhaps it’s time we add our own simple info box to the WordPress Dashboard.

For example, we could provide a direct link to our support services. It’s handy for clients to know help is just a click away.

Here’s how to add a simple box like that:

//Add a new widget to the Dashboard
function contact_help(){
     echo 'If you have questions about working with WordPress system, contact Jay at noreply@wphosting.tv or call 305-555-1234';
}
function register_widgets(){
     wp_add_dashboard_widget( 'contact_help_widget', 'Need help?', 'contact_help');
}
add_action('wp_dashboard_setup', 'register_widgets' );

Add this code to your theme’s functions.php file. Note that if you (or your client) activates a different theme the widget will disappear.

Here’s what the code does: first we create a function that simply writes out the text that’s displayed inside our widget (contact_help). Next in register_widgets we register our widget in the WordPress Dashboard. This won’t do anything yet, as the register_widgets function is not called. We do that in the next step when we hook it into the wp_dashboard_setup action.

Remember this is sample code – you probably want to prefix your own functions with something unique.

You can find out more in the WordPress Widget API.

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