The WordPress dashboard is the first screen you see when you log into your site’s admin panel. And if you’re developing a site for a client who may not be particularly technically inclined then it’s important to make the dashboard’s interface as user-friendly as possible.
Upon taking a closer look at the dashboard’s structure, it’s easy to see that the entire page is made up of a few different widgets. Each dashboard widget is responsible for presenting different information to the user at a quick glance.
The code snippet tool we’ve put together helps WordPress developers and theme builders add custom dashboard widgets to their site’s admin panel to improve its visual appeal and increase user-friendliness. If you’re still not sure what a dashboard widget is or why you may need to use one then don’t worry. We’ll put everything into context first and then introduce the tool and explain how you can use it.
What Is a Dashboard Widget and Why Should I Use One?
Simply put, WordPress dashboard widgets are page elements that dynamically display information neatly on your site’s admin panel. If you’ve ever logged into your WordPress site’s back-end then you probably already have a good idea of what the dashboard looks like. By default, it has four widgets that give you different information at a glance:
- At a Glance.
- Quick Draft.
- WordPress News.
There are a number of ways you can leverage WordPress’ dashboard widgets for both personal sites and client sites. For instance, if you’re running a blog site then you may be interested in knowing how many posts you have published in total, how many pages you have on your site, and how many comments you’ve received on them.
Similarly, as a developer, you might want to make the dashboard more user-friendly and intuitive for non-techy clients. Dashboard widgets allow you to leave helpful notes and messages for other users to see when they login. In addition to all of this, you can also use these handy widgets to summarize data from both internal and external sources (such as RSS feeds, APIs, or analytics platforms).
How Do I Use This Add Dashboard Widget Code Snippet Generator Tool?
We’ve designed this code snippet generator tool to help you add custom dashboard widgets to your WordPress site. Once you’ve entered the required fields, the code snippet generator will output a fully functional code for you automatically.
Let’s take a closer look at the fields one at a time:
- Theme Slug: Enter your theme’s slug into this text field in all lowercase letters, numbers and/or underscores. This value will be used to prefix functions and variables that would otherwise be incompatible with the WordPress core or any installed themes or plugins. Typically, this is the same string as the text domain, with underscores in place of hyphens.
- Text Domain: The text domain works as a unique key that will be used to identify any translatable strings in your theme or plugin. It should be the same as your theme’s name in lowercase with spaces replaced by hyphens – in other words, it should match the theme’s directory name in the root folder.
Add Dashboard Widget Tab
- Widget Slug: Enter your widget’s slug into this text field in all lowercase letters, numbers and/or underscores. This value will be used to prefix functions and variables that would otherwise be incompatible with other functions in WordPress’ core files, themes, or plugins. It will be used as an identifying slug for your widget, its CSS class, and its key in the array of widgets.
- Widget Title: Enter the name you’d like your widget to display in its heading.
- Render Function: Specify the name of the function that will display the actual content of your dashboard widget.
Render Widget Tab
- Callback: Add the full, custom code that will display the widget content here.
- Once you’ve entered values for all of the required fields, head over to the Code tab. You’ll find that the Registers Your Dashboard Widget text area is populated with a custom code snippet for adding a dashboard widget to your WordPress site.
How Do I Add the Code Snippet to My Website?
The quickest way to add the generated code snippet to your site is by pasting it directly into your current theme’s functions.php file. You can edit it directly by heading over to Appearance > Editor from the admin panel.
Alternatively, you can download the theme’s functions.php file to your desktop via an FTP client. Next, open it up in a text editor and paste the code at the bottom of the file. Hit the Save button and re-upload it to your theme’s directory. Once you’re done, the newly added dashboard widgets will be available for use.
Keep in mind that the function should not be called before the ‘init’ action.
Adding custom dashboard widgets to your WordPress site’s dashboard is a great way to get useful information in a single view. Additionally, it can be an incredibly handy asset for clients who may not have experience using the WordPress back-end. We hope that this code snippet generator tool saves you some effort from having to hand code dashboard widgets into your WordPress site.
Do you have any questions about the Add Dashboard Widget code generator tool? Let us know in the comments section below!