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Building Custom Widgets WordPress

True, there are thousands of widgets available for free on the World Wide Web. Plugins can add a different dimension to your experience with WordPress. However, some might be rather excited at realizing that one can create the customized widgets that would sound tailor made for a specific need. This tutorial teaches you how. Of course, you need a hang of coding to be able to achieve this. Custom widgets can be created by creating a class and registering ne widgets. This is the basic code snippet that you have to paste inside the functions.php file.

class My_Widget extends WP_Widget {

function My_Widget() {

parent::WP_Widget(false, \'Our Test Widget\');

}

function form($instance) {

// outputs the options form on admin

}

function update($new_instance, $old_instance) {

// processes widget options to be saved

return $new_instance;

}

function widget($args, $instance) {

// outputs the content of the widget

}

}

register_widget(\'My_Widget\');

Now, visit your widgets panel and you will see the following.

Building Custom Widgets WordPress

We try to create a plugin that displays the headlines of the top 5 posts on the basis of maximum number of comments. We name the widgets class and use the prefix top5_ with the functions and classes. The widget is then named in the constructor. Next, we create last method, a form function to define the editable data, which in this case is the widget\'s title to be shown on the blog. The widget method follows. The $args parameter is what you would want to watch out for here, these being the arguments that are passed on to the register sidebar method, for instance, before_widget and after_widget. Here’s how the final code looks.

<?php
class bm_widget_popularPosts extends WP_Widget {
 
        function bm_widget_popularPosts() {
               parent::WP_Widget(false, 'Popular Posts');
        }
 
        function widget($args, $instance) {
               $args['title'] = $instance['title'];
               bm_popularPosts($args);
        }
 
        function update($new_instance, $old_instance) {
               return $new_instance;
        }
        function form($instance) {     
               $title = esc_attr($instance['title']);
?>
               <p><label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('title'); ?>"><?php _e('Title:'); ?> <input id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('title'); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name('title'); ?>" type="text" value="<?php echo $title; ?>" /></label></p>
<?php
        }

}

function bm_popularPosts($args = array(), $displayComments = TRUE, $interval = '') {
 
        global $wpdb;
        
        $postCount = 5;
        
        $request = 'SELECT *
               FROM ' . $wpdb->posts . '
               WHERE ';
               
        if ($interval != '') {
               $request .= 'post_date>DATE_SUB(NOW(), ' . $interval . ') ';
        }
               
        $request .= 'post_status="publish"
                       AND comment_count > 0
               ORDER BY comment_count DESC LIMIT 0, ' . $postCount;
                       
        $posts = $wpdb->get_results($request);
        
        if (count($posts) >= 1) {
        
               if (!isset($args['title']) {
                       $args['title'] = 'Popular Posts';
               }
               
               foreach ($posts as $post) {
                       wp_cache_add($post->ID, $post, 'posts');
                       $popularPosts[] = array(
                               'title' => stripslashes($post->post_title),
                               'url' => get_permalink($post->ID),
                               'comment_count' => $post->comment_count,
                       );
               }
               
               echo $args['before_widget'] . $args['before_title'] . $args['title'] . $args['after_title'];
?>
        
               <ol>
<?php
               foreach ($popularPosts as $post) {
?>
                       <li>
                               <a href="<?php echo $post['url'];?>"><?php echo $post['title']; ?></a>
<?php
                       if ($displayComments) {
?>
                       (<?php echo $post['comment_count'] . ' ' . __('comments', BM_THEMENAME); ?>)
<?php
                       }
?>
                       </li>
<?php
               }
?>
               </ol>
        
<?php
               echo $args['after_widget'];
        }
}

?>

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