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How to Add Custom Dashboard Widgets in WordPress

There are tons of new themes coming out for WordPress every day, but none of them seems to utilize this feature. WordPress developers should add custom dashboard widget with support information. In this article we will show you how you can customize dashboard widgets in WordPress.

Simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

add_action('wp_dashboard_setup', 'my_custom_dashboard_widgets');
 
function my_custom_dashboard_widgets() {
global $wp_meta_boxes;

wp_add_dashboard_widget('custom_help_widget', 'Theme Support', 'custom_dashboard_help');
}

function custom_dashboard_help() {
echo '<p>Welcome to Custom Blog Theme! Need help? Contact the developer <a href="mailto:yourusername@gmail.com">here</a>. For WordPress Tutorials visit: <a href="https://www.wpbeginner.com" target="_blank">WPBeginner</a></p>';
}

Remember to change the email and add other useful information.

This code can be very helpful when creating custom themes for clients.

Result:

Custom dashboard widget in WordPress

We hope this article helped you learn how to add custom dashboard widget in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to remove unnecessary items from WordPress admin area.

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Reader Interactions

48 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Can you add multiple widget of the same type on the wordpress dashboard. For example: can I add the custom ‘custom_help_widget’ twice on my dashboard?

    • You could if you wanted to, you would want to add an additional line of the wp_add_dashboard_widget if you wanted it twice :)

      Admin

  2. Very useful, thank you, I’ve tried all the plugins but none achieved adding a simple widget for my clients, very slick and easy to replicate by cresting a custom plugin, I give you 5 stars! ;)

    • If your custom role can see dashboard widgets, it should be able to see the custom widget.

      Admin

  3. This was asked once but I could not find the reply or answer. How do I create multiple dashboard widgets?

  4. How do I add wp_mail function to this widget?
    Meaning; how do I provide the customer with a contact form in that widget?

  5. Hi, I’m trying to create custom widgets on a per user basis. Each user needs to have a widget with different text in it.

    Is there any way to achieve this?

    • That is very easy ! With PHP get the current user on the function that you are using for displaying the metabox content and change the HTML depending of the user retreived. Have a look on this :

  6. i tried to insert a do_shortcode() with shortcode for a contact form to give user a quick access to report any bug of provide feedback but it doesn’t work … any idea how to get CF 7 working with this ?

    Thanks

  7. Is it possible to do this using OOP?

    e.g.:

    inside a class:

    wp_add_dashboard_widget(‘custom_help_widget’, ‘Help and Support’, array($this, ‘customDashboardHelp’));

    function customDashboardHelp() {

    echo ‘<p>Welcome to your custom CMS!’;

    }

    • I know your message is quite old, but for the sake of others who come here and have the same question. Yes, it does work with OOP, just as you have indicated.

  8. Great idea. What if I want to create a custom dashboard widget that only people with a certain user role, say Contributing Writer, can see?

    • I know it’s been three years, but if others happen to come around here looking for an answer (like me), this is how I did it. I don’t know a lot about coding so it’s probably not clean, but this is how I managed to get it to work:

      add_action(‘wp_dashboard_setup’, ‘dashboard_widget_mail’);

      function dashboard_widget_mail() {
      global $wp_meta_boxes;

      if ( current_user_can( ‘delete_users’ ) ) {

      wp_add_dashboard_widget(‘custom_mail_widget’, ‘Widgetname to show up on dashboard’, ‘custom_dashboard_mail’);
      } return true;
      }

      function custom_dashboard_mail() {

      echo ‘Your custom text here.’;
      }

      You can replace ‘delete_users’ for any capability you like of course.

  9. Thx for this! It works great.

    Just a quick question:
    If I want to add 2 or more custom widgets in the functions.php, do I have to change the “action” and “function” name?

  10. Sounds good, but should be better to create a simple plugin to do so, in such a way, this widget will be independant from the themes… Don’t you think ?

    • Well you can, but in our case it contains support information that we want our clients to know. This is mostly for custom theme designs, so it is only good to have when our theme is activated.

      Admin

  11. Worked like a charm. Using this as a workaround for one of my membership site that locked all dashboard menus; this will point members to the appropriate edit posts links again. :)

    • Hey Richard, You can make your widget be displayed at the very top using the code in WordPress Codex Dashboard API. We don’t know how to set them side by side without manually going in and saving it for the client. Perhaps sending an email to Jake and asking him would be a good idea.

      Although remember, the settings you set in functions.php does not override the normal settings if the user has previously changed the settings. This only works if the user never organized his/her dashboard before.

      Admin

    • Use display block on the outer most element and float left, make sure to set a width, but that may break it. This is very similar to a gallery layout. This is not suggested and not necessarily how WordPress designed widgets to be used (use at your own risk).

  12. Interesting, I did all of that with the line below. Is one better, or are these both just as good?


    if ( function_exists('register_sidebar') ) {
    register_sidebar(array(
    'name'=>'Contact',
    ));
    }

    • Your code is for registering Sidebar Widgets. The code we are sharing in this article is to add custom dashboard widget. When one log in to their wp-admin, they see post stats, and other information. This box will be added there.

      Two completely different topics.

      Admin

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