Widgets Area Chooser – 3.8 Proposal

Placing widgets with drag-and-drop can be tedious and annoying — especially if you have lots of sidebars on which to drop widgets. The Widgets team has been working on a few solutions (for this problem, and more), including redesigning the wp-admin widgets interface and adding the ability to manage widgets from within the customizer. These projects are still ongoing, and not ready for 3.8. However, along the way we’ve found a few incremental changes which improve the overall experience of working with widgets. Some of these improvements have made their way into MP6. Others involve more functional changes which don’t belong in MP6. This plugin is one of those improvements.

The Widgets Area Chooser is available at: https://wordpress.org/plugins/widget-area-chooser/

The Problem
Dragging widgets from the available widgets in the top-left, to a sidebar “below the fold” is hard. Almost impossible. Dragging widgets on a touch screen device is also difficult.

The Solution
Clicking (or tapping) on an available widget brings up a list of available sidebars that you can place the widget in to — its pretty simple, and works great on touch devices.

There’s also the accessibility problems that drag-and-drop introduces, which necessitates the need for the separate (and often neglected) Accessibility Mode. This plugin provides a much easier way for those with screen readers to add new widgets without having to drag-and-drop. In fact, this could be the first step towards removing the need for an Accessibility Mode for widgets.

Here’s what the chooser looks like:

Here’s a quick video of the plugin in action:

[wpvideo hHcvYfGT]

Please let us know what you think!

#3-8, #widgets

Howdy everyone There’s been a lot of discussion…

Howdy everyone! There’s been a lot of discussion over the last week or two around widgets for 3.8. Inspired by @lessbloat, I’ve made a short survey with a few basic questions about widgets and how you use them. It you could, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts:

Take the Widgets Survey


#3-8, #survey, #widgets

Widgets redesign

All of the redesigned widgets functionality is in place in trunk. Only remaining is some improvement to the visual design for the widgets screen in admin.

The new way to add widgets to WordPress is by extending WP_Widget. All widgets created that way have support for multiple instances.

Also all existing widgets will have to be converted to this system as the previous API functions will (most likely) be removed in 2.9. This is quite easy and any of the default widgets can be used as an example.

A typical widget is constructed as follows:

class WP_Widget_Archives extends WP_Widget {
	function WP_Widget_Archives() {
		$widget_ops = array('classname' => 'widget_archive', 'description' => __( "A monthly archive of your blog's posts") );
		$this->WP_Widget(false, __('Archives'), $widget_ops);

	function widget( $args, $instance ) {
		// displays the widget on the front end

	function update( $new_instance, $old_instance ) {
		// update the instance's settings

	function form( $instance ) {
		// displays the widget admin form

// register the widget
add_action('widgets_init', 'my_super_widget_init');
function my_super_widget_init() {

For more details and examples check wp-includes/widgets.php and wp-includes/default-widgets.php.


Soliciting feedback on new Widgets API

Soliciting feedback on new Widgets API


Converting default widgets to the new wi …

Converting default widgets to the new widgets API.


Nice – widgets are running into some int …

Nice – widgets are running into some integer overflow bug.


Going to clean up the new widget interfa …

Going to clean up the new widget interface so that cancel buttons really mean cancel.



Going to try to add descriptive info to …

Going to try to add descriptive info to titles for in-use-widgets in the admin early next week.

Text: {excerpt}…


mdawaffe landed some dashboard widget ca …

mdawaffe landed some dashboard widget caching improvements.

#dashboard, #ui, #widgets

Mike landed the Plugins dashboard widget …

Mike landed the Plugins dashboard widget.

#dashboard, #plugins, #ui, #widgets