I'm a newbie in WordPress and PHP. I created a small widget to embed video's from YouTube or other video hosting. Everything works fine.

I know I have messy code, therefore I would appreciate it if someone is able to tidy up my code.

This is my code:

 * Plugin Name: Widget Name
 * Author: Author Name
 * Author URI: Site URL

class Today_video extends WP_Widget {

     * Widget setup.
    function Today_video() {
        /* Widget settings. */
        $widget_ops = array( 'classname' => 'tm_widget_today_video', 'description' => __('Display today video on your site', 'today_video') );

        /* Widget control settings. */
        $control_ops = array( 'width' => 300, 'height' => 350, 'id_base' => 'today_video' );

        /* Create the widget. */
        $this->WP_Widget( 'today_video' , __( 'Today Video' , 'today_video' ), $widget_ops );

     * The frontend function
    function widget( $args, $instance ) {
        extract( $args );

        /* Our variables from the widget settings. */
            if( isset( $instance[ 'title' ] ) ) {
                $title = apply_filters( 'widget_title', $instance[ 'title' ] );

            if( isset( $instance[ 'template' ] ) ) {
                $template = htmlspecialchars_decode( $instance[ 'template' ] );

        /* Before widget (defined by themes). */
        if( isset( $before_widget ) ) {
        echo $before_widget;

        /* Display the widget title if one was input (before and after defined by themes). */
        if( isset( $title ) ) { 
        echo $before_title . $title . $after_title; 

        /* Display the widget video */
        if( isset( $template ) ) { 
        echo '<div class="tm_today_video"> '.$template.' </div>';

        /* After widget (defined by themes). */
        echo $after_widget;


     * Backend widget settings
    function update( $new_instance, $old_instance ) {
        $instance = $old_instance;

        /* Strip tags for title and name to remove HTML (important for text inputs). */
        $instance['title'] =            strip_tags( $new_instance['title'] );

        // htmlspecialchars to save html markup in database, at frontend we use htmlspecialchars_decode
        $instance['template'] =         htmlspecialchars($new_instance['template']);

        return $instance;

     * Displays the widget settings controls on the widget panel.
     * Backend widget options form
    function form( $instance ) {
        $defaults = array( 
            'title' => __(  'Today Video', 'today_video'), 
                            'template' => __('<iframe width="200" height="112" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Xrt1V_XhvSk?showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>', 'today_video'),

        $instance = wp_parse_args( (array) $instance, $defaults ); ?>
            <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'title' ); ?>"><?php _e('Title:', 'hybrid'); ?></label>
            <input id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'title' ); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name( 'title' ); ?>" value="<?php echo $instance['title']; ?>" style="width:96%;" />

            <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'template' ); ?>"><?php _e('Embed Code:', 'hybrid'); ?></label>
            <textarea id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'template' ); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name( 'template' ); ?>"  style="width:100%;height:100px;"><?php echo $instance['template']; ?></textarea>

} //Add function to widgets_init that'll load today_video
add_action( 'widgets_init', create_function( '', 'register_widget( "Today_video" );' ) );

Thank you.

  • You should hire a developer if you want someone else to do your work...this forum is to get answers to your questions. Jun 10, 2013 at 15:31
  • Dear Brian Fegter, I create this question because i need the answers. I just want to learn how to make a widget. I'm a newbie in WordPress. I think wordpress.stackexchange.com is the right forum for it. I can't find others forum like wordpress.stackexchange.com.
    – v123shine
    Jun 10, 2013 at 20:37
  • You should probably reformat your 'question' so it becomes an actual question. To 'tidy' up code isn't a question. A more relevant approach to this question would be to address an area you aren't familiar with and ask in specificity. Jun 11, 2013 at 2:27

1 Answer 1


Your Class Name:

  1. I'd prefix the class name to make collisions less likely-- something like Your_Initials_Today_Video, or namespace it, but be aware that PHP namespacing requires a higher versions of PHP than WordPress requires. That could cause issues.

Your Constructor:

  1. You can use __construct instead of Today_video for your constructor. WordPress no longer supports PHP 4, so you shouldn't have to either.

In your widget function:

  1. $instance should always be set. You don't need to check for it explicitly, and even if not set isset( $instance[ 'title' ] ) would still operate correctly and without error. That "wrapper" conditional is unnecessary.

In your form function:

  1. Embedding that markup in the template argument is going to be prone to markup error. I would add a set of individual parameters-- height, width, src, whatever you need-- and generate the iframe dynamically.

While I might do a few things differently, I wouldn't call the code "messy" and I didn't spot any major issues, nor does it trigger any warning or notices.

  • Thank you so much s_ha_dum for your advice. If you create the same plugin, may I see the result? Why? Because I want to compare my work with your work, so I can more easily understand how to create a good widget. Forgive me, if I should bother you, but I really appreciate if you want to help me. **sorry about my english language.
    – v123shine
    Jun 10, 2013 at 20:31
  • Dear s_ha_dum, If you create the same plugin, may I see the result?
    – v123shine
    Jun 11, 2013 at 20:07
  • @v123shine : if I have time, I will rewrite it my way but no promises and the changes will not be significant. You did not do a bad job.
    – s_ha_dum
    Jun 11, 2013 at 20:15
  • Thank you so much s_ha_dum. I'm so sorry if i bother you. I hope you can set aside your time to make this small widget :)
    – v123shine
    Jun 11, 2013 at 22:01

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