I'm trying to access the $instance variable from a custom function I've written inside my Widget, but I keep getting a "variable is undefined" error.

How can I re-create the $instance variable?

public function __construct() {

        __( 'CST Twitter Tweets', 'chicagosuntimes' ),
            'description' => __( 'Displays Tweets from a given list url.', 'mythemename' ),

    add_action( 'wp_head', array( $this, 'cst_twitter_feed_ajaxurl' ) );
    add_action( 'wp_ajax_refresh_tweets', array( $this, 'refresh_tweets' ) );


 * Set the AJAX URL for the Twitter Feed Widget
public function cst_twitter_feed_ajaxurl() {
    <script type="text/javascript">
    var ajaxurl = '<?php echo admin_url('admin-ajax.php'); ?>';

 * Display the updated Twitter Feed
public function refresh_tweets() {

    //my custom function, where i'm trying to re-create the $instance and access the values
    $instance = self::$instance;
    echo $instance['cst_twitter_screen_name']; //the variable i'm trying to access

public function widget( $args, $instance ) {
    //the widget instance

public function form( $instance ) {

    //the form

public function update( $new_instance, $old_instance ) {

    $instance = $old_instance;
    $instance['cst_twitter_screen_name'] = $new_instance['cst_twitter_screen_name'];

    return $instance;


1 Answer 1


You can get widget options using following code

$current_widget_options = $this->get_settings();

This will return array like array(instance number => settings). Instance number refers to the $number of widget.

Example: If your widget instance number is 2 then your required options will be at $current_widget_options[2]


As get_settings() is deprecated, you can use get_option. Check following example:

  $widget_options_all = get_option($this->option_name);
  $options = $widget_options_all[ $this->number ];
  • with get_settings() being deprecated, is it still acceptable to use it with plugins / widgets? get_options() is the alternative, but that doesn't return the value.
    – stoopkid1
    Jul 13, 2014 at 6:16
  • Check alternative in the above answer. :-) Jul 13, 2014 at 6:28
  • I get an "undefined property" error with the Alternative, but I'll work that out somehow. Marked as correct answer =)
    – stoopkid1
    Jul 13, 2014 at 6:34
  • @stoopkid1 have solution on it? I have similar problem get_settings(); work fine for one plugin, but when I use two this same plugins...that's not work. stackoverflow.com/questions/42354968/… Feb 21, 2017 at 11:04

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