Hopefully, this is an easy question - I'm just a bit confused.

I've got a custom widget with the usual structure:

class My_Widget extends WP_Widget {
  function My_Widget() {
    // widget actual processes
  function form($instance) {
    // outputs the options form on admin
  function update($new_instance, $old_instance) {
    // processes widget options to be saved
  function widget($args, $instance) {
    // outputs the content of the widget

I's like to add my own custom function to it, so I can reuse it. Something like:

function item_width_cols_to_class( $cols_num = null ) {
    if( $cols_num ){
        switch ( $cols_num ){
            case '2':
                return "col140";
            case '3':
                return "col220";
            case '4':
                return "col300";
            case '5':
                return "col380";
            case '6':
                return "col480";
            case '7':
                return "col540";
                return "";

However, when I add that code to My_Widget class I got an error saying: "Fatal error: Call to undefined function 'item_width_cols_to_class()'". I'd think it's possible to add custom functions to a widget as it extends the WP_widget class.

Am I doing something wrong? :S

Thanks for help, Dasha

1 Answer 1


Where did you call your item_width_cols_to_class "function"?

You are using the function as a method inside the My_Widget class. Therefore, you have to call it with a reference to its non-existent object e.g. $this->item_width_cols_to_class() or self::item_width_cols_to_class() (static).

  • yep that's exactly it! I defined the function and am calling it from within My_widget class. I ended up using $this->item_width_cols_to_class(). Still a bit confused with $this (will keep on learning). Thanks a lot for super fast answer :)
    – dashaluna
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 9:29
  • 2
    @dashaluna: I'm trying to explain that for you (attetion: bad english skills incoming). You're going to create a new object of your My_Widget class somewhere in your code (WP will do that for you). Think of this snippet $obj = new My_Widget();. $obj has now a reference to this object. Everytime you want to access a class-member, you could call $obj->yourMethod(). This only works, because you've created an object with new. Inside your class, you want to do something without the need of creating a object of its own. There you can use the $this reference, which points to its own.
    – Roman
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 9:50

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