I have created some custom widgets for my client to use, but I want to make them stand out amidst the fifteen or so standard widgets in the admin area. How can I do this?

I have solved this problem myself and will place the solution here, but please feel free it add a better solution if you have one.


All widgets in the admin area get an id in the style widget-[global_counter]_[widget_key]-[widget_id], like widget-59_monkeyman_widget_shortcut-5 (installed widget) or widget-11_monkeyman_widget_shortcut-__i__ (an uninstalled widget in the list).

If your widget key contains something unique for all your widgets (like your company name), you can use this and add a substring attribute CSS selector (which works in most browsers). In my case div.widget[id*=_monkeyman_] does the trick, so I add a little CSS snippet in the widgets.php admin page header:

add_action('admin_print_styles-widgets.php', 'monkeyman_widgets_style');
function monkeyman_widgets_style()
    echo <<<EOF
<style type="text/css">
div.widget[id*=_monkeyman_] .widget-title {
    color: #2191bf;

This gives me the following result: Highlighted widgets amongst regular widgets

  • @Jan Fabry - Nice! I wasn't familiar with this. Do you know the browsers it does not work with? Oct 18 '10 at 20:31
  • @Mike: It appears only IE6 doesn't recognize it. Maybe some Javascript can fill that gap, by adding an extra class?
    – Jan Fabry
    Oct 18 '10 at 20:56
  • @Jan Fabry - Bah! For admin side, IE6 users can just upgrade. :-) Oct 19 '10 at 3:39
  • @Jan: Keep in mind to not destroy the UI a user expects. Those changes are cool but can have a downside. Only that I have said it :)
    – hakre
    Dec 20 '10 at 15:17
  • @hakre: I would only do this on sites I created for clients, not in a plugin that others might use. So then the users are already used to whatever weird things I teach them!
    – Jan Fabry
    Dec 20 '10 at 15:20

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