I'm looking to put widgets in my plug-in settings page like the ones in the WordPress Dashboard.

The action to register the widget is

add_action('wp_dashboard_setup', 'register_widgets' );

I wonder if it's possible to do the same for your own settings pages.

  • i think simply register the widget area like we do in the theme and it should work.. – Sisir Nov 14 '11 at 15:37

You would call:

add_meta_box( $widget_id, $widget_name, $callback, $screen->id, $location, $priority );

Where the screen ID is obtained via:

$screen = get_current_screen();

Then display each location e.g. :

do_meta_boxes( $screen->id, 'column3', '' );

Here's the dashboard function that displays the dashboard:

function wp_dashboard() {
    global $screen_layout_columns;

    $screen = get_current_screen();

    $hide2 = $hide3 = $hide4 = '';
    switch ( $screen_layout_columns ) {
        case 4:
            $width = 'width:24.5%;';
        case 3:
            $width = 'width:32.67%;';
            $hide4 = 'display:none;';
        case 2:
            $width = 'width:49%;';
            $hide3 = $hide4 = 'display:none;';
            $width = 'width:98%;';
            $hide2 = $hide3 = $hide4 = 'display:none;';
<div id="dashboard-widgets" class="metabox-holder">
    echo "\t<div class='postbox-container' style='$width'>\n";
    do_meta_boxes( $screen->id, 'normal', '' );

    echo "\t</div><div class='postbox-container' style='{$hide2}$width'>\n";
    do_meta_boxes( $screen->id, 'side', '' );

    echo "\t</div><div class='postbox-container' style='{$hide3}$width'>\n";
    do_meta_boxes( $screen->id, 'column3', '' );

    echo "\t</div><div class='postbox-container' style='{$hide4}$width'>\n";
    do_meta_boxes( $screen->id, 'column4', '' );

<form style="display:none" method="get" action="">
    wp_nonce_field( 'closedpostboxes', 'closedpostboxesnonce', false );
    wp_nonce_field( 'meta-box-order', 'meta-box-order-nonce', false );


For further reference, look at wp-admin/index.php and the included dashboard files.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you. Almost there, but the toggle button is not working. All the widgets – Omar Abid Nov 15 '11 at 12:10

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