WordPress Snippets at WPcustoms

Programmatically add widgets to sidebars

Build a theme and programatically and auto-set widgets to your defined sidebars. Your users get a pre-filled sidebar. This long example code is well documented so you can easily follow what happens.


/**
 * Snippet Name: Programmatically add widgets to sidebars
 * Snippet URL: http://www.wpcustoms.net/snippets/programmatically-add-widgets-to-sidebars/
 */
 add_action( 'widgets_init', 't5_default_widget_demo' );

function t5_default_widget_demo()
{
    // Register our own widget.
    register_widget( 'T5_Demo_Widget' );

    // Register two sidebars.
    $sidebars = array ( 'a' => 'top-widget', 'b' => 'bottom-widget' );
    foreach ( $sidebars as $sidebar )
    {
        register_sidebar(
            array (
                'name'          => $sidebar,
                'id'            => $sidebar,
                'before_widget' => '',
                'after_widget'  => ''
            )
        );
    }

    // Okay, now the funny part.

    // We don't want to undo user changes, so we look for changes first.
    $active_widgets = get_option( 'sidebars_widgets' );

    if ( ! empty ( $active_widgets[ $sidebars['a'] ] )
        or ! empty ( $active_widgets[ $sidebars['b'] ] )
    )
    {   // Okay, no fun anymore. There is already some content.
        return;
    }

    // The sidebars are empty, let's put something into them.
    // How about a RSS widget and two instances of our demo widget?

    // Note that widgets are numbered. We need a counter:
    $counter = 1;

    // Add a 'demo' widget to the top sidebar …
    $active_widgets[ $sidebars['a'] ][0] = 't5_demo_widget-' . $counter;
    // … and write some text into it:
    $demo_widget_content[ $counter ] = array ( 'text' => "This works!\n\nAmazing!" );
    #update_option( 'widget_t5_demo_widget', $demo_widget_content );

    $counter++;

    // That was easy. Now a RSS widget. More fields, more fun!
    $active_widgets[ $sidebars['a'] ][] = 'rss-' . $counter;
    // The latest 15 questions from WordPress Stack Exchange.
    $rss_content[ $counter ] = array (
        'title'        => 'WordPress Stack Exchange',
        'url'          => 'http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/feeds',
        'link'         => 'http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions',
        'items'        => 15,
        'show_summary' => 0,
        'show_author'  => 1,
        'show_date'    => 1,
    );
    update_option( 'widget_rss', $rss_content );

    $counter++;

    // Okay, now to our second sidebar. We make it short.
    $active_widgets[ $sidebars['b'] ][] = 't5_demo_widget-' . $counter;
    #$demo_widget_content = get_option( 'widget_t5_demo_widget', array() );
    $demo_widget_content[ $counter ] = array ( 'text' => 'The second instance of our amazing demo widget.' );
    update_option( 'widget_t5_demo_widget', $demo_widget_content );

    // Now save the $active_widgets array.
    update_option( 'sidebars_widgets', $active_widgets );
}