How to Create a WordPress Widget: 4 Killer Tutorials You Should Read

How to Create a WordPress Widget: 4 Killer Tutorials You Should Read

There comes a time in every blogger’s life when they yearn to create their own WordPress widget.

They grow tired of the default selection of widgets that ship with WordPress, and try as they might, they just can’t find what they’re looking for in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to step up your game and . . .

How to create your very own WordPress widget
your very own WordPress widget!

Getting started with widget development

At a minimum, you’ll need the following:

  • An understanding of the Widgets API
  • At least a passing familiarity with PHP scripting

If you’re still a bit hazy on the whole concept of WordPress widgets, and how and why they came to be, you should probably brush up on your general knowledge before you take a crack at any development of your own.

Check out the introductory section on widgets in the WordPress Codex, which will point you in the direction of some other excellent resources for further reading. You could also take a look at this page on the Automattic blog for some additional background on how widgets became a part of WordPress.

Four excellent tutorials on creating WordPress widgets

If you’re ready to take the plunge and write your own widget, we’ve scoured the interwebs and rounded up some high quality tutorials to help you get the ball rolling. These resources should help you immensely on your journey to glorious Widgetdom. They’re arranged roughly in order of complexity, from simplest to hardest.

How to Create WordPress Widgets


This tutorial focuses on creating basic widgets with limited functionality. A good place to start for first-time widget developers.

Creating WordPress Widgets

from Azulia Designs

Another entry-level tutorial that gives you a broad overview of creating widget-enabled plugins, as well as widgetizing WordPress themes. Well-written and easy to follow.

Advanced WordPress Widgets

from WP Roots

Another higher-end tute that takes you right into the meaty heart of advanced widget development. It’s quite long and detailed, so we’d recommend reading the more basic articles first, and making sure your PHP knowledge is up to scratch.

Photo courtesy of Wonderfully Complex.

Over to you - have you attempted to write your own WordPress widget? How did it turn out? Can you recommend any good resources for learning widget development?
Timothy Tim is our COO. Before joining the team, he was the first WPMU DEV member to get enough membership points to secure a free lifetime membership.