How to: Add RSS Feed Widgets in WordPress Dashboard

There are tons of themes and plugins coming out for WordPress every day, but none of them seems to utilize this feature. WordPress developers should add custom dashboard widget with support information. In this post I will show you how you can add a RSS feed widgets in WordPress dashboard.

The anatomy of a dashboard widget is extremely simple. First you need to use the wp_add_dashboard_widget() function to register it with WordPress. Then you create a function which fetch and display rss feed from your blog.

Here’s the template code you can use to create one quickly. Please don’t forget that this should be placed in a plugin or your theme’s functions.php file.

The first step is to hook a function into wp_dashboard_setup. The contents of this function is a simple call to wp_add_dashboard_widget() with three parameters:

  • Widget slug (lj_dashboard_widget)
  • Widget title (Latest Posts From Linesh.Com)
  • Display/callback function (lj_rss_dashboard_widget)
// Hoook into the 'wp_dashboard_setup' action to register our other functions
 add_action('wp_dashboard_setup', 'lj_add_dashboard_widgets' );

 // Create the function use in the action hook
 function lj_add_dashboard_widgets() {
 wp_add_dashboard_widget('lj_dashboard_widget', 'Latest Posts From Linesh.Com', 'lj_rss_dashboard_widget');

The second step is creating the display function lj_rss_dashboard_widget() and filling it with content.

function lj_rss_dashboard_widget()
 $rss = @fetch_feed( '' );
 if ( is_wp_error($rss) && ( is_admin() || current_user_can('manage_options') ) ) {
 echo '<div class="rss-widget"><p>';
 printf(__('<strong>RSS Error</strong>: %s'), $rss->get_error_message());
 echo '</p></div>';
 } elseif ( !$rss->get_item_quantity() ) {
 return false;
 } else {
 echo '<ul class="rss-widget">';
 $maxitems = $rss->get_item_quantity(10);
 $rss_items = $rss->get_items(0, $maxitems);
 foreach ($rss_items as $item){
 echo ' <li>
 <span class="rss-date">'.$item->get_date('j M Y').'</span>:
 <a class="rsswidget" href="'.$item->get_permalink().'" />'.$item->get_title().'</a> 
 //wp_widget_rss_output( $rss );
 echo '</ul>';

In this function you can fetch  a rss feeds from any other site’s feed) using fetch_feed() function. You can print feed items  with WordPress builtin function wp_widget_rss_output() or you can fetch all items as an array with $rss->get_items() function and display as you like.



Remember to change the feed url and add other useful information.