Why do we make WordPress Admin Widgets?

Recently I’ve noticed more and more new plugins or recently updated plugins come with their own branded WordPress Dashboard Widget.

A Dashboard Widget is viewed on the first page you see when you log in to your WordPress blog.

Omninoggin (Thaya Kareeson) is one of them with his excellent plugin, WP Greet Box, about which I have written a quick tip about before.

Omninoggin WordPress Plugin

Another developer is Yoast which have created great plugins such as  Google Analytics, RSS Footer, Sociable and many more. Those three are just the most usual plugins I always use on freshly installed blogs. He has a very clever tagline, ‘tweaking websites’, which I envy. It’s short, easy to remember and catchy. And he also has the nicest interface in his Widget I’ve seen so far:

Yoast Dashboard Widget

Yoast Dashboard Widget

And of course, there is CleverWP.com Yes, I also include it into my plugins, such as SEO Booster Lite, which have become increasingly popular lately. (Please continue to spread the word).

CleverWP.com Dashboard Widget

CleverWP.com Dashboard Widget

It doesn’t look quite as good as Yoast’s though, so I am planning to redesign mine just a little bit to make it the prettiest 🙂

So, why do we plugin authors do this?

Basically its to help brand ourselves as authoritative in the business of creating WordPress Plugins. The more exposure we can get, the better. Every time we create new content, we get that information pushed out to the people who use one of our plugins already. That means we know the following:

They know who we are (they have actively installed our plugin at some point).

We know they are interested, they have a WordPress website – so if you have a service they need and make it easy for them to buy or subscribe, you can easily reach them right there while working on their website.

This all means that we get a bit more traffic to our blogs and help establish repeat customers.

So, do you know of any other plugins that does this? And what do you think about these Widgets? Annoying? Helpful?

Let me know in the comments if you want me to post the code to make this happen. You could also Google it 😉


  1. Obama Jokes on 29/04/2009 at 06:40

    I am using SEO Booster Lite on my site it is a prettiest plug in. i got more traffic on my blog.

  2. cleverplugins.com on 29/04/2009 at 07:06

    Hi, I’m glad you like it. I am tweaking a new version of SEO Booster Lite, and I have made the initial steps towards Seo Booster Pro, which I will make available for a very low price.

  3. Boldjonny on 01/05/2009 at 03:43


    I use WP for clients and they love, but they are irritated by the in-the-face type of an author pushing themselves. Even though, I try to explain why this is and that the plugins are free, they still can’t justify it.

    My suggestion would be to give some flexibility for users to control the “in-the-face” ads. Make it more subtle, perhaps in the form of logos and signatures that visibly occupy a corner, but not too flagrant. A few clients had me disable the Admin plugins.

    However, I think you guys are doing a great job!

    • cleverplugins.com on 01/05/2009 at 06:01

      Hola Boldjonny

      Welcome and thank you for your comment. I can really understand your clients, but I can also understand it from a WordPress Plugin developers point-of-view. The best approach as I can see is the one which I follow along with WP-SpamFree and many others:

      To have a branding possibility on every blog that has the plugin installed, but leave it up to the admin of the blog to leave it on or turn it off.

      I have added my Dashboard Widget to the plugin as well, I admit, but I believe it to be relevant and interesting to anyone who choose to install a plugin of mine. They are by definition interested in getting to know more about new releases or new plugins.

      Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for using the plugin, I hope you will be happy for the new version and the upcoming plugins planned 🙂

  4. Dominik Deobald on 04/05/2009 at 00:45

    I am really annoyed by these dashboard widgets and the first thing I do is to disable all of those “what do others think that’s importsnt for me” widgets. The dashboard should be reserved for really important details about the website running wordpress – stats, alerts, (spam/comment) notifications, …

    If I want to read blogs, I add their feeds in my rss reader application. The wordpress dashboard is not supposed to be a feed aggregator.

  5. brad the wordpress guy on 13/01/2010 at 10:33

    hey! it’s been a while since we’ve chatted.

    I’ve been reading your updates in my feedreader so long that I missed the design update to this site. it looks great!


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