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Created December 28, 2010 23:27
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This WordPress Plugin demonstrates how you can build your own plugin pages using the WordPress provided draggable metaboxes, requires WordPress 2.7 version, supports WordPress 2.8 changed boxing layout engine
Plugin Name: HowTo Plugin
Plugin URI:
Description: This Plugin demonstrates how you can build your own plugin pages using the WordPress provided draggable metaboxes, requires WordPress 2.7 version, supports WordPress 2.8 changed boxing layout engine
Author: Heiko, Frank
Author URI:
Version: 0.1
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA
//avoid direct calls to this file where wp core files not present
if (!function_exists ('add_action')) {
header('Status: 403 Forbidden');
header('HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden');
define('HOWTO_METABOX_ADMIN_PAGE_NAME', 'howto_metaboxes');
//class that reperesent the complete plugin
class howto_metabox_plugin {
//constructor of class, PHP4 compatible construction for backward compatibility
function howto_metabox_plugin() {
//add filter for WordPress 2.8 changed backend box system !
add_filter('screen_layout_columns', array(&$this, 'on_screen_layout_columns'), 10, 2);
//register callback for admin menu setup
add_action('admin_menu', array(&$this, 'on_admin_menu'));
//register the callback been used if options of page been submitted and needs to be processed
add_action('admin_post_save_howto_metaboxes_general', array(&$this, 'on_save_changes'));
//for WordPress 2.8 we have to tell, that we support 2 columns !
function on_screen_layout_columns($columns, $screen) {
if ($screen == $this->pagehook) {
$columns[$this->pagehook] = 2;
return $columns;
//extend the admin menu
function on_admin_menu() {
//add our own option page, you can also add it to different sections or use your own one
$this->pagehook = add_options_page('Howto Metabox Page Title', "HowTo Metaboxes", 'manage_options', HOWTO_METABOX_ADMIN_PAGE_NAME, array(&$this, 'on_show_page'));
//register callback gets call prior your own page gets rendered
add_action('load-'.$this->pagehook, array(&$this, 'on_load_page'));
//will be executed if wordpress core detects this page has to be rendered
function on_load_page() {
//ensure, that the needed javascripts been loaded to allow drag/drop, expand/collapse and hide/show of boxes
//add several metaboxes now, all metaboxes registered during load page can be switched off/on at "Screen Options" automatically, nothing special to do therefore
add_meta_box('howto-metaboxes-sidebox-1', 'Sidebox 1 Title', array(&$this, 'on_sidebox_1_content'), $this->pagehook, 'side', 'core');
add_meta_box('howto-metaboxes-sidebox-2', 'Sidebox 2 Title', array(&$this, 'on_sidebox_2_content'), $this->pagehook, 'side', 'core');
add_meta_box('howto-metaboxes-contentbox-1', 'Contentbox 1 Title', array(&$this, 'on_contentbox_1_content'), $this->pagehook, 'normal', 'core');
add_meta_box('howto-metaboxes-contentbox-2', 'Contentbox 2 Title', array(&$this, 'on_contentbox_2_content'), $this->pagehook, 'normal', 'core');
add_meta_box('howto-metaboxes-contentbox-additional-1', 'Contentbox Additional 1 Title', array(&$this, 'on_contentbox_additional_1_content'), $this->pagehook, 'additional', 'core');
add_meta_box('howto-metaboxes-contentbox-additional-2', 'Contentbox Additional 2 Title', array(&$this, 'on_contentbox_additional_2_content'), $this->pagehook, 'additional', 'core');
//executed to show the plugins complete admin page
function on_show_page() {
//we need the global screen column value to beable to have a sidebar in WordPress 2.8
global $screen_layout_columns;
//add a 3rd content box now for demonstration purpose, boxes added at start of page rendering can't be switched on/off,
//may be needed to ensure that a special box is always available
add_meta_box('howto-metaboxes-contentbox-3', 'Contentbox 3 Title (impossible to hide)', array(&$this, 'on_contentbox_3_content'), $this->pagehook, 'normal', 'core');
//define some data can be given to each metabox during rendering
$data = array('My Data 1', 'My Data 2', 'Available Data 1');
<div id="howto-metaboxes-general" class="wrap">
<?php screen_icon('options-general'); ?>
<h2>Metabox Showcase Plugin Page</h2>
<form action="admin-post.php" method="post">
<?php wp_nonce_field('howto-metaboxes-general'); ?>
<?php wp_nonce_field('closedpostboxes', 'closedpostboxesnonce', false ); ?>
<?php wp_nonce_field('meta-box-order', 'meta-box-order-nonce', false ); ?>
<input type="hidden" name="action" value="save_howto_metaboxes_general" />
<div id="poststuff" class="metabox-holder<?php echo 2 == $screen_layout_columns ? ' has-right-sidebar' : ''; ?>">
<div id="side-info-column" class="inner-sidebar">
<?php do_meta_boxes($this->pagehook, 'side', $data); ?>
<div id="post-body" class="has-sidebar">
<div id="post-body-content" class="has-sidebar-content">
<?php do_meta_boxes($this->pagehook, 'normal', $data); ?>
<h4>Static text and input section</h4>
<p>Here is some static paragraph or your own static content. Can be placed where ever you want.</p>
<textarea name="static-textarea" style="width:100%;">Change this text ....</textarea>
<?php do_meta_boxes($this->pagehook, 'additional', $data); ?>
<input type="submit" value="Save Changes" class="button-primary" name="Submit"/>
<br class="clear"/>
<script type="text/javascript">
jQuery(document).ready( function($) {
// close postboxes that should be closed
// postboxes setup
postboxes.add_postbox_toggles('<?php echo $this->pagehook; ?>');
//executed if the post arrives initiated by pressing the submit button of form
function on_save_changes() {
//user permission check
if ( !current_user_can('manage_options') )
wp_die( __('Cheatin&#8217; uh?') );
//cross check the given referer
//process here your on $_POST validation and / or option saving
//lets redirect the post request into get request (you may add additional params at the url, if you need to show save results
//below you will find for each registered metabox the callback method, that produces the content inside the boxes
//i did not describe each callback dedicated, what they do can be easily inspected and compare with the admin page displayed
function on_sidebox_1_content($data) {
<ul style="list-style-type:disc;margin-left:20px;">
<?php foreach($data as $item) { echo "<li>$item</li>"; } ?>
function on_sidebox_2_content($data) {
<p>You can also use static text or any markup to be shown inside the boxes.</p>
function on_contentbox_1_content($data) {
<p>The given parameter at <b>sorted</b> order are: <em><?php echo implode(' | ', $data); ?></em></p>
function on_contentbox_2_content($data) {
<p>The given parameter at <b>reverse sorted</b> order are: <em><?php echo implode(' | ', array_reverse($data)); ?></em></p>
function on_contentbox_3_content($data) {
<p>This metabox can be dragged an placed where ever you want but <b>can't be hidden</b> using the <em>Screen Options</em> tab slider!</p>
function on_contentbox_additional_1_content($data) {
<p>This and the 2nd <em>additional</em> box will be addressed by an other group identifier to render it by calling with this dedicated name.</p>
<p>You can have as much as needed box groups.</p>
function on_contentbox_additional_2_content($data) {
<p>metabox showcase - copyright &copy; 2009 Heiko Rabe (<a target="_blank" href=""></a>)</p>
<p>requires at least WordPress 2.7 version, supports new box management of WordPress 2.8</p>
$my_howto_metabox_plugin = new howto_metabox_plugin();
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I'm trying to use this on my admin plugin page instead a manage_options.
I have not been successful yet, any idea to help?

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thank you.
i create a settings class based on this + hybrid core settings page:

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