In this tutorial, we will walk through the process of creating a custom settings page for a WordPress plugin. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a fully functional settings page that allows users to tailor the plugin according to their needs. Creating custom settings page is most common requirement for many plugins is the need for a settings page. A custom settings page provides users with the ability to configure the plugin according to their preferences.

To create a custom settings page, you need to use the WordPress Settings API. This API simplifies the process of creating, updating, and retrieving settings. You’ll typically need to add a menu item to the WordPress admin menu and associate it with a callback function that will render the settings page.

  • Create a New Plugin

    Start by creating a new directory in the wp-content/plugins directory of your WordPress installation. Name the directory appropriately, for example, lorempress-plugin. Inside the plugin directory, create a main PHP file lorempress-plugin.php and open it in your code editor.

  • Define Plugin Basics

    In the main plugin file, add the following code to set up the basic plugin information:

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  • Creating Custom Settings Page

    To creating Custom Settings Page, you need to use the WordPress Settings API. This API simplifies the process of creating, updating, and retrieving settings. Usually, you’ll start by adding a menu item in the WordPress admin menu and linking it to a callback function. This function will be responsible for displaying the settings page. Here’s a basic example of how you can create a menu item and a callback function:

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    This code adds a menu item under the “Settings” menu in the WordPress admin area and sets up a basic settings page.
  • Define Settings Sections and Fields

    Now, let’s add sections and fields to the settings page. Sections help organize related settings, and fields are the actual options users can modify. Here’s an example of how you can define a section and a field:

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    In this example, we have added a section called “LoremPress Settings” and a text input field labeled “My Option.” The register_setting function associates the field with a particular option name, allowing WordPress to handle the saving and validation of the value.
  • Enhance Your Settings Page

    Depending on your plugin’s complexity, you may want to add more advanced features to your settings page, such as validation, sanitization, and using different types of form elements. WordPress provides various functions and hooks to achieve these goals.
    Here are a few tips to enhance your settings page:
    Validation and Sanitization: Use the register_setting function’s third parameter to specify callback functions for validation and sanitization.

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    Different Field Types: Depending on the data you need to collect, consider using different input types such as checkboxes, radio buttons, or dropdown menus.

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    Tabs and Multiple Sections: If your plugin has numerous settings, consider organizing them into tabs or multiple sections for better user experience.

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  • Save and Retrieve Settings

    To save and retrieve settings, WordPress provides the register_setting, settings_fields, and do_settings_sections functions. These functions work together to handle the saving and displaying of settings. Ensure that you call these functions inside your settings page callback function, as shown in the lorempress_render_settings_page function in the Step 1 example.

  • Style Your Settings Page

    Make your settings page visually appealing and consistent with the WordPress admin style. You can use CSS to customize the appearance of your page.

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    Create a separate CSS file styles.css and enqueue it in your plugin file. Style the elements based on your design preferences while maintaining a clean and professional look.

  • Test Your Plugin

    Activate your plugin through the WordPress admin panel and navigate to the newly created “Custom Settings” menu item. You should see the settings page with the custom option field. Test the settings update functionality to ensure that values are saved correctly.