Tweaking the Widget Behavior

We tweak the widget behavior by only allowing a single instance, adding a widget icon, and limiting the column span.

We have a nice, sim­ple but help­ful wid­get now. How­ev­er, I want to tweak a few more things before we wrap up this first ver­sion. Let’s jump in.

Only Allow a Sin­gle Instance of Widget

With some wid­gets, you want to allow as many instances of the wid­get as a user desires. And, by default, Craft’s wid­get class will allow that. How­ev­er, it doesn’t make much sense to allow mul­ti­ple instances of this dep­re­ca­tion warn­ings wid­get. One is enough, so let’s con­strain it so there can only be a sin­gle instance of the wid­get at a time.

In the base Wid­get class, there’s a sta­t­ic method called allowMultipleInstances() that returns a boolean. By default it returns true unless we over­ride it to return false in our own class. Let’s do that.

In the DeprectWidget.php class file, we’ll add some new code to over­ride that base class method:

protected static function allowMultipleInstances(): bool
	return false;

Now when we refresh the dash­board and try to cre­ate anoth­er instance of the wid­get, it’s no longer avail­able in the drop-down. If we remove the copy we have, then it’ll show up again!

Add Wid­get Icon

Right now we are using the default icon that Craft pro­vides for our wid­get. This is the first let­ter of the wid­get name in a cir­cle style. Let’s do some­thing cus­tom for this using an SVG image.

To get start­ed we need to use the icon() sta­t­ic method that is part of the base Wid­get class. We’ll over­ride it with our own and show our cus­tom icon. 

Up near the top of the the DeprecWidget.php class file, let’s add a new sta­t­ic method for the icon:

public static function icon()



And to define the icon we want to to use for this wid­get, we need to return the icon file. 

I know that Craft already has an icon asso­ci­at­ed with the Dep­re­ca­tion Warn­ings in the Con­trol Pan­el. If I nav­i­gate over to them, we see that it uses the lit­tle bug SVG icon. In the inter­est of mak­ing things sim­pler and the UI uni­form, let’s just bor­row that icon. 

Since Craft CMS already set up an alias to eas­i­ly access that icon, we’ll call it direct­ly via the alias Craft already has cre­at­ed, so it’s just a sim­ple one-liner:

public static function icon()

	return Craft::getAlias('@appicons/bug.svg');


Now let’s clear the wid­get instance we have right now and reload the page to see our change. Look­ing at it, we now see our cus­tom icon in the right place!

Con­trol Max­i­mum Columns Allowed

Our last final tweak is to con­trol the num­ber of columns that we want our wid­get to display. 

After cre­at­ing a new instance of a wid­get, we can resize it to one or more columns using the gear menu.

We can safe­ly ignore this and let the wid­get grow to what­ev­er size the user desires. How­ev­er, this sim­ple wid­get has no increased help­ful­ness at full width, so let’s restrict it to just 2 columns. 

We need to add a sta­t­ic method to our wid­get class that lets us define the max­i­mum col­umn span. 

public static function maxColspan(): int

This method returns an inte­ger with the num­ber of columns we want to restrict to. So let’s return 2.

public static function maxColspan(): int
	return 2;

When we reload the con­trol pan­el dash­board and try to adjust our wid­get width, it’ll let us change it wider than our max col­umn-span but when we reload, the wid­get is always con­strained to the max-width we set.

We have a nice, ful­ly func­tion­al, and prac­ti­cal wid­get that we can use in our project. Deprect­No­ti­fi­er is super handy as a default mod­ule while devel­op­ing a Craft-pow­ered web devel­op­ment project. 

Con­grats on build­ing your first widget!

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