How to include checkbox in widget backend form?

The question:

I’m trying to include a checkbox in my widget back end. But I cannot get the value (on or off) after the user submits it. I thought the value would be stored in “esc_attr( $check )” (as it is when using a text input), but I cannot retrieve it.

This is what I’m trying now:

public function form( $instance ) {
    $check = isset( $instance[ 'check' ] ) ? $instance[ 'check' ] : 'off';
    echo esc_attr( $check ); // If the input is type text it outputs the value
    ?>
    <input class="widefat" id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'check' ); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name( 'check' ); ?>" type="checkbox" />
    <?php 
}

How can I get this to work? Also how do I get the value of the checkbox in the front end?

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

First, on function widget:

function widget( $args, $instance ) {
    extract( $args );
    // Add this line
    $your_checkbox_var = $instance[ 'your_checkbox_var' ] ? 'true' : 'false';
    // Change 'your_checkbox_var' for your custom ID
    // ...
}

On function update:

function update( $new_instance, $old_instance ) {
    $instance = $old_instance;
    // Add this line
    $instance[ 'your_checkbox_var' ] = $new_instance[ 'your_checkbox_var' ];
    // Change 'your_checkbox_var' for your custom ID
    // ...
    return $instance;
}

Finally, on function form, add this:

<p>
    <input class="checkbox" type="checkbox" <?php checked( $instance[ 'your_checkbox_var' ], 'on' ); ?> id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'your_checkbox_var' ); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name( 'your_checkbox_var' ); ?>" /> 
    <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'your_checkbox_var' ); ?>">Label of your checkbox variable</label>
</p>
<!-- Remember to change 'your_checkbox_var' for your custom ID, as well -->

EDIT:
Let’s see the full code of an ‘About Us’ widget using a checkbox to show/hide an avatar image:

class about_us extends WP_Widget {

function about_us() {
    $widget_ops = array( 'classname' => 'about_us', 'description' => __( 'About Us', 'wptheme' ) );
    $this->WP_Widget( 'about_us', __( 'About Us', 'wptheme' ), $widget_ops, $control_ops );
}

function widget( $args, $instance ) {
    extract( $args );
    $title = apply_filters( 'widget_title', $instance[ 'title' ] );
    $text = $instance[ 'text' ];
    // The following variable is for a checkbox option type
    $avatar = $instance[ 'avatar' ] ? 'true' : 'false';

    echo $before_widget;

        if ( $title ) {
            echo $before_title . $title . $after_title;
        }

        // Retrieve the checkbox
        if( 'on' == $instance[ 'avatar' ] ) : ?>
            <div class="about-us-avatar">
                <?php echo get_avatar( get_the_author_meta( 'user_email' ), '50', '' ); ?>
            </div>
        <?php endif; ?>

        <div class="textwidget">
            <p><?php echo esc_attr( $text ); ?></p>
        </div>

        <?php 
    echo $after_widget;
}

function update( $new_instance, $old_instance ) {
    $instance = $old_instance;
    $instance[ 'title' ] = strip_tags( $new_instance[ 'title' ] );
    $instance[ 'text' ] = strip_tags( $new_instance[ 'text' ] );
    // The update for the variable of the checkbox
    $instance[ 'avatar' ] = $new_instance[ 'avatar' ];
    return $instance;
}

function form( $instance ) {
    $defaults = array( 'title' => __( 'About Us', 'wptheme' ), 'avatar' => 'off' );
    $instance = wp_parse_args( ( array ) $instance, $defaults ); ?>
    <p>
        <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'title' ); ?>">Title</label>
        <input class="widefat"  id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'title' ); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name( 'title' ); ?>" type="text" value="<?php echo esc_attr( $instance[ 'title' ] ); ?>" />
    </p>
    <!-- The checkbox -->
    <p>
        <input class="checkbox" type="checkbox" <?php checked( $instance[ 'avatar' ], 'on' ); ?> id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'avatar' ); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name( 'avatar' ); ?>" /> 
        <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'avatar' ); ?>">Show avatar</label>
    </p>
    <p>
        <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'text' ); ?>">About Us</label>
        <textarea class="widefat" id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id( 'text' ); ?>" rows="10" cols="10" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name( 'text' ); ?>"><?php echo esc_attr( $instance[ 'text' ] ); ?></textarea>
    </p>
<?php
}

}
register_widget( 'about_us' );

Tested and working.

Edit (2015-Sept-08): Important! That widget example uses PHP4 style constructors, however WordPress 4.3 switches to PHP5, so you should switch the constructors, too. More information, here.

If you use the plugin ‘theme-check’ you will see a notice suggesting you to use __construct() instead of WP_Widget. Remove the first function and add the following one:

function __construct() {
    parent::__construct(
        'about_us', // Base ID
        __( 'About US', 'wptheme' ), // Name
        array( 'description' => __( 'About Us', 'wptheme' ), ) // Args
    );
}


All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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