Put update-like notification bubble on multiple CPTs menus for pending items

The question:

Much like how the Plugins or Comments menu items have these number notifications in a bubble for updates and unmoderated comments respectively, I’d like to use that bubble to display the number of CPTs which have a “Pending review” status. How to go about doing that?

I have found this thread, but not quite sure where to go from there.

That would be neat to have; as I need this feature on a site that uses user-generated content (custom post types). Whenever users submit a new CPT, its status is set to “Pending review”, and I want the site admins to quickly glance at the menu to see how many items need their attention.

EDIT: I now have this code:

// buuble notifications for custom posts with status pending
add_action( 'admin_menu', 'add_pending_bubble' );

function add_pending_bubble() {
    global $menu;

    $custom_post_count = wp_count_posts('custom-post-name');
    $custom_post_pending_count = $custom_post_count->pending;

    if ( $custom_post_pending_count ) {
        foreach ( $menu as $key => $value ) {
            if ( $menu[$key][2] == 'edit.php?post_type=custom-post-name' ) {
                $menu[$key][0] .= ' <span class="update-plugins count-' . $custom_post_pending_count . '"><span class="plugin-count">' . $custom_post_pending_count . '</span></span>';

…which does work, albeit a bit inconsistent. Sometimes displaying, sometimes not. Also, if I have multiple CPTs, how do I apply this code for each and every menu item of those CPTs? The above code will work with only one CPT.

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

I made this work iterating through a post types list, and pinpointing the correct $menu key for the post type using a secondary function (instead of manually iterating through the $menu object).

pending posts bubbles

Function reference: get_post_types and wp_count_posts.

add_action( 'admin_menu', 'pending_posts_bubble_wpse_89028', 999 );

function pending_posts_bubble_wpse_89028() 
    global $menu;

    // Get all post types and remove Attachments from the list
    // Add '_builtin' => false to exclude Posts and Pages
    $args = array( 'public' => true ); 
    $post_types = get_post_types( $args );
    unset( $post_types['attachment'] );

    foreach( $post_types as $pt )
        // Count posts
        $cpt_count = wp_count_posts( $pt );

        if ( $cpt_count->pending ) 
            // Menu link suffix, Post is different from the rest
            $suffix = ( 'post' == $pt ) ? '' : "?post_type=$pt";

            // Locate the key of 
            $key = recursive_array_search_php_91365( "edit.php$suffix", $menu );

            // Not found, just in case 
            if( !$key )

            // Modify menu item
            $menu[$key][0] .= sprintf(
                '<span class="update-plugins count-%1$s" style="background-color:white;color:black"><span class="plugin-count">%1$s</span></span>',

// http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.array-search.php#91365
function recursive_array_search_php_91365( $needle, $haystack ) 
    foreach( $haystack as $key => $value ) 
        $current_key = $key;
            $needle === $value 
            OR ( 
                is_array( $value )
                && recursive_array_search_php_91365( $needle, $value ) !== false 
            return $current_key;
    return false;

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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