WordPress Plugin Development: Style Your Message Boxes

Displaying a message to the user after he started an action belongs to a good usability. In the era of Web 2.0 applications, the user is expecting such optical signal after his actions. Also WordPress Plugin developer should give the user a result message, if necessary, provided with further information.

The WordPress admin area often likes to show information at the top of the window. For developers, this has a great benefit: Tools for generating the error and information messages are integrated and can easily be implemented in Plugins – without any self-definitions or changes in the style sheet.

Automatically generated information in WordPress


Manual and more flexible solution to output a message box

<div id="message" class="updated">

Colorful: The availability of CSS classes

Messages within an application have to communicate different informations. For this purpose WordPress has numerous stylesheet classes available, which suits best to the message.

<div id="message" class="updated">...</div>

<div id="message" class="error">...</div>

<div id="message" class="updated highlight">...</div>

<div id="message" class="updated below-h2">...</div>


Don’t use your own format. A common and familiar message box provides trust and increases the potential of perception.

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6 responses to “WordPress Plugin Development: Style Your Message Boxes”

  1. eavasi Avatar

    Bravo Sergey!!! You’re a real talent!!!
    Great popular plug-in and new cool and remarkable decision

  2. […] auf das Default Theme von WordPress switchen. Bei Variante 2 half mir Sergej Müller mit einem Tip. // Variante wp_die() global $wp_version; if ( !version_compare( $wp_version, '3.0-beta', […]

  3. Stephen Cronin Avatar

    Nice post. Didn’t know about the below-h2 one, so I will play with it.

    Personally I miss the fade class that use to fade the message in, back in the old days (before they switched to jQuery). I don’t think there is a modern equivalent of that.

  4. david Avatar

    I’m new to plugin development and just made my first plugin, but when i save the form i would like to see the message “settings saved’. Could you point me out how to do that ?

  5. Jürgen Avatar

    thanks for the hints.
    But they won’t display messages in the main plugin page. I would like to print a message one time directly after the plugin is activated:

    “Hello, please have a look at the settings. Thanks”

    I wanted to print it through “register_activation_hook()”
    But it won’t work.
    Can you help me?

  6. Graeme Avatar

    Hi Jürgen,

    I think that if you did this,

    your_function () {
    echo '<div id="message" class="updated" ><p>Jürgen's Message</p></div>';

    It would work out fine. I don’t know if my html is going to come out okay here, but you get my point 🙂 I hope that helps!