Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget plugin

Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget screenshot

After our WordPress tip last week on how to make your own latest news dashboard widget we were not entirely satisfied.

The whole purpose of multisite is that you have 1 WordPress install on 1 database and you only have to install plugins 1 time for the entire network.

Imagine having a network of over 100 different sites, it would be a royal pain to add last week’s solution to all those different sites. Also the people we shared the solution with found it more a hack than anything else.

Therefore we decided to wrap our solution in a neat plugin: the Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget plugin.

Please find below the description, installation instructions and other notes taken from the readme.txt file that comes with the plugin.

=== Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget ===
This plugin shows the latest Posts from the main site of a multisite install in the top of the Dashboard of the sites hanging under the multisite install.

== Description ==
With the arrival of WordPress version 3.1.2 all of a sudden the Dashboard Feed on Multisite had disappeared. A few others noticed this too, but nobody had any solutions. That is the reason why I made this plugin.
By default it shows the titles (and links to) the 3 latest Posts of the Main Site (blog_id=1) in a box with a yellow background which shows as the first available widget in the dashboard of all sites hanging under the Multisite.

As this is my first plugin, I have not yet included an options page. Actually there are not that many variables anyway. But making options available is on the TO-DO list.

The default settings are:
– the plugin automatically takes the RSS Feed of the main site in the WordPress Multisite install (blog_id=1)
– the default number of RSS items is 3
– the standard title of the widget box is “Recent Updates”

The plugin comes localized for use on sites other than the English language and/or on bi/multilingual websites. In the languages folder you will find the .po, .pot and .mo files. For now there is only one line, but when I get around to do the options page, that will of course become more.

== Installation ==
If you can live with the default settings, then follow step 1-3 below. If you want to change the default settings, skip step 1-3 and read further below them.

1. Upload to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
3. Network activate the plugin in your Network Admin (

If you would like to change the RSS Feed address, open msrss.php and delete line 2. Then change line 3 into:
$rss = fetch_feed(‘’);

If you would like to change the number of RSS items, open msrss.php and edit the number in line 6.

If you would like to change the title from “Recent Updates” to something else, open msdbfeed.php and change the name in line 44.

After editing the file(s), you can follow step 1-3 above to install the plugin.

== Frequently Asked Questions ==
= Can I use this plugin also on a single WordPress install? =
The name of the plugin is Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget, there must be a good reason for that, right? You can of course change the RSS URL (see Installation) to use it on a single WordPress install.

== Screenshots ==

Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget screenshot
Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget screenshot

== Download ==
The Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget plugin has already been downloaded [plugin downloaded] times.

Get your own copy from the WordPress Repository or check out its page on WordPress Plugins.

It requires WordPress version [plugin requires] as that was the first version where the native dashboard feed went missing. We haven’t tried to use it on any older versions, but it most likely will be compatible with any 3.x version. The Multisite Dashboard Feed Widget plugin was last updated on [plugin updated].


  1. Very nice! Thanks for providing that. I’ll have to bookmark this one so I can link to it for reference. Great works! :)

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