WordPress widgets are a great way to add small pieces of information that will be duplicated on all of the pages of your site. This lesson will cover information about what they are and how to use them. They are like a swiss army knife for your blog and can save you a lot of time.
Widgets are small blocks of text, images, or forms that can be inserted into the pages on your blog. These small blocks will show up on all of the pages of your blog (you can configure them to only show on blogs or only show on pages as well). Common usages of widgets include information about the author of a post, a list of Featured Posts or Latest Posts, and calendars. We use Widgets on GoStartABlog to show additional menus and sign-up forms in the sidebar of the site. We don't have to manually add a widget to each page, it shows up automatically on every page or post we publish!
Depending on the themes that you choose, there will be specific widget-areas that you can Drag & Drop widgets into. For the most part, all themes allow you to add widgets to the sidebar of your pages, but the footer and middle of your content are also frequently available depending on the theme that you choose. If in doubt, search the documentation of your theme on where you can put widgets. When configuring widgets, which we will show you below, the dashboard makes it pretty obvious where the widget will show up when you add it.
There are a standard set of widgets that come with WordPress. However, many plugins also add widgets that you can use to enhance your website or posts.
For example, a lot of advertising plugins automatically install widgets that you can use to place ads in specific places on your site.
The standard default WordPress widgets are:
The menu to configure widgets can be found in Appearance->Widgets.
To add a widget to a specific section, drag and drop the widget into the section where you want it to be displayed. Once it has been moved, there may be some additional configuration options that are available such as giving the widget a title or changing the color. This varies from widget to widget so make sure to look at the options when you are adding new ones to your blog.
To delete a widget, simple click the Delete link under the widget you want to delete. You can always add the widget again, but you will lose any configuration that you added to it.