A WordPress Widget is a tool that you can use for extra content and features on your website. It gives your site structure, making it more useful, navigable, and attractive to viewers.
If you’re new to the web development scene, you might have come across WordPress widgets a few times, and need some guidance on how to use them. In this article, I will explain more about widgets and how to add them to your website.
All widgets have different functions. They can display useful content – like image galleries, embedding videos, and other media. Or, let visitors easily navigate between your pages by providing a navigation menu or list of categories.
Every WordPress website comes with default widgets. One example is Text, which you can use in many ways – from inserting information about your website to listing your social media links. Other than that, there’s the Search, Tag Cloud, and Recent Posts.
You can also get third-party widgets, which are usually packaged in external plugins or themes. For instance, the Elementor and SiteOrigin page builder plugins enable many extra widgets at your disposal – from a layout builder, a progress bar, to a counter.
WordPress widgets are placed on specific sections of your website. Widget areas can be the footer, header, sidebars, or other designated parts allowed by the theme of your choice. Read on to know how you can add widgets to those areas.
How to Add A Widget to Your WordPress Site
Once you’ve figured out which widgets you need, let’s add them to your website by following these steps:
- Open your WordPress Dashboard and go to Appearance -> Widgets.
- Check the Available Widgets section and select the one you want — let’s say it’s the Archives widget. Drag and drop it to the Footer or your chosen designated widget area.
- Fill out the widget details. For Archives, you only need to add a title, plus tick the dropdown and post counts options. Then press Save.
- To see the preview, click the Manage with Live Preview button.
Adding widgets can also be done from the Customise page on the Appearance section. Other than that, you can drag them back to the Available Widgets area to remove them.
Pro tip: Dragging back a widget will temporarily disable it. You can use it again without having to set it up from scratch. The same widgets can also be added to your site as many times as you like.
So, what is a WordPress Widget? It’s a web component that can be added to give extra content and functionality to your website. With every WordPress installation, you’ll get a set of default widgets such as Calendar, Navigation Menu, Gallery, and many more.
Plugins and themes can also come with different third-party widgets if you want other options. You can access the widgets by going to the Appearance -> Widgets menu on your Dashboard. Then drag and drop the widgets to the widget area of your choice.
Now you know what widgets are and how to use them, it’s time to explore!