What in the world is a widget?

Widgets in WordPress allow you to add content and features to the widgetized areas of your themeWidget allow you to add content and functions to your sidebar or other widgetized areas of your website.

Widgetized Areas: are usually located in the sidebar. However these widget-ready areas can be in the header, footer as well as the sidebar. The number of widget areas and their location and names are dictated by your theme.

Your theme will come with predefined default items in your sidebar. A widgetized theme allows you to replace your theme’s sidebar with a dynamic one. You can add, arrange, customize, and remove widget content from the sidebars of your blog through the Appearance -> Widgets menu in your wp-admin.

With most themes when you start to add widgets to your sidebar all pre-existing  sidebar items will be removed and the sidebar will be replaced with widgets.

A look at the wp-admin widgets page:

  1. AVAILABLE WIDGETS: Drag widgets from here to a sidebar on the right to activate them. Drag widgets back here to deactivate them and delete their settings.
  2. INACTIVE WIDGETS: Drag widgets here to remove them from the sidebar but keep their settings should you wish to restore them at a later date.
  3. SIDEBARS: In the right column you will see one Sidebar or multiple sidebars depending on your theme. Drag items to and from this area to add or remove them from appearing on your site.

widgets-2

Use the text widget to add any text you want and mark it up with html. Use the custom menu widget to place a menu in your sidebar.

If an available widget won’t accomplish what you need. Search the plugin repository. Plugins can provide new widgets. Jetpack gives us a bunch.

We love widgets. One of our favourite plugins is the Dynamic Widgets plugin.  It allows you to pick and choose to display widgets on some pages but not others.

Take some time to play with widgets to customize your site, then add a comment to let us know what you think.

More tips in our WordPress for Beginners series

We hope that you’ve found these WordPress for Beginners tips helpful.

This post is part of our WordPress Beginners series. If this post was helpful you may be interested in reviewing our WordPress Launchlist.

If you want to learn more about WordPress, attend one of our WordPress Intensive Workshops in Toronto.

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