Widgets are a way to add special content and features to your WordPress site's sidebars. They require no code experience and can be added, removed, or re-arranged using a drag-and-drop interface. The location of widgets on your site depends on your theme. Learn what default widgets are available on your WordPress site and how you can use them.
- [Voiceover] Widgets are what make the world go round. I'm just kidding. Widget is just a fancy word for small little blocks that you can add or remove from your theme's sidebar or possibly other widget areas. Widgets help you do things like add a calendar to your sidebar or maybe your Twitter feed. Let's take a look at how we can manage them and use them in a site. From my site, I'll go to Customize and then expand the Widgets section. What I see here is one widget area called Sidebar. If your theme supports other widget areas, you'd see them listed here as well.
I'm gonna go ahead and click Sidebar. This is where I can add widgets to my sidebar. Now, you might be asking what sidebar, Carrie? I see no sidebars on your site. Well, that's because I don't have any widgets in my sidebar yet. Until you add a widget to a sidebar or any other widget area, that widget area won't be visible. Once I add one, then you'll see the sidebar come to life. To get started, I'll click Add a Widget. This brings up a list of all the available widgets I can use on my WordPress site.
There are lots of them, and don't be surprised if you see new ones getting added to this list over time. Each widget has a little identifying icon, a name, and a brief description telling you what it does. You can scroll down the list to explore available widgets. Or if you know which one you're after, use the Search bar to quickly locate a particular one. I'm gonna search for the Search widget. Now clearly, my example site here isn't a robust library of data that necessarily needs a Search, but my opinion is that every website should have search capability.
It just makes it easier for readers to quickly access the information they're looking for. Also, the fact that WordPress Search just works without any code needed is pretty cool. So I'll go ahead and click the Search widget. What I can see is that now I do have a sidebar and inside of it is the search box. I can add a title if I want and see that title in real-time here, but I think the title in this case of the Search widget isn't really necessary. So I'll just remove that. Now, I could just save and publish at this point or add another widget.
But before I do that, I want to point out this Visibility button. Every single widget has this option and it is awesome. I'll tell you why. This enables you to fine-tune control over where you want your widgets to show up on the site. Let's say that I wanted this search box to only show up on the Contact page and nowhere else on the site. I could set the visibility option to show if and then add my conditional here, if the page is Contact. Now I can see that it's disappeared from my homepage.
But if I go to my Contact page, there it is. You can also add additional conditions to get even more granular control over where a particular widget shows up. I'm gonna add one more widget while I'm at it. I'm gonna go with this Categories widget. I wanted to add a second widget just to show you that configuration options vary by widget. They all have the same visibility option and frequently have a place for a custom title like this, but I can see that the Category widget gives me a handful of other things to configure.
I'll click Show Hierarchy so that we can see the parent-child relationship that exists in my categories. These are the only widgets that I'd like to use, so I'll go ahead and click Save and Publish. I'd suggest that you take the time to explore all these widgets that are available and see which ones work best for your site.
- Creating a WordPress.com account
- Updating your profile
- Importing content
- Publishing posts
- Applying categories and tags to posts
- Inserting images, videos, and other media
- Creating a new page
- Customizing your site with themes and widgets
- Managing users, notifications, and comments
- Using WordPress.com apps
- The limits of WordPress.com and the benefits of self-hosting