WordPress widgets is a very useful WordPress feature! You can add many features to your WordPress website using the appropriate WordPress Widget. So let’s get into the idea. . .
What is a WordPress Widget?
In your WordPress Dashboard, you click to “Widgets” that is located under the Appearance section. By clicking there you are being redirected to the screenshot below (click to enlarge) :
As you can see in your widget area, there are two columns. On the left column you can see various widgets like categories, calendar, rss, recent posts, custom menus, text etc. In the right column you can see the areas where you can put these widgets . In this theme we see two areas: Right Sidebar and Left Sidebar. If the them supports Footer you would see there also “Footer 1 section”, “Footer 2 section” etc. Both right and left columns display elements according to the theme you have selected. If, for example, your theme supports only one sidebar, then you would see on the right column only the “Right Sidebar” element.
How to add widgets to the sidebar?
This is the most simple thing you can do with WordPress. You simply drag and drop the widget you want from the left and you put it under the element you want on the right. In this example, on the Right Sidebar we have put 5 widgets ( 4 text widgets and the Facebook widget) We simply draged these widgets from the left column.
What represents each widget ?
There are hundreds of widgets that you can see in your widget area. This depends on your theme and on the plugins you may have installed. Here we will list the basic WordPress Widgets:
Text Widget Explained
This is maybe the most important widget since it is allowed to include there any html code you want. So this widget offers you unlimited features if you know html Basics. Even if you don’t know html you can use the widget to add a written content you want to be displayed in one of your sidebars.
Let’s see two examples: In the first example, we used text widget to add simple text to our Right Sidebar. When you drag and drop the Text widget, in the Right Sidebar, a new box opens where you can write the title of the text widget (example: This is a title) and the content that will be displayed inside the widget (example: Here you can put your text!) You can see these changes in the image below (click to enlarge):
After clicking the “save” button, you can see in your sidebar the change you already made. See the new widget:
So, whatever you write in your text widget goes to the location inside the sidebar you have set it to be displayed. If you have more than one widgets inside your sidebar, you can easily change their order simply by moving the elements up and down!
Let’s see a second example using the text widget as a widget where you can put html code there. A very common use of this feature is when you want to put Google Adsense advertisements on your sidebar. In this case you need to know the exact width of your sidebar ( for example 120pixels) So through your Google Adsense dashboard you need to “create a new ad” that has width 120px and get an html code. Then you simply paste this html code to a text widget that you set to be displayed in one of your sidebars. So after taking the code from Google Adsense we pasted it in a text widget as shown in the picture below (click to enlarge):
So, you see inside the text widget the html code you can get from Google Adsense. Then in this location in your website, you will see the Google Advertisements as shown in the picture below:
As explained in Google Adsense section, these advertisements are being displayed by Google in this Area. You don’t have full control of these ads. Google has this control.
List of the most common widgets
Pages: In this section there will be displayed the pages you created
Categories: Your categories will be displayed there
Recent comments: The recent comments that your visitors have posted will be displayed
Recent posts: Your latest posts will be displayed. You can set the amount of the posts that will be displayed
Tag cloud: The tags you have created will be displayed
RSS: You can set an RSS feed to be displayed- You can set the amount of elemts of the RSS feed that will be displayed
Calendar: A calendar will be displayed where the dates that you posted new content will be highlighted
If your theme supports Facebook likebox, Recent tweets etc, these widgets will be displayed there. Some plugins also create widgets automatically when you install them. These widgets are being displayed there.