What is a widget used for and how to use a WordPress widget? – WordPress has a built-in feature called widgets, widgets have an important role in creating websites with WordPress and this feature is almost impossible for WordPress users to leave. For new WordPress users, they may not really understand what widgets are and what widgets are used for. In this article, I will explain in detail about widgets and how to use widgets in WordPress.
What is a Widget and How to Use Widgets in WordPress?
WordPress widgets are small blocks that perform specific functions. You can add this widget in the sidebar area or in certain areas that are part of the widget area. Apart from the sidebar area, widgets are also commonly used in the footer, header, and homepage layout sections.
WordPress widgets were originally created to provide users with a simple and easy-to-use way of giving users the design and control structure of a WordPress theme. Widgets can be easily dragged and dropped (drag & drop) to a specific widget area. You can find a list of available widgets and the widgets area by going to the menu Appearance »Widgets on your WordPress dashboard.
Widgets in WordPress allow you to add content and features in the widgetized area of your theme, mostly in the sidebar. However widget-ready areas could be in the header, footer, sidebar, under content, and basically every other area of your theme. The available widget areas you have on your Theme will vary from theme to theme.
Most WordPress themes have widgets pre-installed from the theme and have several custom widget areas that are tailored to the layout of the WordPress theme. However, there are also themes that do NOT have a widget area. If you don’t see the widget area, then it means that your theme does not support widgets or that your website layout is not designed to use widgets.
There are various types of widgets. WordPress by default comes with several widgets including categories, tag cloud, navigation menu, calendar, search, archive, recent posts etc. If you drag the recent posts widget in the sidebar widget area, it will list the most recent posts displayed on the side of your website page.
Widgets are mostly self-contained areas of code that perform specific functions. Plugins often add their own widgets to give the user more control over the appearance of plugin functions (what are plugins?).
How to add widgets in WordPress
Adding a widget in WordPress is very easy, you only need to enter the area Appearance »Widgets. And you will see a widget page with several widget blocks that are already available on the left, and on the right is the widget area, you can see the picture above.
The first way: To add a widget, please click drag and drop the widget to the widget area you want, for example as shown below is how to add the ‘Archives’ widget to the sidebar area. After that you can give the widget title in the title area and save the widget by clicking the ‘Save’ button.
The second way: If you don’t like using the drag and drop feature, you can immediately click the widget block that you want to add, then several widget areas will appear below the widget block. You only need to select one of the widgets area you want and click the ‘Add Widget’ button then the widget will be automatically added to the area you choose.
The third way: The last is that you can add widgets directly via Appearance »Customize, in this section you can select the widget menu and add a widget to the widget area you want. You can see like the animated image below. The advantage in the Customize section is that you can see the changes you make directly so that when they don’t work, you can change them right away without needing to save the widget.
And that’s a complete explanation of WordPress widgets and how to add widgets in WordPress, hopefully this simple article can add to your basic knowledge of WordPress and good luck. 🙂