What Is A WordPress Widget And How Do You Is It?

When you first start to create a website, there’s lots of features you’ll have to get accustomed to as you build it out. Now while there are many you’ll have to learn early on, one of the main ones you’ll want to get acquainted with right way is something called a widget.

However many of you probably don’t know how to create a website since your just starting out (I know I didn’t when I first began), so naturally you’ll want to know what is a WordPress widget, and how do you use it?

So to make things simple, I’ll not only be explaining what a widget is — but also show you how to use them, and describe the different types of widgets available for you within WordPress.

So without any further ado, let me jump right into things here starting off by explaining what in the world a widget is.

What Are Widgets?

Widgets are basically small little gadgets in the shape of blocks that you can then use to help build out mainly the sidebars of your website — but also other areas as well.

By using them, it makes it extremely easy to design a professional looking website — since you won’t have to learn all that confusing HTML code.

This is also one of the main reasons I eventually decided to buy a premium theme for my website, as they usually have more widgets available for you to use — thus making it much simpler to build out your website.

So basically widgets make creating a website both simple and fast, even if you’ve never created a website before.

How Do You Add Widgets Into Your Website?

To add a widget to your website, you first will want to log into the back office of your websites dashboard. Once there, you’ll want to scroll down on the left-hand side until you find a tab called appearance — you’ll then find where it says widgets and click that.

How to add a widget

Once inside, you’ll see all the different widgets available to you — then on the far right-hand side, you’ll also see where you can place these widgets within your website.

These are widgets

Now to add a widget to your website and make it become active, you’ll simply click and drag it to the right so it will appear where you want it to.

For example say I wanted to add an image to the sidebar of my website. I would then simply click the image widget, drag it to the right and place it where it says “Primary Sidebar” — then click save changes to make it become active.

Then when I refresh my website, you’ll now see the widget I just activated on the right-hand side of the page.

What’s also cool is you can place all kinds of widgets not only on your sidebar, but also at the top of your website as well as the footer.

What Are The Different Kind Of Widgets In WordPress?

Depending on what kind of theme you are using, will also determine what kind of widgets you’ll have access to.

Within WordPress you’ll either be using a free theme or a paid theme — and depending on which one it is, will also determine what kind of widgets you’ll have.

If you are using a free theme, you’ll have access to basic widgets like recent post, recent comments, and text. All of these widgets can be very useful, and you’ll find these “basic” widgets in just about every theme out there.

common widgets
common widgets

However if you are using a paid theme, as I said earlier you’ll now be able to use some even cooler widgets. For example my theme Eleven4o Pro, has a user profile widget, a featured page / post widget, and an after entry widget.

advanced widget
unique widgets

I’ll be honest I really love the after entry widget, as it allows me to add a block of text or picture after each of my post — making it a lot easier to promote a product or service to people who read all the way to the bottom of the page.

However if you choose a free theme or paid it doesn’t matter, as you’ll have access to some very useful widgets for your website. Just remember if you do go with a premium one — expect to have some additional widgets that you’ll get to play with.

What Can WordPress Widgets Do?

Widgets are some very amazing and powerful tools within WordPress, that let you do all sorts of amazing things on your website. There some widgets that add text, some that add pictures, and others that will show your most recent post.

To give you a better overview of what widgets can do, here’s a list of some of my favorite widgets and a description of what they can do:

  • Text Widget- As the name says, this lets you add any kind of text you want
  • Image Widget- This is an easy and fast way to add an image to your website
  • Search Widget- This lets people search for specific things on your website
  • Custom HTML Widget- If you’re good at HTML, this will let you add any kind of HTML code to your website
  • Video Widget- This will display a video from your library, or from an online source like YouTube

Again there are other widgets out there, but these are the more common ones — and they alone will let you create an amazing looking website.

Final Thoughts

While widgets at first may seem scary or confusing to use, after just playing around with them for a few minutes you’ll see just how powerful and easy to use they really are.

They can help customize your sidebars, header, and even footer without having to use confusing HTML code. All you do is simply drag and drop where you want the widget to go, save your changes, and your done.

This is why I love WordPress, as they turn complicated task into super simple ones — and is why I and millions of other people use it to create websites.

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I have personally seen hundreds of newbies join this program, and be able to quit their job and work from home full time all thanks to Wealthy Affiliate.

I believe this is due to their continuous update in their training, giving you all the tools necessary tools to succeed (like creating a website in 30 seconds), and the ability to get help from thousands of successful affiliate marketers.

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So do you have any questions regarding how to use widgets? If you’ve used them before, what were some of your favorite ones?

Let me know in the comment section below. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “What Is A WordPress Widget And How Do You Is It?”

  1. Thanks for such a concise, clear post. Although I have a couple of widgets on my site, I still get a little confused as to how to add them and make the most of them sometimes! So your article was a great reminder. 

    I also never knew you could add a video widget either! This is something I’d definitely like to try, I can imagine that being really effective.

    • Ya there are all kinds of widgets out there, and if you don’t have one — you usually can look for a plugin to solve that problem. 

  2. Hi Michael, 
    Great post and write up regarding widgets in WordPress. Sounds like you self-taught yourself how to use widgets in WordPress as well as I did. I can’t say I’m very good at it yet but I am working on it!

    You did a great job of explaining not only what a widget is but also how it works, what they can do, and how to put them into your site. Honestly I’ve been struggling a bit with some of the appearance of my theme and I believe you’ve helped me figure it out! Thanks so much!
    Mat A.

    • No problem Mat, I’m glad I could help you out.

      However I didn’t teach myself how to use widgets, but learned what they were and how to use them through a program called Wealthy Affiliate.

      I have learned everything I know about websites, and how to make money online through them thanks to WA. So if you really want to learn how to build a business online that can earn you a regular income each month — they can help you by giving step by step training on exactly how to do this.

  3. Heey Michael!

    Really nice post explaining the value of widgets. When your new to creating websites it easy to underestimate the power of widgets, but as a visitor it makes navigating to someones website so much easier.

    I like how you have your widgets placed on your website, as it makes everything very neat and organized.

    • Thanks Rogier, I’m glad you like the layout of my site. And you are correct that widgets can really help people their way around your site — and also help you earn more sales!

      So I would split test different widgets to see which ones convert the best, and also see which ones keeps visitors on your site the longest. 


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