What is a WordPress widget? By now, on your journey through creating an online business you’ll be starting to hear many words and phrases you’re not familiar with, like the word “Widget”.
A widget is described as being a “tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebar areas of your website. Widgets make it easy to customize the content of your sidebars”.
So what does that mean? Look at this website, you’ll find an area down the right-hand side where you’ll see a search bar and other images. At the bottom, we have pages and other things listed there. These are all done by using widgets.
In short, WordPress Widgets add content and features to your sidebar and footer areas.
There are many different ways you can use widgets and each theme comes with different options for widget areas.
Generally, people will read from left to right so the most prominent area is on the right side. That’s why you’ll see many websites with widgets down the right-hand side.
Some themes will have only one option for a sidebar widget area and some have multiple areas. This site has a few different areas where you can use widgets as you can see in the image.
Ways Widgets can be used
By default, most WordPress themes come with preinstalled widgets:
- Search – provides a search function for your visitors.
- Recent Posts – is a list of your recent posts.
- Categories – a list of your categories.
- Archives – an archive of your older posts.
- Recent comments – your most recent comments, you can choose how many to show.
- Meta – this doesn’t serve any useful purpose to your visitors and can be deleted.
Every web designer has their own preferences on what widgets to display in the sidebar area. We think having a search function our visitors can use is an essential. Some themes will come ready with a “search” in the header area, the next best option is in the sidebar. We’ll explain how to add this in the video below.
You can have what is called an “optin” form, where you subscribe to an offer or to receive updates. Another nice touch in the sidebar is an “about” widget which can be a brief bio of yourself with an image.
Featured posts in a widget are good if you have specific articles you want your visitors to pay more attention to. Some themes have a ready-made function for this, but you can easily make your own featured post. We’ll show you how in the accompanying video.
One of the biggest uses of the sidebar is for advertising. You’ll see where we’ve advertised a few cool things like Sarah Staars Beginners Blueprint (a great course btw!) and a keyword research tool.
To get started using your widget area watch the video here.
Do you understand what a widget is now? Any questions? Leave a comment or contact us here