How to Add Widgets to WordPress

Widgets are small containers (at least that’s how I think about it) where you can add code to display so many things on either the top, left, right, bottom (footer) sides of your WordPress site

In this post, I am going to discuss what you can do with WordPress widgets, how to use them and how to optimize your widgets for your best benefits on your WordPress site so let us begin

  1. What you can do with WordPress widgets
  2. How to use or add widgets to your WordPress site
  3. How to remove widgets from your WordPress site
  4. How to optimize your widgets for getting best results on your WordPress site

What you can do with WordPress widgets

First WordPress widgets are shown on your current theme on side bars and footers based on how your theme defines their locations, some themes can have 1 or more side bars located to the left, right or both sides and so when you go and check your widgets, you will find one or more widgets for each location based on its name like Sidebar – Wide – Top or  Sidebar – Narrow

WordPress widgets name location

In this WordPress site, I am using Sidebar – Narrow and that’s because I decided to select the narrow bar on my theme (I just like it this way)

Anyway, with WordPress widgets you can do the following (I will not be able to list everything you can do, this is just few examples)

You can have an autoresponder (newsletter) on the side, add banners, insert Google Adsense or any advertising platform, list recent posts/archive/calendar (these are ready made widgets, you don’t need to write code inside, you just drag and drop them inside the desired location) as shown below

How to use or add widgets to your WordPress site

WordPress has 2 ways to add widgets and both of them are very easy, I will start with selecting the Widgets screen by going to Appearance menu then Widgets, this will load the Widgets screen, I will start with the drag and drop method

Step 1: Left click on the desired widget and start dragging while you still holding the left mouse button down (clicked)

Step 2: Continue dragging close to the final Sidebars or Footers (final destination)

Step 3: Once you reach your final destination, make sure all the widget is inside the place where you plan to insert your widget then release the left mouse button


Other way is by using accessibility mode as shown below, remember although the drag and drop method with no doubt is easier sometimes when using the touchpad on a laptop, I will go for the accessibility mode as it is more convenient in this case

Step 1: Go to Screen Option and click on the arrow right next to it (the facing down arrow)

Step 2: Screen Option will expand, click on the Enable accessibility mode link

Step 3: Widgets will start to show extra button called Add while the inserted widgets will show button called Edit, click on Add beside the Archive widget as an example

Step 4: Under the list of all the locations (final destinations of sidebars and footers) select anyone by clicking the option beside it, if you have existing widgets like 5 widgets, your position drop down list will shown from 1 to 6 where if you select 6 then your widget will be added to the bottom of the listed widgets while if you select let me say 2 , it will add it on the second position pushing the second one place down, you have to click on Save widget button to save your changes

Step 5: Archives will show on the final destination


How to remove widgets from your WordPress site

Removing is even easier than adding the widgets themselves, also there are 2 ways, you can go the widget which you want to remove and click on it, then click on the delete button

WordPress remove widget from sidebar footer

The other way around is to drag and drop it to the left side but remember if you want to keep it later, I highly recommend to drag and drop it to the inactive widgets where it is similar to deactivating a plugin so you still have it but currently unused

How to optimize your widgets for getting best results on your WordPress site

First you noticed that widgets once you ad them, they will show up on everywhere on pages, posts, home page and archive page and you can control that by using a plugin called Widget Options it works very well with widgets by adding a tabbed packed with features to manage widgets appearance and visibility and also control the logic of showing/hiding specific widget based on conditional tags

Also I did not notice this until I found it on a WordPress blog site, if you scroll down through any page, widgets will not move with you causing users to miss seeing your widgets, there is a plugin to fix that and it is called Q2W3 Fixed Widget I know it is not a meaningful name but it is worth installing this plugin

Finally if you like this post, please share it using social media to the left hand side or bottom (mobile)

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