What Is a Widget?

WordPress Widgets allow you to add information and tools to the sidebar of your website.  A sidebar is the narrow column on the right or left of your blog posts.  Each section in the sidebar is known as a Widget that you can add or remove.  You can also rearrange the order of your widgets.   You can have a search button, list your most recent posts, list your categories, add in a calendar and other features.  Plugins can add their own widget functions.

Most widgets do not require any code experience.  They can be added, removed and rearranged either in the Theme Customizer or from the Dashboard by going to Appearance >> Widgets.

Standard WordPress Widgets

WordPress comes with 13 Widgets preinstalled.  Those Widgets are:

  • Archives
  • Calendar
  • Categories
  • Custom Menu
  • Links
  • Meta
  • Pages
  • Recent Comments
  • Recent Posts
  • RSS
  • Search
  • Tag Cloud
  • Text

Depending on your theme, Widgets can be installed in the Left or Right Sidebar, Header or Footer. To add, remove or rearrange a widget in a sidebar or other Widget Area, navigate to the Widgets page by going to Appearance >> Widgets.

Your screen will look something like this:

Widgets screen inside dashboard.

Your Widget screen may have additional sidebars, footers and/or the opportunity to have Widgets in the header.  Where you can have these Widget areas is based on your theme.

Sidebar with Widgets for Search, Recent Posts, Recent Comments, Archives and Categories.

Click on the carrot to the right of the Widget title to open the Widget.  Opening the widget will give you different options, depending on the Widget.

In the Search Widget, opening the Widget gives you the opportunity to put a title above a Search bar . . .

Editing the title of the Search Widget in the sidebar.







. . . becomes this in the sidebar of your blog:

Edited title of the Search Widget.