Using widgets on your WordPress.com or WordPress.org blog
You may have heard the word before, but do you really know what WordPress widgets are? We can look at WordPress.com Support for a definition: “Widget is a fancy word for tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebar(s) of your blog” (support.wordpress.com). They make it easy to change and customize the look and content on the sides of your WordPress site (certain themes allow you to use them on the bottom or even the top of your blog as well).
If you look on the right of my site, you can see that I have a few widgets added to my blog. There’s so many widgets out there that can be a great addition to your site; these are just a few of the ones I found beneficial for my site. Although, I would recommend that you add these three yourself:
- Subscribe widget – give your followers an easy way to sign up for email updates
- Search widget – make it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for
- About me/the company widget – personalize your blog or website to let viewers know more about it and you
The How-To: Using widgets in your WordPress site
You’ll find the widget section under your Appearance tab in your WordPress dashboard. There’s three sections to this area; Available Widgets, Inactive Widgets, and your Sidebar(s). There are default widgets that come preloaded in both WordPress types; however you can search and add more if you’re using the self-hosted WordPress.org version
To add a widget, just click and drag it from the “Available Widgets” or “Inactive Widgets” section over to the right; drop it in place where you’d like it. You can change the order by clicking and dragging them around. You can remove widgets from your sidebar(s) by dragging them out–drop them into the “inactive” section if you’d like to save their settings, or place them back in the “available widgets” section to deactivate and delete their settings.
You can change the widget’s settings, configuration and content (depending on the widget) by clicking on the upside-down triangle on the right side of the widget’s name.
With WordPress.com blogs, Jetpack’s Visibility options are already enabled, but if you have a self-hosted blog, simply install the Jetpack plugin and activate the “Visibility” option–so you can configure which widgets you’d like to show up on each page by choosing options when clicking the “visibility” button.
If you’re blogging with WordPress.org, you can add more widgets by installing the Jetpack and other plugins. Just search in the “add new” section of the plugins tab.
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