A widget is a small area on a small gadget or mechanical device that points to a specific web application. In terms of WordPress, it is a small block that does certain functions. Widgets can be added to almost all places of a website, such as sidebars (widget-ready areas), pages, etc.
WordPress widgets allow users to control WordPress themes easily. You can drag and drop widgets to a specific widget area without any problem. There are numerous WordPress widgets which you can use as per your needs. You can access the list of available widgets and widgets areas easily on your WordPress website by navigating to its dashboard Appearance » Widgets section.
In WordPress, widgets allows you to place content and features to the widgetized areas of the theme you are using. Depending on the theme, the availability of widget and widget areas may vary.
In general, most WordPress themes have several widget areas. But, you need to keep in mind that all WordPress themes don’t have the widget and widget areas. In case, you don’t observe any widget area on your website, it means that the theme you are using doesn’t support widget areas.
How can you add widget & widget areas to WordPress websites?
There are many ways to add widget and widget areas to WordPress websites. Have a look at some of the ways detailed here below. Always keep in mind that you need to have a fair amount of knowledge of PHP and WordPress theme customization to use these methods.
1. Using PHP
First of all, you need to determine the section of the theme you want to add a new widget area. Once you finalize the area, you can use the WordPress PHP conditions to add new widget areas to your website. Depending on your needs, you can use PHP conditions provided by WordPress. Some of them are-
is_singular() – For showing widgets on posts, pages, or attachments,
is_category() – For showing widgets on certain categories,
is_page() – For displaying widgets on pages,
is_single() – For displaying widgets on posts and
is_front_page() – For showing widgets on the homepage.
2. By adding code to the theme you are using
In this method, you need to find the area of the theme where you want to add widgets. You can use the following code to add the widget to the theme. You can also use a code editor WordPress Plugin to perform this action and upload the file using an FTP.
<?php if ( !function_exists(‘dynamic_sidebar’) || !dynamic_sidebar(“Name of Widgetized Area”) ) : ?>
3. Using WordPress Plugins
If you are not comfortable with the above-mentioned ways, you can use WordPress plugins to perform this action.
Generally, WordPress comes with a wide variety of widgets. But, there are numerous WordPress users, who find these widgets insufficient for their growing demands (to provide additional functionalities on their websites). For making use of additional widgets, such users can search WordPress Widget plugins from the WordPress Plugin Directory.
To install a widget plugin on your WordPress website, navigate to Plugins – Add New – WordPress Plugin Directory. Choose the plugin and install it. You can also use 3rd party WordPress widget plugins. In that case, you should install them using upload options.
Once you install a WordPress widget plugin, you need to go to Appearance – Widgets section and choose different widget areas to modify and apply different widgets as per your needs. You can customize some of them to personalize your website.
You can use the following Widget plugins on your website:
Easy Twitter Feed Widget Plugin – For Displaying twitter feed on your website.
Youtube Widget Responsive – To display your videos and thumbnails on YouTube. A nice plugin to promote your video content to millions of viewers available on YouTube.
Feature A Page Widget – To display the summary of any page beautifully.
Testimonials Widget – To display testimonials to your website to attract more and more clients/customers.
Google Maps Widget – To add Google map to your website.
Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails – To showcase the most recent post on your website.
Simple Social Icons – To display social icons on your WordPress website, allowing visitors to share your content and help in your marketing and website optimization efforts.
What are other uses of Widgets?
While operating WordPress websites, you can use various types of widgets to add almost all necessary elements on your site and achieve your end goals easily. If you are familiar with coding knowledge, you can also create your own custom widgets to renovate your WordPress website and ensure a dominant presence on the World Wide Web.
When you operate a WordPress, you need to add various types of widgets to your site sooner or later, depending on your growing needs. With the help of the above-mentioned tricks, you can place widgets and widget areas across your WordPress website easily and effortlessly.