Widgets in WordPress have been designed so that the user without any special knowledge and coding skills could easily control and change the structure of the WordPress theme. With widgets, you can easily add additional features or content to your theme. You can manage them: add, delete and change – you have full freedom.
In this article, I will explain what are widgets. I will show how to use them in WordPress, how to add, remove and rearrange them.
What are Widgets
Widgets are elements that add functionality that you can place in so-called areas that are ready for widgets. Thanks to them you can add a gallery, Instagram, facebook like box, recent or popular posts, tag cloud and many more.
In WordPress themes, you’ll find specially designed areas, adapted to insert the appropriate widgets (widget areas). By designing a theme, the author determines the number of widget areas and their place of display. Therefore, their number may vary depending on the theme. The widget areas are defined by the WordPress theme.
Widgets can be added, removed and changed on the Theme Customizer or Appearance > Widgets in the WordPress Administration Screens.
How to add a widget in WordPress
There are a few ways to add Widgets in WordPress, so you can choose the most convenient method for yourself.
1. With the Theme Customizer
First, you will need to: go to Appearance > Customize in the WordPress Administration Screens. Click Widget menu > Sidebar or other available areas> ‘Add a Widget’ button at the bottom of the sidebar. It shows the list of available widgets. Click a widget you want to add. Remember to adjust all of its necessary settings, and then click Save. The selected widget will appear in the selected widget area.
Preview your site and you should see the content from your new Widget.
To arrange the Widgets within the Sidebar, drag and drop the widgets in the order you want or click Reorder link and click up arrow and down allow of each widget – click Done after the arrange operation.
To customize the Widget features, click the down arrow in the right to expand the Widget’s interface.
To remove the Widget, click Remove from Widget’s interface in the above step.
2. With the WordPress Administration Screens
2.1. Drag and drop
Go to Appearance > Widgets in the WordPress Administration Screens. Choose a Widget and drag it to the Widget area (in this case ‘Sidebar’) where you wish it to appear.
To arrange the Widgets within the sidebar or Widget area, click and drag it into place.
To customize the Widget features, click the down arrow in the upper right corner to expand the Widget’s interface.
To save the Widget’s customization, click Save.
To remove the Widget, click Delete or click and drag it to the left side of the screen.
2.2. Left-click on the widget
You can also left-click on the widget you want to insert, then select the widget area from the drop-down list and click Add Widget.
2.3. In Accessibility Mode
Another way to manage widgets in WordPress is the Accessibility Mode. To enable this mode click Appearance > Widgets in the WordPress Administration Screens. At the top of the page on the right, you will find the ‘Enable accessibility mode‘ link, click on it. In older versions of WordPress, the ‘Enable accessibility mode‘ link is hidden in the ‘Screen Options‘ drop-down menu at the top of the page.
When you turn on the accessibility mode, the widget screen will change. An ‘Add’ or ‘Edit’ link will appear next to each available widget.
To add a widget, click ‘Add‘ the link next to it. The widget will open on a new, separate page. Now you can configure its settings, and when everything is ready, press the ‘Save Widget‘ button. To edit the widget, click the ‘Edit‘ link, and after making changes, the ‘Save Widget‘ button. You can also delete the widget by clicking the ‘Delete‘ button.
To return to the standard widgets’ screen, simply click on the ‘Screen Options‘ menu or the ‘Disable accessibility mode‘ link – both are on the top right side of the screen (depending on the version of WordPress).
How to remove widgets in WordPress
1. On the Theme Customizer
Please go to Appearance > Customize > Widgets. Then select the appropriate widget area and then the widget you want to remove. When you click Remove, which is in the lower left corner, the widget will be removed.
2. In the WordPress Administration Screens
To find widgets, please first go Appearance > Widgets. Then to remove a widget, first expand the list of widgets in the given widget area. Then left-click on the widget you want to delete – so that the Widget’s interface (its settings) will open and select the Delete option located on the bottom left.
You can also click on the widget with the left mouse button, hold it and drop it on the left side – where the other widgets are.
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Removing the widget also deletes its settings.
If you want to remove a widget from a given widget area but you do not want to delete its settings, go to Appearance > Widgets (in the WordPress Administration Screens) and simply drag and drop it into the field of Inactive Widgets, which is located on the bottom left, below the field of Available Widgets.
Show or Hide Widgets on Specific WordPress Pages or Posts
The WordPress widget areas are defined for the whole theme, which means that Widgets are displayed in the same place on each existing post or page. To easily hide or show different widgets on different pages and posts you must use the appropriate plugin. I recommend Jetpack by WordPress.com – one of the most popular plugins available in the WordPress repository. Jetpack automatically adds visibility to all widgets.
For more information on WordPress widgets, please visit: https://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Widgets