How to use widgets on WordPress

Widgets on WordPress are blocks that allow website owners to add functionality to their sites. There are widget-ready areas on WordPress sites where you can drag and drop them into. Widgets are designed to provide a simple way to customize website design.

In my post, I explain what widgets are, where to find them on WordPress, and how to use them to customize your blog.

Let’s get started.

What are WordPress widgets?

Widgets are blocks that you can drag and drop into specific areas of your website to add functionality. For example, a search bar, recent posts list, categories, recent comments to name a few.

In WordPress themes, there are widget-ready areas. Drag a widget to one of these areas on your website to add a function. Widget-ready areas are usually the sidebar, on some themes, you have other places.

On my website, I have a search bar widget, an about me section with an image, and a disclaimer notice to my widget-ready sidebar.

Widgets in my sidebar

On my theme, I can also add widgets to my footer section, here I have added a widget to list my website pages.

Adding widgets to my footer section

What are widgets used for?

Widgets allow you to customize your WordPress theme by adding extra functions. You do not need to know code, you select a widget from the widget library in WordPress and drag it to the section of your website you want to add the function.

Widgets allow you to add a search bar, gallery images, text, latest posts lists, categories, video, menus, recent comments, and many more.

Where are widgets on WordPress?

There is a widget library in WordPress. To access this library, hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’ in the menu on the left, then select ‘Widgets’ from the popup menu.

How to find widgets on WordPress

After you select ‘Widgets’ you come to a list of your available widgets on the left and your widget-ready areas on the right.

Available widgets on WordPress

How do I use widgets?

To use widgets, select the widget that offers the function you require and then drag that widget to the widget-ready area to set where the widget will display on your site.

Let me show you an example. Here is my website, I want to add a search function so visitors can use it to find information on my site easier.

My example website

On the right, I have a widget-ready sidebar. I am going to drag a widget that adds a search function to my site and drop it in the sidebar.

First, find your widget. I am looking for a ‘search’ widget.

Search widget

Next, I will drag this widget to the widget-ready area, my right-hand sidebar.

Add a search widget to my sidebar

When you add a widget it will open for you to add a title. I am going to name this widget ‘Site Search’, I type this into the box and then select save.

Add your widget title and then save

Let’s have another look at my website to check out my new search function.

Search widget

If you want to have a sidebar for your website, please check out my ‘How do I create a new sidebar in WordPress?‘ post.

WordPress widgets list

I use the Ashe theme, here are the available widgets I have.

Widget list

If there is a function you want to add that is not available on your list. You can find more options in the WordPress plugin library.

Let’s say for example you have a hotel website and you want to add a ‘Review’ function. Go to your plugin library and type ‘Review widget’ into the search box.

widget search in plugin library

Add ‘widget’ to your search query to get a list of available widgets that add the functionality you require.

How to edit widgets in WordPress

I use a ‘text’ widget for my ‘About me’ section on my website sidebar. I have an image and text in this widget. If I decide to change the image or text, I go into the widget library, select the widget-area the widget is located, and edit.

Here is the widget library, I have clicked on the right sidebar to open my ‘About me’ widget.

Editing widgets

I can edit the text and change the image, once my edits are complete, I click on the blue ‘Save’ link to update the widget on my website.

You can open any widget you have and make your changes on this page. Don’t forget to save so that your changes update on your site.

Move widgets in WordPress?

WordPress makes creating and moving widgets easy. To move a widget, hover your mouse over the widget you want to move and hold the left button on your mouse. Now you can change the position of this widget.

For example, you can see in the screenshot above, I have two text widgets at the bottom. I am going to change these so that the ‘Advertisement’ appears above the ‘Legal information’ widget.

Moving widgets

I drag and drop, there is no need to save when you move widgets, the change appears on your site immediately.

How do I add an About me widget to WordPress?

To create an about your widget for your site, you need to use a ‘Text’ widget from your widget library.

To go to your widget library from your WordPress dashboard, hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’ in the main menu, and select ‘Widgets’.

about me widget

From the available widgets, select a ‘Text’ widget and drag it to a widget-ready area on your site.

Like this, I am going to drag a ‘Text’ widget and put it into the right sidebar.

Drag a text widget to the right sidebar

Once I place the text widget in the right sidebar, the widget opens to allow me to edit.

Creating an about me widget

In the title box type ‘About me’, in the large blank section, type your text and add an image. Once you have finished, click on the blue ‘Save’ link, and the ‘About me’ widget will go live on your site.

Here is my ‘About me’, I have an image at the top followed by text.

About me example

Can you add widgets to WordPress pages?

Once you place widgets in widget-ready areas on your site, they will appear on all your posts and pages.

How to remove widgets in WordPress?

If you decide to remove a widget from your site, go to the widget library in WordPress. Then, search for the widget you want to delete in the widget-ready areas on the right, and open the widget. On the bottom left is a red delete link. Click on that link and the widget will be removed from your website.

How to use widgets on WordPress video tutorial

How to add widgets on WordPress - Beginner's guide
Watch this video on YouTube.

Conclusion

Customizing your website using widgets is easy with WordPress. You can drag and drop widgets into widget-ready areas on your site.

There are many widgets available in your widget library, should you need something, not in your library. Go to the plugin library and use the search function to find the widget you need.

Moving widgets is a case of holding your left key on your mouse and relocating the widget to where you need it to display.

To delete a widget, open the widget block, and click on ‘Delete’ in the bottom left.

If you would like to use the theme I have on my website, you can find it in your WordPress theme library. Type ‘Ashe’ into the search box and install it from there. Or, you can download it from their homepage.

Ashe theme homepage

Comments

If you have any questions about my post or WordPress in general, please leave them in the comments box below. I check for comments every day.

I look forward to reading your comments.

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