A Beginner’s Guide to the Widgets Section in WordPress

The widget section of your WordPress dashboard is a very powerful area to customize your site. Depending on the theme you’re using, you can add widgets to different sections of your site. Most themes will allow you to add widgets to the sidebar, footer and sometimes the header.

WordPress Widgets

This section shows the areas you can add widgets to on the right side of the page. It may look something like this:

Widget Areas

Your theme may include other areas. Any section of your website that allows you to add a widget will be found here.

How to Add a Widget to Your Sidebar

Widgets can easily be added to any section allowing widgets by dragging the specific widgets and dropping it into that section.

Drag And Drop Widget

Once you’ve added a widget, you can customize the different options associated with that specific widget.

Which Widgets can You Add in WordPress?

By default, WordPress comes with some widgets you can use including:

  • Archives
  • Calendar
  • Categories
  • Custom Menu
  • Meta
  • Pages
  • Recent Comments
  • Recent Posts
  • RSS
  • Search
  • TagCloud
  • Text

The Text Widget will allow you to use HTML and other types of code to add many different things to your sidebar. Plugins will also create widgets that you can use to add specific items to your sidebars. Some themes come with their own widgets, as well.

Making a Widget Inactive

You will notice a third section to your widget area called “Inactive Widgets.” This section allows you to make any widget you don’t want to use inactive. Just drag and drop the widget into this section.

Inactive Widgets

That’s all there is to the widget section for your WordPress website. Many of the widgets found here will allow you to customize your sidebar by adding a calendar, recent posts, a custom menu or a number of other items. Some of these widgets may already be in your sidebar by default, when you install WordPress for the first time. Make sure you drag any widgets you don’t want out of the sidebar or they will show up on your website.

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