What is A Widget in WordPress And Tutorial How to Add It [Updated]

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For some WordPress users, you may already be familiar with widgets. Maybe you’ve even used it to optimize the functionality of the website you’re managing.

But did you know that there are still people who have taken advantage of this widget. But don’t know what a widget is? Don’t worry, we will explain in detail what a widget is and we will also explain in detail how to add a widget in WordPress.

What is A Widget in WordPress?

Before we discuss the technical stuff about widgets, we will first explain what widgets are because some of you may not know widgets. The widget is one of the elements in WordPress with a special function, namely adding content and structure in the sidebar and footer.

For example, a widget that can display each of your latest posts or a widget in the form of a search field for certain content and so on. In WordPress you can easily manage widgets, to manage them you don’t need the ability to write programming code.

It’s enough to just drag and drop, you can maximize the function and place the widget in a certain area. The layout can be different, it depends on the theme you use.

Sometimes for certain themes, widgets can only be placed in the sidebar or footer and some can even be placed only in the sidebar and footer. Now that you know what a widget is, we will now go over some of the widgets that are automatically provided by WordPress.

Types of Widgets Provided by WordPress

If you use WordPress for business and personal needs, of course, there are several widgets that are automatically provided and just need to be activated. What kinds or types of widgets are available in WordPress? Here’s a brief explanation:

ArchiveA widget that serves to display posts every month.
CalendarAs the name suggests, this one widget displays the latest date, month and year.
AudioWith this widget you can embed audio on specific pages.
CategoriesWith this widget you can display a list of posts, by content category.
GalleryIf you have interesting images to display in WordPress, you can use this widget.
ImageThis widget is also the same as the gallery widget, it’s just that this one widget only displays one image. Usually this widget is used to display ads.
MetaThis widget is used to display RSS, webmaster login and WordPress.org links.
Navigation MenuIts function is to add and display a navigation menu in the sidebar. The goal is to make it easier for your website visitors.
PagesIf you have multiple pages that you want to display, you can use this widget.
Recent CommentsIf comments on your website deserve to be shown to other visitors, the Recent Comments widget will be very helpful.
RSSDisplays entries from RSS or Atom Feeds.
Recent PostsTo make it easier for website visitors, add this widget to display the latest posts in the sidebar.
SearchThe search field is very useful for website visitors, when they are looking for certain content. Therefore, this widget is very useful to provide the search feature.
VideosVideos such as company profiles or others can be displayed using this widget.
Tag CloudEach post has a tag and the tag cloud has a function to display the tags in each post.

How to Add Widgets in WordPress

After we discussed what widgets are and the various widgets that are already in WordPress by default, now let’s move on to how to add widgets in WordPress. To do so we divide into three popular ways.

  • How to add widgets via WordPress dashboard
  • How to add a widget with a custom widget technique
  • How to add widgets in real time

Let’s discuss them one by one!

How to Add Widgets via WordPress Dashboard

Here’s how to add via the WordPress dashboard.

Step 1: First login to the WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: Click appearance > widget.

Step 3: Let’s look at the left side there are several widgets that you can add and the right is the widget area. 

How to add the widget, just drag and drop the widget to the area you want.

Done, you have successfully added a widget to WordPress and later the widget will be visible in the sidebar.

How to Add Widgets in Realtime

Another way is done in real time, namely through the Customize menu. Realtime here means, you can add widgets directly while seeing the original appearance of the website.

Step 1: As usual, first login to the WordPress dashboard page (if you haven’t already)

Step 2: Click Appearance > Customize.

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Step 3: Later a customizing page will appear, as shown below:

Step 4: Find the widgets menu and click it.

Step 5: Once clicked, several widget areas will appear and each theme may have a different number of widgets areas, click one of the widget areas (in this demo we chose the sidebar widget area).

Step 6: Click the add block button.

Step 7: Choose an add block to be used as a widget, here we choose image because it will display images.

Step 8: Later, three menus will appear, namely Upload, which is uploading an image from a computer, Media Library, which is used to retrieve images from the gallery on your website, and Insert URL, to display images from a certain URL. Please choose which one.

It will look like below when finished adding the widget (in this demo we chose Image).

Step 9: Click Publish when finished.

Done, you have successfully added widgets in realtime.

Widget Support Plugin

We already know that in standard WordPress there are various built-in widgets such as Recent Post, Meta, Image and Video. But sometimes the need for these widgets can not meet the functionality of a website. Therefore, some people use plugins as additional features so that the website can work the way they want.

Including widgets, there are several plugins that can support widgets that are not in standard WordPress.

Here are some of the plugins we recommend:

Q2W3 Fixed Widget

In the default widget, all the widgets are not fixed, meaning that when you scroll the position of the widget is not fixed, but it will disappear too. Well, this plugin called Q2W3 Fixed Widget can make your widget fixed.

So that the widgets you add will always be visible to website visitors, so the potential for ads to be clicked on will be much greater.

Content Aware Sidebars

The default widget cannot be customized according to our wishes, if you want to customize the widget according to the content being read by visitors, then you can use the Content Aware Sidebars plugin.

With this plugin you can customize the appearance of different widgets depending on the content being read by category, author and so on. The advantage is that the appearance of the widget is more personal and also directed to the readers.

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Add Widget for Optimizing Website Functionality

So far, we have understood what a widget is to how to add a widget in WordPress. In short, widgets can help you optimize your website through WordPress sidebar or footers. Indeed, for some WordPress users, widgets seem trivial, it’s just that the impact is extraordinary and one of the effects is increasing the engagement of website visitors.

In addition, when you want to choose and add widgets to your website, remember to always consider several important aspects related to the user experience, the appearance of the website and the overall benefits of the widgets that you display.

Don’t let it be because you just want to add a widget, you end up adding it without any consideration and instead make the website load slowly.

Another important factor besides navigation in widgets is website speed. Even though you have added some widgets as needed, don’t forget to use WordPress hosting, the right one so that user friendly website in terms of speed.

I hope this article on What is A Widget in WordPress And Tutorial How to Add It helped. Good luck!

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