How to Use WordPress Widgets

WordPress Widgets are independent content blocks designed to provide  specific function. Widget is a simple and easy-to-use way to arrange the various elements of your sidebar content  or any widgetized areas of your theme. Widgets enable non-technical users to customize your theme without having to change any code.

There are so many different widgets available. WordPress by default comes with several widgets that can be seen on on the WordPress Administration Appearance > Widgets panel. See a list of Top wordpress sidebars widgets. Note: You can install new ones by searching the WordPress Plugins Directory. See how to install worpress plugin.

How to use Widgets

To use/display widgets, you need to add widget areas into your Theme. Most WordPress themes are widget ready. It would always be a good idea to select a theme that is Widget Ready. If  theme is not widget ready, you can widgetize just about every part of your theme. See how to widgetize your theme.

  1. Go to Appearance > Widgets. Here you can see available widgets and widget ready areas in your theme.
    Widget areas

    Widget areas

    If  theme is not widget ready, you can widgetize just about every part of your theme. See how to widgetize your theme.

  2. Choose a Widget and either drag it to the sidebar where you wish it to appear
    drag widget

    drag widget

    Or click the widget, (select a destination sidebar if your theme has more than one) and click the Add Widget button.

    Add Widget

    Add Widget

  3. Preview the site. You can see the new addition there.
  4. To arrange the Widgets within the sidebar or Widget area, click and drag it into place.

    Drag to re-arrange

    Drag to re-arrange

  5. To customize the Widget features, click the down arrow in the upper right corner to expand the Widget’s interface.

    Edit widget options

    Edit widget options

  6. To save the Widget’s customization, click Save.

    Edit widget options

    Edit widget options

  7. To remove the Widget, click  Delete link in the configuration options as show above.

How to add Widget area to your theme

You can widgetize just about every part of your theme. See how to widgetize your theme. Widget can be added to the header, footer, and elsewhere in the WordPress design and structure. There are 2 main parts to  add widget area in your theme:

  1. Register the widget area in functions.php
  2. Insert widget area in the WordPress Theme

#1: Register widget area

Open the functions.php file from the WordPress Theme Editor . Add the following block of code. In this code, we are registering one sidebar. We have given a name(e.g.’Home right sidebar’) to identify them on Widgets screen and  id(e.g.’home_right_1′) is used to call it in theme file to display.

<?php
/**
 * Register our sidebars and widgetized areas.
 *
 */
function wpl_theme_widgets_init() {

	register_sidebar( array(
		'name'          => 'Home right sidebar',
		'id'            => 'home_right_1',
		'before_widget' => '<div>',
		'after_widget'  => '</div>',
		'before_title'  => '<h2 class="rounded">',
		'after_title'   => '</h2>',
	) );

}
add_action( 'widgets_init', 'wpl_theme_widgets_init' );
?>
New widget

New widget

After registering Dynamic Sidebars, New widget area appears in Appearance » Widgets screen. Users can drag and drop widgets into these sidebars.
#2: Insert widget area in the WordPress Theme

You need to  insert the following block of code in your template like sidebar.php /footer.php or any other template file where you want to display the widget.

<div id="home_right_1">
<?php
if(is_active_sidebar('home_right_1')){
dynamic_sidebar('home_right_1');
}
?>
</div>

In this example code, we have used sidebar id(‘home_right_1) to call the sidebar. Change the sidebar id to display another sidebar.

Top 13 WordPress Sidebars Widgets

Widgets are one of the best reasons you should use WordPress. WordPress widgets allows you to add static and dynamic content to widget-ready areas of your theme like in this case, the sidebar. The beauty of these widgets lie in its simplicity and ease of use. To display a widget in your website, all you have to do is drag and drop the widget to its expected location. You can also customize the design and change the way it behaves. The drag and drop interface simplifies the design process by removing the need to modify the theme template.

Ad Squares Widget

Ad Squares Widget

Ad Squares Widget

This widget lets you display 125×125 ads in your sidebar. This plugin supports ads coming from AdSense, PHP, iFrames, XHTML, JavaScript, etc. All you need to do to place ads is to paste the code for each block you want to display.

The widget can display up to 8 squares at once. You can also customize the padding and choose how to shuffle the ad positions. You can even insert a tag that will enable ad rotation. Which means the ad will contain multiple ads and rotate them each time the page is loaded.

Download Ad Squares Widget.


Dynamic Widgets

Dynamic Widgets is a plugin that lets you have full control on the pages a widget will displayed. The interface is easy to use as it takes you to a separate page to control the settings for the widget. It also lets you display the widget according to the user’s role, date and according to the visitor’s browser.

Download Dynamic Widgets.


Category Posts Widget

Category Post Widget

Category Post Widget

This sidebar widget deals with the displaying of recent posts from a specific category. Aside from that, it also lets you change the order of the posts, and allows you to manage the number of posts to be displayed. Gallery Post can be installed multiple times in a page.

Download Category Posts Widget.


Sidebar Login

Sidebar Login

Sidebar Login

This widget adds a useful login form in the sidebar of your WordPress blog. You can use the widget to login to your admin account without the need to visit the URL for that or use it as a login page for your blog subscribers.

To use the plugin, simply go to Appearance>Widgets and drag the sidebar login to the sidebar of your choice.

Download Sidebar Login


 

Simple Subscribe Widget

Simple Subscribe Widget

Simple Subscribe Widget

Simple Subscribe Widget is a sidebar widget that lets you easily add a subscribe button to your page. It doesn’t only work as a widget, you can also use this as a shortcode or simply using php in your template codes.

The plugin comes with ReadyGraph, a set of features that automate the growth of your user base through maximizing conversion of site visitors to register to your email list, maximizing referrals, and maximizing return visits.

Download Simple Subscribe Widget.


Image Widget

Image Widget

Image Widget

Image Widget is a simple widget that uses your WordPress media manager to display images from this widget to your site. This widget can have a title and a description in it, and you can also link the image either to an external URL or to let the users view a larger version of the image. Image Widget supports template overrides which means you can have a different look and feel of this widget to the theme of your website.

Download Image Widget.


Floating Social Media Icon

Floating Social Media Icon

Floating Social Media Icon

Floating Social Media Icon lets you add social media links to your page with style. This widget floats on your page and follows through as the user scrolls to the page. It has more than 2 icon types that you can set to display in order or have a different theme for each icon. You can integrate this sidebar widget manually or automatically. And if you don’t like the icons to float, you are also free to disable it.

Download Floating Social Media Icon.


Widget Twitter

Widget Twitter

Widget Twitter

Widget Twitter lets you display Tweets with the follow button right on the sidebar of your WordPress blog. This plugin allows you to set your twitter account widget id and twitter username. You can also customize the widget by its width, allow to expand the widget images and custom link URL color.

Download Widget Twitter.


Add Link to Facebook

Add Link To Facebook

Add Link To Facebook

This widget lets you automatically add links to posts or pages that are being published to your Facebook wall, pages, or groups. It is a one time setup and you don’t have to do anything to it once installed; although, the way the links appear can be customized.

Download Add Link to Facebook.


YouTube Channel Gallery

This plugin shows a YouTube video and a gallery of thumbnails in your YouTube channel. It displays thumbnail videos not just on your channel, but also if your to your playlist as well. This plugin uses YouTube iFrame Player API that allows YouTube to serve an HTML5 player instead of Flash Player. This is useful especially for mobile devices that do not use Flash.

Download YouTube Channel Gallery.


Google Calendar Events

Google Calendar Events

Google Calendar Events

This widget parses Google Calendar feeds and displays the events as calendar grid or list in the widget. You can display the event within the calendar grid or have it displayed as a list. The lists and grids can be customized in the posts, pages, and within the widget. The calendar grid lets you have the option to change the month displayed.

Download Google Calendar Events.


Quick Chat

Quick Chat is a chat plugin that supports private chat rooms, avatar, user lists, word filtering, smiles, caching, and more. It is a self hosted chat solution which means all the chat logs are stored in your WordPress database and under your control. There is no monthly fees or limit to the number of users or messages as this plugin relies to your web server capabilities.

The is useful for setting up live help to your website or if you want your visitors to hang out to your page often.

Download Quick Chat.


Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget

Testimonials Widget

This widget lets you randomly slide or list the selected portfolios, reviews or quotes to your WordPress site. The widget can support text, images and even videos to your blog. You can use the widget via shortcode, themes, or widget with category and tag sections and having multiple display options.

The widget supports carousel, fade, and slide transitions. Responsive slide images slide show, slide videos, and more.

Download Testimonials Widget.

How To copy a single post From One WordPress Website to Another

There may be a number of reasons for copying your post or page. For example, you own two WordPress blogs, and you have written some pre-configured post/page with some basic look and want to use same format in another site without worrying about how to format everything. Let us see how to copy specific posts and pages from one of your WordPress site  to another WordPress site.

You can do this in 4 steps.

  1. Create a new category with unique name
  2. Find the post you want to move and put that post in new category.
  3. Export the post in new category.
  4. Import it to new site.

#1: Create a new category

  • From your blog’s dashboard go to Posts » Categories

    add category

    add category

  • Just fill the fields and click Add category button. For eg. here I am going to create a new category called ‘Export’.
    add-category

    create category

    Note: You can leave the slug, Parent and description blank.

#2: Edit the post, assign new category

  • From your blog’s dashboard go to Posts –> All Posts.
  • Find the post you want to copy.
    post-quick-edit

    edit post

    Hover your cursor over the title of that post. Click the small Quick Edit link beneath the post’s name.The post title will expand to become an editing pane:

  • post-quick-edit

    add category here

    Here select the newly created category. Click Update.

#3: Export the post

  • export

    Tools- export

    From your blog’s dashboard, find the “Tools” menu on the left hand side, near the bottom of the dashboard.Choose the “Export”from the list of options.

  • Here you will have and option to decide what you want to export. In step 1 we created a new category and in step 2 we selected the post you want to move and put it in new category. Now we are going to export the post in that category. Click on post and you will see more options.
    export

    select export category

    Select newly crated category here. Click “Download Export File” to create an “XML” file of your entire blog on your computer.

  • export3

    Save XML file

    Save the file in an easy to access folder, or on your desktop. You will need this file in order to import it later.

#4: Import Post to new site

  • tools-import

    tools >> import

    Log into your wordpress blog and find the “Tools” menu on the left hand side, near the bottom of the dashboard.Choose the “Import”from the list of options.

  • Choose the WordPress option.
    choose wordpress

    choose wordpress

    If you haven’t yet installed the importer plugin on This will bring up a popup to install the plugin. Click “Install Now.”

    install plugin

    install plugin

  • After installing and activating the plugin, browse for your XML file on your computer.
    upload file

    upload file

    Click “Upload” to upload the XML file to the new blog.

  • In the next screen, it would ask if you need to create a new user or if you want to assign the posts to existing user.
    assign author

    assign author

    Just select to assign the posts to the existing author user on the destination blog so that she would be author of the WordPress posts imported. Select “Download & import file attachments” to move your media along with the post.

  • Now you are done exporting a single post on the WordPress site. You can open the post in edit mode to make changes.
    edit post

    edit post

    Note: If you do not want to keep the newly created category, you can remove it from post categories or delete it from categories list(go to Post>>categories and delete it).