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WordPress Widgets add content and features to your Sidebars. Examples are the default widgets that come with WordPress; for post categories, tag clouds, navigation, search, etc. Plugins will often add their own widgets.
Widgets were originally designed to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress Theme to the user, which is now available on properly "widgetized" WordPress Themes to include the header, footer, and elsewhere in the WordPress design and structure.
Some WordPress Widgets offer customization and options such as forms to fill out, includes or excludes of data and information, optional images, and other customization features.
The Widgets SubPanel explains how to use the various Widgets that come delivered with WordPress.
Plugins that come bundled with widgets can be found in the WordPress Plugin Directory.
WordPress comes pre-packaged with a variety of Widgets. If those are insufficient for your needs you can install new ones by searching the WordPress Plugins Directory which is accessible from the Plugins -> Add New menu.
Before you can add a Widget you must verify that the Theme you're using supports Widgets (more specifically: Widget Areas). You can do so by simply navigating to the Appearance menu and looking for a sub menu titled "Widgets". If it does, you can add widgets by following these steps:
If you change WordPress Themes, the Widgets will return to the left side of the page in the Widget Archives or Available Widgets list. You may need to add them again and rearrangement depending upon the Theme's ability to preserve other Theme's Widgets.
If you would like to place a Widget somewhere on your Theme that does not have a pre-defined Widget Area, you will need some programming knowledge and should follow the instructions on the Widgets API section found here.
The Text Widget is one of the most commonly used WordPress Widgets that comes with every WordPress installation. It allows users to add text, video, images, custom lists, and more to their WordPress sites.
To use the WordPress Text Widget:
To open and edit the Text Widget:
The Text Widget can hold a variety of HTML, XHTML, and multimedia links and players such as video and object embeds.
Standard image alignment CSS styles such as alignleft, alignright, and aligncenter apply for images.
To specifically style the various default styles of the WordPress Text Widget, use the following example:
<div id="primary" class="sidebar"> <ul> <li id="text-1" class="widget widget_text"><h3 class="widgettitle">Widget Title for First Text Widget</h3> <div class="textwidget">Text within the text widget area.</div> </li> <li id="text-2" class="widget widget_text"><h3 class="widgettitle">Widget Title for Second Text Widget</h3> <div class="textwidget"><p>Text for second widget text area.</p></div> </li> </ul> </div>
To add active code to the Text Widget, use one of the many WordPress Plugins from the WordPress Plugin Directory that override WordPress restrictions on using PHP in posts. Check that they will work on Widgets as some will not.
There are two built-in WordPress RSS or Feed Widgets. The RSS Links displays a list of the links to various core WordPress feeds on your site for Posts and Comments. The RSS allows you to integrate an external feed source for content into a Widget area of your site, such as your Twitter account, Facebook posts, Google+ posts, or other blogs.
The RSS Links Widget offers the option to title the section and choose which type of feeds to offer to visitors to add to their feed reader. This widget does not display feed content, just the links to the feeds.
The visitor will typically click the link to add the feed to their feed reader.
The RSS Widget displays the most recently published content from any source with an active feed. This is an ideal way of integrating outside content into your site.
By default, WordPress RSS Widgets display the post title or the first 100 or so characters of a Tweet or long untitled post. These are either in the form of a link or features a link to the original source depending upon the feed's design and structure.
You may add multiple RSS Widgets for incoming feeds to your WordPress sidebar and other widgetized areas of your site.