WordPress Widgets add content and features to your Sidebars. Examples are the default widgets that come with WordPress; for Categories, Tag cloud, 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. Widgets require no code experience or expertise. They can be added, removed, and rearranged on the Theme Customizer or Appearance > Widgets in the WordPress Administration Screens.
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 Appearance Widgets Screen 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 Glossary#Widget Widgets. If those are insufficient for your needs you can install new ones by searching the WordPress Plugin Directory which is accessible from the WordPress Administration Plugins > Add New Screen.
Before you can add a Widget you must verify that the Theme you're using supports Widgets (more specifically: Glossary#Widget_Area Widget Areas). You can do so by simply navigating to the Appearance menu and looking for a sub menu titled "Widgets".
If your Theme supports Theme Customizer then you can use the following Steps. In Theme Customizer, the live preview of changes is available.
If your Theme does not support Theme Customizer then you can use the following conventional steps:
If you want to remove the widget but save its setting for possible future use, just drag it into the Inactive Widgets area. You can add them back anytime from there. This is especially helpful when you switch to a theme with fewer or different widget areas.
When changing themes, there is often some variation in the number and setup of widget areas/sidebars and sometimes these conflicts make the transition a bit less smooth. If you changed themes and seem to be missing widgets, scroll down on the screen to the Inactive Widgets area, where all of your widgets and their settings will have been saved.
Enabling Accessibility Mode, via Screen Options, allows you to use Add and Edit buttons instead of using drag and drop.
While widget areas typically occur in webpage sidebars, a theme can place widget areas anywhere on a page. For example, besides the usual sidebar locations, the Twenty Fourteen theme has a widget area in the footer of every page.
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.
To specifically style the various default styles of the WordPress Text Widget, refer the following example. Notice that Automatically add paragraphs option is enabled for Second Text Widget.
<div id="widget-area" class="widget-area" role="complementary"> <aside id="text-1" class="widget widget_text"><h2 class="widget-title">Widget Title for First Text Widget</h2> <div class="textwidget">Text within the text widget area.</div> </aside> <aside id="text-2" class="widget widget_text"><h2 class="widget-title">Widget Title for Second Text Widget</h2> <div class="textwidget"><p>Text for second widget text area.</p></div> </aside> </div><!-- .widget-area -->
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.
The RSS Widget 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 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 Widget displays 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.