WordPress: How To Add Widgets To Your Blog Sidebar

A "widget" is a tool that makes it easy to customize your blog by adding and removing functionality. Here's how to add widgets to your blog sidebar in WordPress.
Add Widgets To Your Blog

This free WordPress tutorial will show you step-by-step how to add widgets to your blog sidebar.

How To Add Widgets To Your Blog Sidebar

A “widget” is a tool or piece of content that you can drag and drop to your sidebar or other “widget area” on your blog. It makes it easy to customize your blog by adding and removing functionality. Widgets require no code experience or expertise. They can be added, removed, and rearranged in your Blog Dashboard from the Appearance -> Widgets screen.

Your BlogPress blog comes with several default widgets already added to your sidebar and many more that you can drag and drop into any predefined widget location. (Primary Sidebar, Content Sidebar, Footer Widget Area in the example below – every theme offers a different selection of widget locations.)

Here’s what these default widgets look like on your live blog. (NOTE: This is an empty blog with no posts and no comments, etc. so the widgets that display these items will be empty until we add some content. That’s another reason we stress adding content before changing your theme. :))

Widgets Video Tutorial

Here’s a short video tutorial on how to manage the widgets on your blog.

[wpmudev-video video=”widgets”]

Adding, Ordering, and Removing Widgets

Managing widgets on your blog is as simple as “point-and-click” and “drag-and-drop”.

  1. In your Blog Dashboard, select Appearance -> Widgets.
  2. Choose a Widget and either drag it to the sidebar where you wish it to appear, or click the widget, (select a destination sidebar if your theme has more than one – for our example select the “Content Sidebar” location) and click the Add Widget button.
  3. To arrange the Widgets within the sidebar or Widget area, drag and drop it into place. You can also drag and drop widgets from one widget area to another.
  4. To customize the Widget features, click the down arrow in the upper right corner to expand the Widget’s interface.
  5. To save the Widget’s customization, click Save.
  6. To remove the Widget, click Remove or Delete.


Widget Example

Here’s an example with our sample blog. I moved the search box to the Content Sidebar widget area and added a Visual Editor widget (I love this widget because it provides an easy way to add text, images, etc to your sidebar.)


We’ll get into the details of setting up specific widgets in a future lesson, but at least you get an idea for how to drag and drop widgets. 🙂

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