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Working with WordPress Widgets

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WordPress includes several widgets that make using your website much easier to do—especially without any coding—and getting the look, appearance, and functionality that we want it to have.

Widget Options

There are a couple of different ways that you can get into their widgets. One is to go to the Sidebar Menu, and under Appearance, go to Customize.

This is when you’re customizing the theme that you’re using, how you want it to look. You’ll notice there are a series of different choices on the left—including widgets.

I can go inside of there, and I can deal with adding widgets, reordering widgets.

I’m going to show you a different way—what I prefer to use. So I’m going to X here.

Under Appearance, rather than going to Customize—I’m going to go to Widgets.

This is especially important if you’re not familiar with what widgets you have yet because this will show you all of the widgets that are available to you.

In addition to that, it also shows you where the widget areas are in your particular theme. And currently, in the theme I’m using, you’ll notice that the widgets are all going in the footer.

I can pick from any of these widgets, add them in. I can take any of these widgets and remove them. And you’ll also notice I have down below an area called Inactive Widgets.

Let’s do a couple of things real quick. First of all, let’s say that there’s a widget that I don’t want. Like the Meta one. This is great if you’ve got people signing in and out. But if everybody that’s working on it knows how to get into the site proper, you don’t need this showing up and cluttering up your screen. So I can drag this off. Notice as I drag it anywhere on top of the Available Widgets, there’s a little text that says Deactivate Meta. Once I let go, meta is gone. It’s no longer there. And if I were to go and refresh my screen—you would notice that that widget had disappeared.

In addition to that, I can add other widgets. Let’s say you wanted to have an image up there. Or you wanted to have some random text. I could that and put it up here. I’m putting it up here in the order I want it to be, so if I want it after the search—that’s where I dump it.

You’ll notice, if you recognize from graphics programs, that little compass icon that means “move”—I can change the order any time that I want to, and place it however I want it to show up on my screen.

This is a simple one. I could add text and do a little bit of formatting here. And save that. And that will show up everywhere.

I’ll save that. I’ll go back and refresh. And if I get down to my footer now, you’ll notice there are my widgets—and that should look familiar. That’s the widget text that I just put in.

You’ll notice some ones that are also there, like Recent Post, Recent Comment—as well as categories that I’ve listed for these posts. That’s all this stuff here.

Let’s say, for example, that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep this or not. If I drag this off and deactivate it—I’m going to lose all of the settings that I had there. But this is what the Inactive Widgets is for. It allows me to store widgets that I’ve set up but know if I want to use—but it gives me the option of bringing it back again later if I like it.

I can grab it and throw it here—in Inactive Widgets. And it’s stored— notice it’s still got all of my settings. Then, later on, if I decide I want it back again, I can drag it from there and again add it where I want to here.

That’s how you set up widgets on your WordPress site.

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