Do you know what a widget is? I am sure you do if you have used WordPress very much. Basically, a Widget is just an item that you use to add content or featured items, ads or other things in places that are predefined in your WordPress Theme.
Almost all WordPress Widgets these days support Widgets. There may be a few that don’t, especially older themes, but anything made in the past few years should support widgets.
Most themes that support Widgets allow you to place widgets in the sidebars and the footer. A few themes also allow you to place widgets in other places, especially using widgets to populate your home page with custom content.
What kinds of items can you place in your widget areas? Have a look:
- Custom Menu
- Meta Data
- Recent Comments
- Recent Posts
- RSS Feeds from other sites
- Tag Cloud
- Others from various plugins and themes
With the Text Widget you can put virtually anything in a widget area, it is very versatile.
To access Widgets and use them, you should go to the Widgets page, which is under the Appearance menu in your WordPress Admin area.
Once you are there, in the middle of the page you will see a lot of available widgets. Select the “Custom Menu” widget, grab it with your mouse and drag it to the right into the widget area where you wish to see it on your blog. You will then select which custom menu (which you should have already created by reading last week’s article on WP-StepByStep) you want to use. You will give a title to the menu, if you wish, it is not required. Then, click Save, and the custom menu should now appear in a widgeted area on your blog! Go have a look and verify that it is there.
We will talk more about widgets soon, as they can be very handy in customizing the looks of your WordPress site. Perhaps widgets are the thing that allows you the most customization to the looks of your site! They are very powerful, and make it easy for even a novice to achieve a great look on their website!