How To Add Widgets To WordPress?

Creating a WordPress website is easy, but adding widgets is also much easier. Widgets are designed to make your site more interactive and dynamic. Widgets allow you to add things like social media feeds, photo galleries, contact forms, recent-popular posts, or live chat on any page of your site without going into the code for your theme. 

That means that anyone with basic HTML knowledge or even no coding experience can use or add a widget to their WordPress sidebar by simply clicking “Add” next to the widget from their WordPress dashboard.

There are some exceptions where adding widgets may not work well with certain themes so it’s always best to check with your theme designer before adding new ones in order to avoid breaking anything.

What are WordPress widgets?

WordPress uses a system called widgets that allows you to add things like slideshows, custom menus, and social media feeds & more to your site sidebar area. For beginners, this is an easy way to start adding dynamic content to your site.

Widgets can be found in WordPress’ Widget section, which is accessible from the Appearance menu in your WordPress dashboard. There are two different kinds of widgets: permanent and transient.

What are the benefits of using widgets?

Widgets have many benefits. First, they are easy to use and only take a few seconds to add to any page on your site. Second, they allow you to add dynamic content without having to edit your theme files. Third, widgets are mobile-friendly and will work on any device. Finally, widgets are easy to remove if you no longer want them on your site.

How to Add Widgets in WordPress (After 5.8 Version)

Adding a widget in the sidebar in WordPress 5.8 version is different from earlier versions. Here’s how:

In the new version, you have to add a widget from your Gutenberg block. The process as post or page editor. Using this new feature adding a widget in the sidebar is easier. You can control and design widgets professionally using the Gutenberg block. 

block widgets

So, you never need to learn extra to design a sidebar widget in the WordPress new version.

How to Add Widgets in WordPress Using Dashboard? (Before 5.8 Version)

There are many ways to add widgets in WordPress. Most themes come with widgets available right out of the box. You can also add a widget by adding a shortcode to your site template, which will allow you to put it in a certain area of your site.

Adding Widget Using WordPress Dashboard

To add widgets using the dashboard, follow these steps:

Log in to your WordPress dashboard.  Click on Appearance and then select Widgets on the left-hand side menu of the screen. Click the widget you would like to add and drag it into the sidebar or any other area on your site template where you would like the widget to appear. You will see a dialog box that tells you the widget has been successfully placed.


You can also click on a widget title that you want to add to your site sidebar, then select your sidebar location and finally click on the ‘Add widget’.

There is an accessibility mode that lets you access WordPress widgets easily. To use it, just enable accessibility mode from the right corner of the widget window.

enable accessiblity mode

The ‘Add’ button will now be available on every widget. Now clicking on the button will take you to an accessible screen where you can more easily find your content and widget setting options.

manage accessiblity mode

Another way, you can add the widget to your sidebar using the live preview option. If you use live preview, you will be able to see how the widget would look before adding it.

To add a widget using live preview mode, just simply go to WordPress appearance>theme customizer then finds the widget. Then select your desired widget section and find your widget block and finally click on the ‘Add widget’

How to Remove a Widget in WordPress?

The process of removing a widget is very similar to adding one. Log in to your WordPress dashboard, then select appearance>widgets and click on the title of the widget you’d like to remove.

delete widget

You can also remove a widget using accessibility mode in the WordPress widgets area. Just click on the ‘Screen Options’ tab and select the check box for accessibility mode. Now you will see an additional link which is called ‘Remove Widget’.

If you want to remove the widget in a specific section, you can do it directly from that section.

You can also inactive a widget easily and change its setting to inactive. Doing an inactive widget is simple, just simply drag and drop a widget to the inactive widget section.

inactive widgets

You can use your inactive widget anytime you want to. Just simply change the widget settings back to active, then you can drag and drop into your desired sidebar location again.

If you want to add multiple widgets into the same location, you can do it easily by dragging your inactive widget from the section and drop onto any area or sidebar that you want to add.

How to Add a Widget Using Shortcodes in WordPress?

To use shortcode, just simply go to your WordPress dashboard>widgets then click the text widget and drag it to the sidebar location. Then open the text block widget and paste your shortcode here and finally click on the save button of the widget.

add shortcode widget

What Kind of Widgets are Available for WordPress?

There are several types of widgets that you can add to your site template in WordPress.  Let’s take a look at some of the most common widgets available:

By default Text Widget, custom HTML, search, recent post, category, image, tag cloud, comment, and more.

Besides, many WordPress themes are providing different types of widgets.  So if you use the best quality premium WordPress theme, you will get lots of widgets that you can add to your WordPress, which will make your site more attractive and fantastic.

Top WordPress Custom Widget Plugin

Using a Custom Widget control plugin, you can add any custom widget and control them according to your need. It is very simple. You can use the Widget Options plugin that is very popular among WordPress users.

To install this plugin, just simply go to WordPress dashboard>plugins section then find and click the ‘add new‘ button.

Then you will see the plugin page, search for ‘Widget Options’ then click on the ‘install now’ button. After that, just simply click on activate the plugin and you’re done!

Widget Options plugin

Now with the Widget options plugin, you are able to control more of your existing widget and add brand new widget blocks.

You can also remove the default widget provided by WordPress and replace it with a custom one or disable the existing widget in your WordPress.

In Conclusion

The process of adding a widget to your WordPress is very similar to removing it. So if you are a newbie in this field, don’t worry about that! You just have some try before you can do the right thing.

Hope my article will help you understand more about how to add a widget into your WordPress easily without any trouble. If you have any questions or ideas regarding this topic, just feel free to post your comment here.

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Palash Talukdar is a digital marketer & the founder of WP Basic Pro. He has been building and managing WordPress websites for 5+ years. He loves to write about WordPress, SEO, marketing, productivity, and web performance.

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