Widgets Overview Video

Show notes

Widgets do special functions related to the theme or a plugin.

eg. contain a selection of links, mini form, Facebook feed, contain an image.

They appear in the footer of a page or sidebar (mostly on the right).

WordPress has some default widgets (RHS), but themes and plugins can add others.

Widgets can be dragged and dropped to the LHS… these areas correspond to the frontend.

Little triangles open and close the panels.

The general use is dragging widgets from the right to the widget areas on the left. Then configuring it.


Tutorial Overview

Topics covered in this tutorial (click link to jump to topic):

1. What Exactly Is a Widget?
2. Are all themes “Widgetised”?
3. Adding Widgets To Your Site


The Widget Interface

Widgets are the items that live in the left and right areas, or “sidebars”, of your web site. Typically a widget is a menu item or a picture, but it can be a shopping cart summary or a poll of some sort. The widget add and remove interface (pictured right) is “ajaxed”. That means that as you drag and drop and add titles and select options etc, the page can save your choices without refreshing.

What Exactly Is a Widget?

Widgets allow you to quickly and easily customize the side bar area(s) of your site. A widget usually does a specific function, like a calendar, or a menu. You can get widgets that just do text or a picture.

In short, all you do is choose a widget from the menu, and drag and drop it into the position where you would like it to appear on your blog or site, click save, and you’re finished.

Widgets provide you with a way to quickly and easily change your site. They are very easy to setup and the results are immediate.

You can revert back at anytime to “factory condition” specs by deleting the widgets you add to your site. When you do this, the default options will be restored.

Are all themes “Widgetised”?

Mostly yes, but not all. Some themes have a left and a right side bar or two right sidebars. In which case you will have to swap from one sidebar to another before adding widgets to it. If the theme is not widgetised, you can still customize it using the theme editor (bottom option on the Appearance menu) but you will need html and css skills for this.

Every time you select a theme, be aware that each theme already has its on set of widgets pre set. Whenever you go into the widgets menu, and add something, everything else gets erased on that theme (as far as widgets go, on your sidebar). It’s a good idea to have your site open in a new tab prior to changing anything, so you can see where stuff was prior to modifying it.

Adding Widgets To Your Site

Inside the Dashboard, on the left side menu under Appearance, click Widgets. The widgets themselves appear in a column on the left. Click add to shift a widget to the right hand column. This column builds dynamically as you choose widgets on the left. Now click save changes. Now you can reorder the widgets by dragging and dropping them (click save changes again). And finally, you can click edit and change a few settings that are specific to that widget.

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