How to Use Wordpress Widgets

A widget is a recent feature used to help customize the Wordpress blog installation. It is similar to a plugin and new widgets even upload into the Wordpress plugins folder. Widgets provide a method of displaying your Wordpress links, ads, text and other information in your sidebar without the need to understand much about how wordpress works. They provide a graphical interface with drag and drop capabilities. Although wordpress 2.2 or greater already comes with a variety of Widgets pre-installed, there are also many other free widgets with many different uses across the internet that can be uploaded to the plugins folder on the webhost for use. This "How to" begins with the assumption that the reader has a copy of Wordpress 2.2 or greater installed on their webhost and it is setup correctly. If version 2.2 or greater is not installed, it is best to upgrade or perform a clean install with the latest available version of Wordpress because it already comes with the widgets template and a variety of Widgets pre-installed.

Things You'll Need

  • Wordpress 2.2 or later (latest version is always best)
  • Access to webhost
  • FTP or other method of accessing webhost


  1. Setup

    • 1

      Download Wordpress 2.2 or later with widgets enabled.

    • 2

      Install Wordpress.

    • 3

      Make sure everything is installed correctly before customizing is done.

    To Add widgets to Sidebar

    • 4

      Click on the Presentation tab at the top menu in Wordpress.

    • 5

      Click on the Widgets tab on the sub menu and the Sidebar Arranngement page should appear with a Default Sidebar box and rows of Available Widgets at the bottom.

    • 6

      Choose the widget needed.

    • 7

      Drag the widget box into the Default Sidebar box above the widgets area, which will add it to your current side bar.

    • 8

      Rearrange widget position by dragging it where it is needed.

    • 9

      Click on "Save changes."

    To Add New Widgets

    • 10

      Locate the widget you need online.

    • 11

      Download the widget.

    • 12

      Open up a connection to the remote location where Wordpress is located with FTP or other method.

    • 13

      Browse your remote file structure and find the "plugins" folder.

    • 14

      Locate the widget on your local hard drive.

    • 15

      Upload the widget into your plugins folder and it should now show up in the Available Widgets area of the Widgets tab in Wordpress.

    Configuring Available Widgets in Use

    • 16

      Go to the Widgets tab.

    • 17

      Scroll down to the Default Sidebar where the list of Widgets that are currently in use are located.

    • 18

      Click on the three-line icon on the right side of a widget tag and a window box will popup. This is where its contents can be edited and preferences can be chosen.

    • 19

      Add a header, which is the title that will show in the public Sidebar section.

    • 20

      Add or edit the text below the header.

    • 21

      Close the box.

    • 22

      Click "Save changes."

    Adding More than One Copy of Widgets to Sidebar

    • 23

      Go to the Widgets tab.

    • 24

      Scroll down to the Available Widgets at the bottom.

    • 25

      Find the widget needed.

    • 26

      Click on the dropdown menu to add as many copies of that particular widget as needed.

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