How to Add Widgets to Wordpress

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Wordpress is one of the big names in content management and blogging. With the flexibility of using Wordpress as a blog or platform for a website, it's no wonder sites like CBS New York and the MTV Newsroom use it. Ease of use, site navigation, search engine optimization and content widgets are just a few of Wordpress's defining features.

  • Log into your Wordpress account by using your admin username and password. In order to install widgets onto your blog or website, you'll need to have at least one sidebar enabled. If the theme you're using for your site doesn't allow sidebar activation, pick a new layout for your site.

  • Click on the "Appearance" option in the admin menu to your left, toward the bottom of the page. This will open the appearance options where you can change things such as widgets, backgrounds, menus and theme options.

  • Select "Widgets" from the list. If your blog is hosted on Wordpress.com, you'll only be able to use the widgets that are preinstalled on each blog. However, if you host Wordpress through your own web host, you may search through all available widgets for things such as Amazon listings, Facebook fans and more.

  • Click on the search function within the widget menu to search for new widgets. Note, this step is only for users who host Wordpress on their own sites. These options are not available to Wordpress.com users. When you find the widget or plug-in you're looking for, click on "Install." After the widget finishes installing, return to the main widget page to place those widgets on your sidebar.

  • Drag and drop the widgets you'd like to show in your sidebar by clicking on the name of the widget on your widgets page and dragging its icon under the "Sidebar 1" or "Sidebar 2" heading. The headings shown will depend on the kind of layout you have selected for your Wordpress blog or website. This action can be done on all Wordpress blogs. Again, Wordpress.com users may use widgets, but they're limited to the ones Wordpress has preinstalled. These widgets include archives, blog stats, calendars, Flickr, blog clouds, Twitter, recent posts and more.

  • Click the blue "Save" button within that widget's option menu once you're finished. Some widgets come with additional options. For example, the "Archives" widget allows you to add a title and set it as a drop-down menu, as well as an option to show post counts or not. Many of the preinstalled widgets offer options along these lines. This allows for more customization. After saving your widget placement and options, view the changes by clicking on the name of your site in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Make any necessary changes to your widgets until you're happy with their appearance.

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