How to Add a Widget

To add widgets to an area on your website, look down the left hand column and find the word Appearance. Expand the menu if you need to and then click on the word Widgets.

WordPress widgetsThis will bring you to a screen that shows you both the widgets that are available for you to use (listed on the left hand side) and on the right hand side, you will see the areas that the theme you are using will allow you to display widgets on. A area would be named something like Sidebar, Right or Left Hand Column, Footer, etc..

If you scroll down further, you will see Inactive Widgets. Why there is already a bunch of inactive widgets there is unclear to me since they’re mainly duplicates of the Available widgets, and Available widgets can generally be used more than once. Go figure…something to look into someday I suppose.

Anyhow, let’s say you’ve added a widget to your site and then decide not to use it right now, but may choose to use it later on. You can drag that widget to the Inactive Widgets section. This way, if you decide to use that widget again, you can just drag it back up to where you want it to show up on your again without losing any settings that the widget may have.

As an example of making a widget appear on your website, let’s add the list of Links to your website. I’ve included a screen below for you to see as an example. Click on the image to make it larger.

  • Choose what area you want to display it in in from the list of available areas the right hand column (you need to click on the arrow to expand the area if it’s not already expanded so that you can add a widget there)
  • Put your cursor over the word Links that is under Available Widgets. The WordPress theme that you are using may even have included a custom Links Widget that adds some styling to match your website. Look for a custom Link Widget first, and if one is not available, use WordPress’s default Link Widget.
  • Click and drag it to that section that you just expanded.

Now take a look at your site to see the Links widget that you’ve added. To view your site, scroll up to the top of your Dashboard and click on the name of your site in the left hand column. I suggest opening it up in a new tab so that you can easily get back and forth from your Dashboard to your website.

add links widget