What are WordPress Widgets? What They Are and How to Use Them

WordPress Widgets

WordPress is among the most preferred platforms for building beautiful and flexible websites. One feature that makes it a preferred choice for most web developers is the ability to add WordPress Widgets.

If you are looking for better ways to streamline your website, widgets will make your work easier by allowing you to add more functionality without writing any code.

This tutorial will help you understand WordPress widgets and how to add (and remove) them to your WordPress site. You’ll also get a list of the best WordPress widgets you can add to your website to achieve specific functions.

Key Takeaways

  1. WordPress widgets are used to customize websites, display extra content and add more functionality without writing codes.
  2. WordPress widgets can be displayed on the header, footer, sidebar, or inline within the content on any WordPress website.
  3. You can add many types of widgets to your site, including Text widgets, image widgets, video widgets, social media icon widgets, recent posts widgets, and Call to Action widgets.
  4. Some of the best WordPress widgets include the Advanced Random Posts Widget, Popups by Optinmonster, Ninja forms, Ultimately Social Media Icons, Relevanssi, and Custom Twitter Feeds widget.
  5. You can add widgets to your website from the WordPress admin screen, the theme customizer, or the Gutenberg editor.
  6. If you want to disable WordPress widgets, you can manually delete them, mark them as inactive, or use the Widget Disable plugin.
  7. Avoid adding too many widgets on your site as it may clog and slow the site down.

 

What are WordPress Widgets?

WordPress widgets are small blocks of content that enable you to add specific features to your website and can be displayed in particular areas like the header, sidebar, or footer.

Widget areas contain anything from texts and images to menus and social media buttons. They are a versatile way to customize your site without editing your theme code.

For instance, you can use a widget to display the latest tweets from your Twitter feed or show a list of your most recent blog posts. In most cases, all you need to do is drag and drop the widget into place. You can then customize the widget to match the theme of your site.

 

What Exactly are Widgets Used For?

Widgets are used for a variety of functions on WordPress websites. Many web developers and website owners use them to:

1. Customize the site: WordPress widgets are a powerful tool used to customize the look and feel of websites.

2. Display extra content: While they are often used to display content in sidebars and footers, they are also used in headers or within the body of posts and pages to display extra content.

3. Add Functionality: Widgets allow you to add extra functionality to your site without the headache of coding.

For instance, if you want to add a calendar to your website, you could simply find a calendar widget and add it to your site without coding it yourself. This is useful if you have events or other dates you want to highlight for your website visitors.

 

Where You Can Display WordPress Widgets

Before using widgets, you need to know where to display them on your site. Here are some of the best places to display your WordPress widgets:

1. Sidebars

One of the most popular places for WordPress widgets is in the sidebar. They are an excellent place for widgets since they’re located near the page content, making them easy for visitors to find. Sidebars are also relatively narrow and don’t take up too much space on the page.

You can either add your widgets on the primary sidebar (on the right hand side) or on the secondary sidebar (on the left hand side).

2. Footer Widget Areas

The footer is a good place to display widgets that you want to be visible on every page of your site but don’t want to take up space in the sidebars. Footer widget areas are located at the bottom of the website and are divided into columns, usually between one and four.

Footer widgets with three columns

3. Headers

Headers are also a good place for widgets because they’re usually located at the top of the page, making them easy for visitors to find.

However, they are relatively narrow and might not accommodate as many widgets as sidebars or footers.

4. Inline Within Content

Some WordPress themes also allow you to display WordPress widgets inline within your content. For instance, you can display a widget after the first paragraph of a blog post or before the comments section.

 

Widgets vs. Plugins: What’s the Difference Between Them?

WordPress widgets and plugins may appear similar, but they are pretty different in appearance and functionality.

While widgets are simple and add basic (and limited) functionality to your website, WordPress plugins are usually more complex and offer more robust features and functionality.

For instance, a plugin may allow you to create an online store or add a contact form to your WordPress site, something you can’t do with a simple widget.

Another difference is that you can add widgets directly to your WordPress website without any coding knowledge, while plugins require some coding to be added to a WordPress website. Plugins are generally more complex and challenging to set up than widgets.

 

Types of WordPress Widgets

WordPress Widgets

There are hundreds of widgets available for WordPress users, each with a unique set of features. Here are 15 of the most popular WordPress widgets you can add to your site:

1. Text Widget

The Text Widget is one of the most versatile widgets in WordPress. You can use this widget type to display text, images, HTML, or a combination of all three. You can also use it to:

  • Create custom menus
  • Insert advertising codes
  • Add a short bio
  • Display contact information or other static content

You simply add a text widget to your sidebar or other widget area and then add your preferred content.

2. Image Widgets

Image widgets are precisely what they sound like: widgets that display images. These can be useful for displaying photos of your team, products, or services.

Many image widgets also allow you to add links to the images, making them perfect for creating image galleries that link to full-size versions of the images.

3. Video Widgets

Video widgets are other excellent widgets that allow you to embed videos in your sidebar or other widgetized areas on your site. These can be videos you’ve uploaded to a video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo or videos hosted on your own server.

Video widgets allow you to add engaging content to your site without taking up too much space in your sidebar.

4. Recent Posts Widget

If you want your visitors to find your recent blog posts quickly, the Recent Posts Widgets will come in handy. This widget displays your site’s most recent posts in a list format and is a great way to encourage visitors to explore your archives.

5. Social Media  Widget

The Social Media Buttons widget is another popular widget that allows you to add social media buttons (such as Facebook Like, Twitter Follow, or LinkedIn share) to your website. This is a great way to share your posts on social media, grow your following and get more traffic to your site.

6. Search Widget

Have you tried to find something on someone’s website but to no avail? Maybe they forgot to install the search widget.

The Search Widget is a great way to allow visitors to search your site for the information they’re looking for. Simply add the widget to a sidebar, header, or footer area, and the visitors will be able to search your site from any content or page.

7. Email Widget

An email list is one of the best ways to capture leads on your website. An Email Widget allows you to collect email addresses from your website visitors and add them to an email list.

This is a great way to build an audience for your website and send out newsletters, announcements, or special offers.

8. Shopping Cart Widget

If you sell digital products like eBooks, courses, or services online through your website, you’ll want to ensure you have a shopping cart widget installed on the website. Shopping cart widgets allow customers to browse and purchase items directly from your website.

9. Map Widget

A Map Widget is a great way to display a map on your website if your business has some physical locations that your customers may need to find.

It could be a map of your business location, a product pick-up center, or one showing where your products are shipped.

10. Forms Widget

Forms are essential to websites but can be challenging to create without coding knowledge. If you use WordPress, you don’t need to worry.

Form widgets make adding forms to your WordPress site easy without hiring a developer or learning how to code.

Examples of forms you can embed using forms widgets include:

  • Contact forms
  • Event registration forms
  • Customer feedback forms
  • Survey forms
  • Online order forms
  • Account sign-up forms

11. Meta Widget

The meta widget allows logged-in users to access Meta information about your sites, such as site administration links and recent comments.

This is an excellent way for logged-in users to easily access these features without going through your site’s admin area. Meta widgets usually come in the form of a sidebar widget or a footer widget.

12. Call to Action Widget

As a website owner, you don’t just want people to visit your website and leave without taking any action. The call-to-action (CTA) widget is one of the essential widgets for any business owner.

It allows you to add CTA buttons to your sidebar or other widgetized areas of your site.

Some practical CTA buttons to add to your website include:

  • Sign up/subscribe
  • Buy now
  • Download now
  • Click here
  • Read more

13. Calendar Widgets

Calendar widgets can be used to display events or deadlines on your website. This is a great way to keep visitors informed about what’s going on with your business or organization.

You can also use calendar widgets to mark important dates (e.g., promotion dates) so your web visitors won’t miss the opportunity.

Calendar widget on the sidebar

14. Categories Widgets

You may want to make it easier for your website visitors to sort through your blogs and find the exact post they need. This is where the Categories Widgets come in handy.

If you publish content on different topics, you can install the categories widget and use it to display your posts on various categories.

15. Weather Forecast Widget

Another great WordPress widget not commonly used is the Weather Forecast widget. This widget allows you to add a weather forecast to your website and is a great way to provide visitors with up-to-date information about the local weather conditions.

Expert Tip: You don’t need to install all these widgets as they may clog your website and slow down its functionality. Simply choose the ones needed most and position them strategically for optimal performance. 

 

10 best WordPress Widgets for Your Website

There are several WordPress widgets on the market, and as a website owner, you may be confused about which one to install on your site.

To make your work easier, here is a list of the ten best WordPress widgets that you should add to your WordPress website for better functionality and performance:

1. Advanced Random Posts Widget

Advanced Random Posts Widget

One of the best ways to keep your website fresh and give your visitors new content to explore is through the Advanced Random Posts Widget.

This widget allows you to display random posts on your website in various ways. You can choose to display them as a list, grid, or with thumbnails.

You can also control how many posts and which post types to display.

Number of downloads: 20,000+

Price: Free

WordPress.org rating: 4/5 | 30 reviews

Notable features:

  • Display random posts
  • Custom post types support
  • Category exclude option
  • Widget visibility options

2. Ultimately Social Media Icons Widget

Ultimately Social Media Icons Widget

Sharing your content on social media is inevitable; that’s why you need a social icon widget on your site.

Ultimately Social Media Icons Widget allows you to add multiple social media icons to your website so that visitors can easily follow you, like, or share your content on their favorite social platforms.

The icons are fully customizable and can be placed anywhere on your site.

Number of downloads: 200,000+

Price: Free | Premium from $24.98/year

WordPress.org rating: 4.9/5 | 4520 reviews

Notable features:

  • A variety of icon sets
  • Range of button designs (floating buttons, animations, pop-ups, etc.)
  • Customize icon colors and layout
  • Display follower counter
  • Easy to use

3. Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms Widget

Ninja Forms is a powerful widget that allows you to create beautiful custom forms for your website. It includes a drag-and-drop builder to easily create complex forms with multiple fields without any codes.

You can use it to create contact forms, survey forms, and many other supported forms.

Number of downloads: 900,000+

Price: Free | Premium from $49/year

Rating:  4.5/5 | 1120 reviews

Notable features:

  • Drag and drop form builder
  • Pre-built form templates
  • Conditional logic
  • Payment integrations
  • Unlimited forms

4. Jetpack

Jetpack is a popular widget that allows you to add a variety of features to your WordPress site. This widget can add social media icons, contact forms, or even eCommerce functionality.

Number of downloads: 5+ million

Price: Free

Rating:  4.7/5 | 2320 reviews

Notable features:

  • Highly customizable
  • Add social media icons
  • Contact forms
  • Ecommerce functionality
  • Security features

5. Popups by OptinMonster

Popups Widget by OptinMonster

Popups are a great way to capture leads or get people to sign up for your newsletter or email list.

OptinMonster’s popup widget offers the best way to do it. This widget comes with various features and enables you to integrate your site with email marketing services like Mailchimp.

Number of downloads: 1+ million

Price: Free

WordPress.org rating: 4.4/5 |161 reviews

Notable features:

  • Exit intent (displays the popup when someone is about to leave your site)
  • Page-level targeting (enable you to target specific pages with specific popups)
  • Supports contact export
  • 14-day money-back guarantee

6. Relevanssi

Relevanssi WordPress Widget

Relevanssi is an advanced search widget that improves the search experience on your WordPress site. It provides relevant results based on your visitor’s search query, making it more likely that they’ll find what they’re looking for and stay on your site longer.

Number of downloads: 100,0000+

Price: Free | Premium from $99/year

WordPress.org rating: 4.7/5 | 227 reviews

Notable features:

  • Add custom search fields
  • Search across multiple sites
  • Search within PDFs
  • Search for phrases with quotes
  • Display results by relevance

7. Custom Twitter Feeds Widget

Custom Twitter Feeds Widget

The Custom Twitter Feeds is another great widget you may want to add to your WordPress site.

This widget allows you to display tweets from any Twitter account on your site. You can use it to display your latest tweets, offering a great way to engage with your audience.

Number of downloads: 100,000+

Price: Free | Premium from $49/year

WordPress.org rating: 4.1/5 | 365 reviews

Notable features:

  • Highly customizable
  • Feeds are search engine crawlable
  • Display multiple feeds from different accounts
  • Mobile optimized

 

8. WP Live Chat Support

WP Live Chat Support Widget

WP Live Chat Support widget has become the best tool website owners use to engage their visitors continuously. This widget allows you to add live chat support to your website, which helps you respond to customer queries anytime.

The widget is highly customizable so that you can match it to the look and feel of your site.

Number of downloads: 30,000+

Price: Free

WordPress.org rating: 4.7/5 | 763 reviews

Notable features:

  • Six chat box designs to choose from
  • Place the chat box wherever you want
  • Quick response
  • Make free calls
  • Custom offline message forms

9. The Events Calendar Widget

The Events Calendar Widget

The Events Calendar widget allows you to display upcoming events on your WordPress site. This is a great way to keep people informed about what’s going on with your business and increase brand awareness.

Number of downloads: 800,000+

Price: Free

WordPress.org rating: 4.7/5 | 1,760 reviews

Notable features:

  • Highly customizable
  • Rapidly create events
  • Saved venues and organizers
  • Event list view
  • Google maps

10. EnviraGallery

EnviraGallery Widget

EnviraGallery is a powerful image gallery widget that allows you to easily create beautiful photo or video galleries.

With EnviraGallery, you can easily add images, videos, and even audio files to your galleries. The widget also includes several templates and themes so you can customize the look and feel of your galleries.

Number of downloads: 100,000+

Price: Free

WordPress.org rating: 4.8/5 | 1054 reviews

Notable features:

  • Drag and drop gallery builder
  • Social sharing ready
  • Mobile responsive
  • Slideshow with autoplay
  • Deep Linking for SEO

 

How to Add Widgets in WordPress

Adding widgets in WordPress is easy! In just a few clicks, you can add powerful features to your site that will engage and delight your visitors.

You can add widgets to your site using three easy methods:

  1. From the WordPress Admin Screen
  2. From the Theme Customizer
  3. Using the Gutenberg Editor

Adding Widgets from WordPress Admin Screen

To add WordPress widgets from the WordPress admin screen, follow the procedure below:

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to the Appearance > Widgets page.

Wordpress widgets page

On the Widgets page, you’ll see a list of available widgets on the left (with a title and brief description), a preview of your website’s sidebar on the right, and an indication of their location.

  1. To add a widget to your sidebar, simply drag and drop it from the left side to the right.

Drag and drop WordPress widgets

You can also reorder the placement of your widget by dragging them up or down. Once you’re happy with the widget placement, click the Save button at the bottom of the page, and you’ll be able to see the new feature when you view your website from the front end.

Adding Widgets from the WordPress Theme Customizer

You can add widgets to your WordPress site from the theme customizer instead of the admin screen. To do that, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard
  2. Navigate to appearance>Customize

Widgets from WordPress theme customizer

  1. Once the customizer opens, you’ll see the Widgets section on the dropdown menu.
  2. Select widgets and choose where you want to add the widget from the options provided (the sidebar or footer)
  3. Click Add a widget and search for the widget you want to add to your site.

Add widgets from the theme customizer

If you wish, you can change the title of the widget or, better still, leave it with the default name.

After adding all the widgets you want, click Publish to save the changes, and the new features will appear on the front end of your website.

You can use the same process to add as many widgets as you want at any time.

Adding Widgets Using the Gutenberg Editor

The third method you can use to add WordPress widgets to your site is through the Gutenberg editor if you use it to publish your content.

This method involves adding blocks to your website content.

To use this method, follow the procedure below:

  1. Log in to your WordPress administrator dashboard
  2. Add a new page or post, open an existing page or post, then click edit.
  3. After writing the page or post title, take your pointer to the bottom center and see a circle with a small plus sign appear. You can also click the plus circle in the top left corner of the editor, and the widgets window will pop up.

Adding widgets through Gutenberg Editor

Select Blocks and scroll down the window to see the widgets.

  1. From the list of widgets available, select the one you’d like to add to your post or page. You can also search for a widget that doesn’t appear in the list.
  2. Click Publish/Update in the top right corner, and your changes will be saved.

Widgets on Guternberg Editor

 

How to Disable WordPress Widgets

When designing your website, sometimes you may need to disable WordPress widgets.

Maybe you’re working on a site and don’t want certain features to be active yet. Or you’re troubleshooting an issue and need to rule out a plugin or widget as the cause.

Whatever the reason, there are three main methods you can use to disable WordPress Widgets:

  1. Manually deleting
  2. Marking widgets as inactive
  3. Using a plugin to disable.

Lets’ see how to delete widgets using each of the three methods:

Method 1: Manually delete the widgets

The first method is to delete the widget from your WordPress site manually. To do this, log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Widgets in your WordPress dashboard.

Once there, you’ll see a list of your site’s available widgets. Find the widget you want to delete and click on the Delete button.

Manually deleting widgets

You can also delete through the customizer by navigating to Appearance>Customize>Widgets. Open the widgets panel and find the widget you want to delete.

Select it and click Remove, then click Publish at the top right corner of the customizer to save the changes.

Click Remove to delete widgets

The widget will be permanently deleted from your site.

Method 2: Marking widgets as ‘Inactive.’

The second method is to mark the widget as inactive. If you don’t want to remove widgets from your site permanently, you can inactivate them and reactivate them later when you want to use them.

To mark widgets as inactive, login to the WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Widgets page. Find the widget you want to deactivate and click on the Inactive link.

Mark widgets as inactive

Alternatively, you can drag and drop it from the widgets area to the inactive widgets area.

Inactive WordPress widgets

This will remove the widget from your sidebar but won’t delete it entirely from your site.

Method 3: Using a plugin to disable

If you don’t want to manually delete or mark widgets as inactive, you can use a plugin to disable them. One popular plugin we recommend for this purpose is called Widget Disable plugin.

You’ll need to start installing and activating the Widget Disable plugin on your WordPress site first.

When logged in to your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins and click Add new.

Adding the Widgets Disable plugin

Use the search button at the top right corner to search for the Widget Disable plugin.

Search the Widget Disable plugin

When the plugin shows up, click Install Now.

Install Widget Disable plugin

After installing the plugin, activate it before you can use it to remove any widget from your widget list.

Now, go back to Appearance and select Disable Widgets. You’ll be able to choose the location of the widgets you want to disable (Either sidebar or dashboard widget).

Select widgets to disable

Check the box against all the widgets you want to disable and click Save Changes at the bottom left of the plugin.

You can always reopen the Widgets Disable plugin at any time and uncheck any widget you want to enable again. However, any settings you made on the widget previously will be lost, and you’ll need to add the settings again.

Save changes on the Widget Disable plugin

The Widget Disable plugin does not delete widgets from your site but only hides them from the front view.

Expert advice: It’s important to disable only widgets that you are not currently using since deleting them removes even the settings and may disrupt the frontend appearance of your website.

 

How to Import and Export WordPress Widgets

You may need to import or export your WordPress widgets for one reason or another. For instance, if you’re moving to a new host or changing WordPress themes, you may want the widgets you installed on your previous site to come to the new site.

You can import and export widgets using the built-in WordPress importer/exporter plugin or install a more advanced plugin for the same purpose.

Using the Built-in WordPress Importer/Exporter

To import and export WordPress widgets using the inbuilt WordPress importer/exporter, follow the procedure below:

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Tools > Export.
  2. On the next page, you’ll see a list of content types you can export. Select “Widgets” from the list and click the “Export” button. This will generate a .wie file that you can save to your computer.
  3. To import the widgets, go to Tools > Import in your WordPress dashboard and select “WordPress” from the list. Install the importer plugin if prompted, then click the “Browse” button and select the .wie file from your computer.
  4. Click the “Upload file and import” button and choose which users should be imported (if applicable).
  5. Ensure the “Download and import file attachments” option is selected, then click the “Submit” button.

Your widgets will now be imported into your new WordPress site and you can customize them further to suit the theme of your new site.

Using the Widget Importer & Exporter Plugin

The second and most commonly used method is through an external plugin.

Several plugins can allow you to import and export WordPress widgets, but we recommend the Widget Importer & Exporter. It’s free, easy to use, and well-supported by WordPress developers.

  1. First, you’ll need to install the plugin to allow you to export your widgets as a .wie file, which you can directly import and upload to another WordPress site.

Go to Plugins and select Add new, then search the Widgets Importer & Exporter and click Install. After installing, activate the plugin so you can use it to import and export your widgets.

  1. Once the plugin is installed and activated, go to Tools » Widget Importer & Exporter.

Widget Importer & Exporter On the next page, you’ll see two options: “Export Widgets” and “Import Widgets.”

  1. Select the Export Widgets page, and you’ll see a list of all the available widgets on your site. Select the ones you want to export, then click the Download Export File button.

Widget Importer & Exporter

The currently active widgets on your site will now be downloaded as a .wie file, which you can import into another WordPress site (Inactive or disabled widgets will not be downloaded).

You can view the .wie file on any code editor if you wish to.

Save the file somewhere safe on your computer as it awaits uploading.

  1. To import your widgets into your new WordPress site, install and activate the Widgets Importer & Exporter plugin on the new site.
  2. Go to Tools » Widget Importer & Exporter and click the Choose File button.
  3. Select the .wie file you exported from your other WordPress site and click the Import Widgets button.

Importing WordPress widgets

WordPress will begin the importation process and notify you once all your widgets have been imported to your new site.

Widgets that already exist in your new site will be marked as ‘Widget already exists’

WordPress Widgets Importer

You can now see all your widgets by going to Appearance>Widgets.

You can also add the imported widgets to your sidebar or other widget areas within your new website.

Note that the widget area titles must match the previous and current sites to maintain the widget location. (e.g Sidebar 1 and Sidebar 1, not Sidebar 1 and Sidebar A).

Otherwise, you’ll see a ‘widget area does not exist in theme’ message, and the widgets will be moved to the inactive widgets section.

 

How Many Widgets Can a Site Have?

There is no limit to the number of WordPress widgets a site can have. However, adding too many widgets can clutter your site and make it load slowly. This will make it difficult for visitors to find the information they want.

On the other hand, having multiple widgets can give your visitors more options and help you to customize your site better. Ultimately, the decision of how many widgets to have on your WordPress site is up to you.

However, it’s important to strike a balance when adding widgets and carefully consider which ones to add to your WordPress site for optimal functionality.

 

How to Use WordPress Widgets Effectively

WordPress widgets are a great way to add functionality and content to your website. However, they can also be a major source of clutter and confusion if you’re not careful.

Here are some tips on using WordPress widgets effectively:

1. Only use the widgets you need.

There’s no need to add every available widget. Just choose the most relevant ones for your site and visitors and leave the rest alone. Too many widgets will slow down your site and disrupt its smooth functioning.

2. Place your widgets in strategic locations

Think about where your visitors will be looking when they come to your site and place your widgets accordingly.

For instance, if you have a social media widget, placing it in the header or sidebar where it will be highly visible is a good idea.

3. Organize your widgets into categories.

If you have a lot of widgets on your site, consider organizing them into categories so visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.

For instance, you could have a category for social media widgets, another for newsletter signups, and so on.

4. Choose widget titles wisely.

Your widget’s title is just as important as its placement on the page. A well-crafted title will help visitors understand the widget and encourage them to interact with it.

If you don’t want to go with the default widget titles, choose your titles wisely so you don’t confuse your site visitors.

5. Keep widget information updated

If you’re using a widget to display social media content, ensure the information it’s displaying is always up to date. The same goes for any other type of content you’re displaying in any widget on your site.

 

Key Widget Issues

Often, you may encounter issues when adding or using WordPress widgets on your site and not know what to do next.

Here are some of the key issues that commonly arise when using WordPress widgets and how to solve them.

1. Plugin or theme conflicts

One of the most common issues with WordPress widgets is plugin or theme conflicts. Such conflict happens when two plugins or a plugin and a theme are trying to use the same code or resources.

This can result in widgets not appearing on your site at all or appearing in an unexpected location. If you suspect a plugin or theme conflict affects your widgets, disable all plugins and themes except the ones you suspect.

If the widget works after doing this, you’ll know that the issue is with another plugin or theme. Activate each plugin or theme, one at a time, until you find the one that’s causing the issue; then, you can either find an alternative plugin or theme or reach out to the developer for help.

2. JavaScript errors

Another common issue with WordPress widgets is JavaScript errors. These errors can prevent a widget from working properly or cause it to disappear entirely.

The most common cause of JavaScript errors is outdated plugins or themes. As new versions of WordPress are released, older plugins and themes may no longer be compatible and can start throwing JavaScript errors that break your widgets.

Always update all your plugins and themes to their latest versions to fix this issue for continued compatibility.

3. Incorrectly coded widgets

In some cases, WordPress widgets may not work properly because they’re incorrectly coded. This is usually due to an outdated code or one that was written for an older version of WordPress.

If you’re having trouble with an incorrectly coded widget, contact the developer for help. They should be able to provide you with an updated version of the widget that will work with your current version of WordPress.

4. Lack of widget options

WordPress only includes a handful of widgets in the core installation. This can limit website owners who want to add more functionality to their site.

If you can’t find the widget you are looking for, install a plugin that adds more widget options. There are several plugins that offer additional widget options, such as the Advanced Custom Fields plugin.

5. Strange characters

After selecting your widget and widget location, you may see strange characters instead of widget titles even after saving your changes. This is likely to happen due to an encoding issue.

To fix this, go to the “Settings” page in the WordPress admin area and select the “UTF-8” option under “Encoding.”

6. Widgets not saving changes

Sometimes, you may make changes to a widget but they don’t seem to be saving when you view your site from the front end.

This issue is likely to occur if you’re using an outdated version of WordPress. To solve it, update to the latest version of WordPress and your widgets should work just fine.

7. Incorrect widget order

If your widgets are not appearing in the correct order on your site, it’s probably because they’re not properly configured in the WordPress admin area.

To fix this, go to the “Widgets” page in the WordPress admin area and drag and drop your widgets into the order you want them to appear on the front end of your website.

 

Summary

If you are looking for ways to add some functionality and flair to your WordPress website, widgets are a great way to do it. From social media icon widgets to email widgets and forms widgets, WordPress provides a variety of widgets that can enhance the performance of your website.

Now that you’ve come to the end of this guide, you should:

  • Know how to use widgets on your website and the different types of widgets available in WordPress.
  • Know how to remove widgets, disable them, or import and export them between websites.
  • Have a list of the ten best WordPress widgets for 2022, so you no longer need to browse the internet to find out.

The next step you can take is to download widgets from the official WordPress Widgets site and start installing them on your site to add more functionality.

 

Further Reading

Here are some valuable resources you can read to learn more about WordPress widgets:

  1. https://wordpress.org/support/article/WordPress-widgets/
  2. https://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/WordPress-widgets
  3. https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/WordPress/WordPress-widgets-the-complete-guide

FAQs

How do I install widgets in WordPress?

To install a widget in WordPress, log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Appearance > Widgets page. You’ll see a list of available widgets on the left and active widgets on the right. Choose the widget you want, then drag and drop it from the left side to the right side.

How do I customize widgets in WordPress?

To customize a widget in WordPress, go to Appearance > Widgets. Identify the widget you want to customize and click on the down arrow or wrench icon next to its name. This will open up a panel where you can customize the widget’s settings.

Can you remove titles from widgets?

Yes, you can remove titles from widgets in WordPress. To do so, go to Appearance > Widgets and click on the wrench icon next to the widget’s name. From there, uncheck the “Display Title” option and click on “Save.”

Why are my widgets not showing up in WordPress?

Your widgets may not show up because they’re not activated or incompatible with your current theme. To check if they’re activated, go to Appearance > Widgets and ensure they’re listed on the right side under “Active Widgets.”  Try switching to a different theme for incompatibility issues and see if that fixes the problem.