How to Add and Use Widgets in WordPress (Step by Step)

What Are Widgets & Why Do You Need Them in WordPress?

Widgets are blocks of content that you can add to your WordPress sidebars, footer, and other widget areas of your website.

This can be an easy way to add image galleries, social media feeds, quotes, calendars, popular posts, and other dynamic elements to your WordPress website.

You can find your widget area by going to Appearance » Widgets in your WordPress admin tips and ideas

Here you’ll see a list of your available widget areas. In the example below using the Astra theme, there are multiple areas you can add widgets, including the sidebar, header, and footer.

Widget menu example

The areas you can place widgets are defined by your WordPress theme, so it could look different depending on the theme you’re using.

With that said, let’s show you how to add widgets to different areas of your WordPress site easily.

How to Add a Widget to a Sidebar in WordPress

There are multiple ways you can add widgets to your WordPress sidebar area.

The easiest way is to navigate to Appearance » Widgets and then click the ‘Arrow’ in the sidebar widget section to expand the widget section.

Expand sidebar widget

Then, click the ‘Plus’ icon to bring up the widget block menu.

Here you can search for a widget by name. Or, click the ‘Browse all’ button to bring up a menu of all the available widgets.

Click add widget block icon

To add a widget to your sidebar simply click on a widget and it will automatically be added to your sidebar.

Then, all you have to do is click ‘Update’ and the widget will now be live on your website.

Add widget and update

The widgets page isn’t the only way to add widgets to your WordPress blog.

You can also add widgets by using the WordPress theme customizer. First, navigate to Appearance » Customize and then click the ‘Widgets’ menu tips and ideas

WordPress sidebar customizer widget

This brings you to a page where you can customize your widget areas.

To add a widget to your sidebar, simply click the ‘Right Sidebar’ menu option.

Click right sidebar widget

After that, click the ‘+’ add block icon to bring up the widget block menu.

Then, select a widget block and it will automatically add to your sidebar.

Click to add block to sidebar widget

The process of adding a widget is the same as above.

Once you’re done making changes to your widget area, click the ‘Publish’ button to push your changes live.

Save sidebar widget changes in customizer

How to Remove a Widget in WordPress

Removing a widget in WordPress is as easy as the process of adding them. Simply navigate to Appearance » Widgets in your WordPress dashboard.

After that, click on the widget block that you want to delete.

Click widget block to delete

Then, at the top of the widget block, click the three dots ‘Options’ button. This brings up a menu that lets you move and delete the widget.

To delete the widget, simply select the ‘Remove block’ option.

Click options and remove widget block

Deleting the widget will remove it from your sidebar and delete the widget settings or any options you selected.

Sometimes you might want to remove a widget, but save the settings and changes you’ve made for the future.

To do this, click the ‘Drag’ icon at the top of the widget.

Click drag icon to move widget

Then, drag the widget to the ‘Inactive widgets’ section.

Before you exit the page, make sure to click the ‘Update’ button to save your widget settings.

Drag to inactive widget

If you want to use that widget again, then simply drag the widget block from the ‘Inactive widgets’ section to an active widget section.

What Kind of Widgets Are Available for WordPress?

A default WordPress installation comes with built-in widgets like, recent posts, tags, search bar, categories, calendar, and more.

WordPress available widget blocks

However, most WordPress plugins and themes also comes with their own widget blocks that you can add to your site.

For example, the WPForms plugin can be used to create contact form pages, but it also has a widget that lets you add forms to any widget-ready area of your site.

WPForms widget example

Similarly, countless other themes and plugins add widgets, so their users can add things to their WordPress widget areas without writing any code or HTML.

You can even create your own widget to add completely custom widget to WordPress. For more details, see our guide on how to create a custom WordPress widget.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add and use widgets in WordPress. 

Published on: 3/31/22, 6:14 AM