How to Add Widgets to Your Blog Sidebar - dummies

How to Add Widgets to Your Blog Sidebar

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Click the Widgets link on the Appearance menu on the WordPress Dashboard. The Widgets page displays the available widgets. This feature is a big draw because it lets you control what features you use and where you place them — all without having to know a lick of code.

On the left side of the Widgets page, in the Available Widgets box, is a listing of all widgets available for your WordPress blog. On the right side of the Widgets page are separate boxes for widgets that are available for the display of different widgets on your blog.

These widget boxes are defined by the theme you’ve chosen to use on your site. Some themes have only one widget box available; other themes have several.

To add a new widget to your sidebar, follow these steps:

1Choose the widget you want to use.

The widgets are listed in the Available Widgets section, and you may have to scroll to see them all. For the purpose of these steps, choose the Recent Posts widget.

2Click the widget name.

Drag and drop the widget into your desired Widget Area on the right side of the page. After you release your mouse button and drop the widget in the Widget Area, your site updates automatically. In other words, the contents of the widget (in this case, a listing of recent posts on your blog) now appear on your site.

3Click the arrow to the right of the widget title.

Click the arrow on the Recent Posts widget to expand the widget and view the widget options. Each widget has different options that you can configure. The Recent Posts widget, for example, lets you configure the title and the number of posts to display in the Recent Posts listing on your site.

4Select your options and click the Save button.

The options you’ve set are now saved. Click the Close link to collapse the widget options.

5Arrange your widgets in the order you want them to appear on your site by clicking a widget and dragging it above or below another widget.

Repeat this step until your widgets are arranged the way you want them.

To remove a widget from your sidebar, click the arrow to the right of the widget title to open the options menu. Then click the Delete link. WordPress removes the widget from the Widget Area on the right side of this page and places it back in the Available Widgets list.

After you select and configure all your widgets, visit the front page of your website and you see that your blog’s sidebar matches the content (and order of the content) that you’ve arranged in the sidebar on the Widgets page. How cool is that? You can go back to the Widgets page and rearrange the items, as well as add and remove items, to your heart’s content.

You may not wish to display the Recent Posts widget on every page of your website on If you would only like to display it on category pages of your site, click the Visibility button at the bottom of the Recent Posts widget and select Show Only if on Category Pages. This is a nifty way of creating unique views for different sections of your site.