WordPress widgets are modules or elements that allow you to add content and/or features to areas of your site. Usually, they’re in a sidebar and show some “meta” data, for example, a list of categories or popular posts or maybe a form to sign up for your newsletter. But what’s in the widgets is practically limitless: text, HTML, Twitter feeds, search, comments, custom code, Javascript, a form, etc.

[box type=”alert”]If your theme doesn’t support widgetized sidebars, it’s time to upgrade your theme. [/box]

Depending on your theme and plugins, there is a huge variety of widgets and functions. They can be as simple as adding a few pages listed in a menu┬áto a function the adds new entries to your Salesforce database. You can use your own code or if the plugin or theme supplies it, all you need to do is drag and drop the widget into the area of the site you’d like, configure a few settings and you’re done.

Below is a quick glance at just a few of the available widgets for this particular combination of theme and plugins and you’ll see a widget for Akismen, Wishlist Member, and Jetpack. Drag those over to the areas to the right of that page and those features will be live on your site in your e.g. sidebar, header, footer, or other custom areas.

Widgets are important as they are often where your Call to Action lives. Sign up for a newsletter, buy a product, contact information. It’s important to know how to use them, style them, and manage them. Again, depending on your theme, your mileage may vary, but widgets are a very important aspect of your WordPress environment.

Widgets Dashboard

Below is an example of locations for widgets. The primary is the main sidebar, secondary is if your theme has more than one sidebar, then areas for various footer widgets, etc.

wpu-013-widget-locations