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How to Add Widgets in WordPress

Do you want to know how to add widgets in WordPress? If you are new to WordPress, you may have already heard about WordPress widgets but may be wondering what are WordPress widgets and how to use them?

WordPress widgets are an essential part of building a great website in WordPress and require no coding skills to use them. They allow you to enhance your website with new features and functionality.

In this beginners guide, we will explain what WordPress widgets are how to add widgets in WordPress, including how to remove them to help you quickly customize your website.

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What are WordPress Widgets?

Widgets are tools used in WordPress that allow you to add features and blocks of content to enhance and organize your website. The available widgets and widget areas are defined by your active WordPress theme.

They can add features to your website, such as a search bar, an image gallery, a map, an archive list, popular posts, and social media feeds.

You can see the widgets that you have available by going to the Appearance > Widgets screen located in your WordPress admin area.

Here is where you will see a list of your available widget areas. The example below shows all available widget areas defined by the WordPress Twenty-Sixteen theme.

WordPress Appearance Widgets Screen

So switching WordPress themes will change your available widget areas.

WordPress widgets can be added to the header, footer, sidebar, posts, and other widget areas using the Appearance Widgets Screen or the Block Editor. They can be easily added by simply dragging and dropping them into the desired location of your choice without any code.

WordPress comes default with a set of widgets. Often widgets will come bundled with a WordPress theme. They can also be obtained by installing a WordPress plugin.

Now let us show you how to add widgets in WordPress easily.

How to Add a Widget in WordPress?

There are multiple ways to add widgets in WordPress. Once you understand how to add a WordPress widget to the sidebar, adding a widget to any other widget area will be the same.

Adding Widgets using the Appearance Widgets Screen

For this part of the guide, we will be adding a WordPress widget to the sidebar from the Appearance Widgets screen.

So navigate to Appearance > Widgets in your WordPress admin area. Then click the arrow located to the right of the sidebar widget to expand the widget area.

WordPress widget area sidebar expanded

Now click the Add block icon (the plus sign), which will show the block editor menu.

From here, you can either search for a widget or block by name using the search box. Or, you can click the Browse all button, which will reveal all available widgets and blocks that you can add to your widget area.

WordPress add widget block icon

Alternatively, you can simply click the block inserter toggle next to Widgets in the upper left corner.

WordPress Widgets Add block icon

Search or scroll for the widget or block that you want to use.

To add a widget to your widget area, you can click on the widget or drag and drop it into your desired location.

To move the widget to a different location within the widget area, use the arrow icons on the toolbar.

Use toolbar arrows to move WordPress widgets

Once you have the widget in your desired location, you can use the block settings to the right to customize it. If you don’t see the block settings click the gear icon towards the top right. Once you have finished, click the Update button.

WordPress update and widget settings

Then head over to the front of your website and see how it looks.

That’s it! You now know how to add a widget in WordPress using the WordPress Appearance Widgets screen.

Adding Widgets using the WordPress Theme Customizer

For this part of the guide, we will be adding a WordPress widget to the sidebar using the WordPress theme customizer.

Navigate to Appearance > Customize in your WordPress admin area. Then click the Widgets menu option, which will take you to a page where you can customize all your WordPress widgets.

WordPress Customizer Widgets link

To add a Widget to your sidebar, click the Sidebar menu option.

WordPress Customizer Sidebar menu option

Now click the Add block icon (the plus sign), which will show the block editor menu.

From here, you can either search for a widget or block by name using the search box. Or, you can click the Browse all button, which will reveal all available widgets and blocks that you can add to your widget area.

WordPress Customizer Sidebar Add Widget

Alternatively, you can simply click the Add block icon towards the top, which will reveal all available widgets and blocks.

WordPress customizing widgets Add block icon

Search or scroll for the widget or block that you want to use.

To add a widget to your widget area, you can click on the widget or drag and drop it into your desired location.

To move the widget to a different location within the widget area, use the arrow icons on the toolbar.

WordPress Customizer Sidebar move Widget arrows

To change the Widgets settings, click the vertical dots on the toolbar, then click Show more settings.

WordPress Customizer Sidebar Widget settings

Once you are satisfied with your widget, click the Publish button at the top to make your changes live.

WordPress Customizer Sidebar Publish Widget

That’s it! You now know how to add a widget in WordPress using the WordPress customizer.

How to Remove Widgets in WordPress

Removing widgets in WordPress is as easy as adding them. To remove a widget in WordPress, navigate Appearance > Widgets in your WordPress admin area.

WordPress Appearance Widgets Remove Widget

Doing so will remove the widget, including its settings, from the widget area.

If you would rather keep the widget and its settings, you can place it in the Inactive widgets area.

To do this, click the Drag icon at the top of the widget, then drag the widget down to the Inactive widgets area.

WordPress Appearance Widgets Drag widget

The Inactive widgets area is located at the bottom of the widget areas.

If you don’t see the drag icon, you need to turn the Top toolbar off. This can be done by going to the top right next to the settings icon. Click the three vertical dots, then make sure the Top toolbar is not selected.

WordPress switch top toolbar

That’s it! You now know how to remove a widget in WordPress.

Note: In the WordPress customizer, it is not possible to add a widget to the Inactive widgets area from the customizer.

Wrapping Up!

In this guide, we showed you how to use widgets in WordPress. More specifically what widgets are, how to add, and remove them from your WordPress site.

We hope this guide has helped you understand what WordPress widgets are and how to use them.

If, you found this article helpful, let us know in the comments section, follow us on social media, or subscribe to our newsletter for more. If you need a guide or article written, contact us and select article request in the dropdown.

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Editorial Team

The Editorial Team at TarttWeb is a group of passionate people that love to help others, led by Jeff Tartt.

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