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What are Widgets?

Last modified: February 23, 2020


Widgets are small blocks that perform special functions on a web page. A web developer can add widgets to a site, in sidebars and other widget-ready areas. Widgets were originally designed to provide a way to add design and structure to a WordPress theme.

To add a widget, users just need to go to the appearance → widgets.

From there, you can drag the specific widget you want to the location you want it. You can add widgets to your sidebars, footers and headers. With some theme page builders, you can add widgets in areas on your pages/blog posts.

Widgets can do many functions including: display text, video, images, RSS feeds, email subscription form, blog navigation and more. Different themes have different widgets. However, you can extend the number of widgets available to you by using particular plugins (i.e. like weather widget plugin).

Widgets can have lots customization to them. For instance, you can often customize the title and some properties about them.

If you’re looking to add certain aspects to your front page or another area on your website, it is often best to see if you can do so through a widget first. Widgets are less resource intensive than plugins and can be added to the specific area you want without too much web design experience.

However, widgets aren’t very versatile. If you don’t have the functionality within the widget, then you’re stuck. Instead, you’re probably going to need a plugin.

Finally, widgets don’t have development teams, unless they’re associated with a plugin. Therefore, if you have a problem with a widget area, you have to rely on the WordPress community in order to get support. Although it is free, not every question gets answered. And this can be frustrating for new website owners looking to troubleshoot problems they’ve come across.

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