How to Use WordPress Widgets in Your Theme
Duration: 5 mins 27 secs
In this video, I’m going to show you how to customize the appearance of your WordPress blog by using WordPress widgets. Now, to access the WordPress widgets, all you need to do is log in to your WordPress dashboard, and under Appearance, click on Widgets. And you should be able to see the main widgets screen right here.
Now, with WordPress version 3.0 and the default 2010 theme, you should be able to see several widget areas — the Primary Widget Area, the Secondary Widget Area, First Footer Widget Area, Second Footer, Third Footer, Fourth Footer, etc., etc. So the Primary and Secondary Widget Areas are on your WordPress themes sidebar. And then you have four widget areas just for the footer.
So first, let’s take a look at the default 2010 theme. Okay? And you can see, this is the sidebar area right here, and by default, the theme displays the Archives and also the Meta. And if I scroll down, I’ll be able to see in the footer area here…she’s pretty empty, okay…say you can see there’s nothing in the footer area except the blog title.
So let’s get started using WordPress widgets. Now, the first thing you need to do is to determine where you want to put all these available widgets. Now, these are just the default widgets, but if you’ve installed other plugins, then you should be able to see many other different WordPress widgets appear in this section over here.
So the first thing I’d want to do is expand the Primary and Secondary Widget Areas. So for the Primary Widget Area, I’m just going to click on Categories, and I’m going to drag that, and I’m going to release that over here. And you can see that immediately, that the widget expands to show me what are the options for this particular widget. So in this case, I can give it a title; I can choose to Show as dropdown; show post counts; and show hierarchy, etc.
Now, I’m gonna drag another widget — the Pages widget — and I’m going to drop it in the Secondary Widget Area. Okay? And you can see for this widget as well, I can give a title; I can sort by page title, page order, or page ID, etc., so I’m gonna click on Save.
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Now, let’s take a look at the default theme I showed you earlier, and I’m going to refresh this page…so here, you can see the categories as well as the pages. And this is how the WordPress widgets feature works. Now, we’re going to put some of those widgets in the footer area…so I’m going to remove this from the Secondary Widget Area, and also the Primary Widget Area, so you can see a difference…okay? And I’m gonna expand the First Footer Area and the Second Footer Area. So for the First Footer Area, I’m going to put my recent post. I’m gonna click on Recent Posts; I’m gonna drag it all the way up to the First Footer Area, and I’m going to release it there. For the Second Widget Area, I’m going to display Recent Comments. Okay? I’m going to display recent comments. Okay, you have to minimize the widget; show you some comments; Save…minimize this as well…so for the Third Footer Area, I’m going to display Categories, and for the Final Footer Area, I’m going to display my Calendar.
Okay, so now, I have customized all four footer areas in the default 2010 WordPress theme, in a WordPress version 3.0 and above. So this is how the footer area looks like before I put in the WordPress widgets. And now, I’m going to refresh this page, and let’s look at the new footer area. So you can see that this is the widget area no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, and the final one here is the widget area no. 4.
So basically, what this means is that there are four different columns that you can add information to in your WordPress default 2010 theme using WordPress widgets. So that’s how easy it is to start using WordPress widgets to customize the appearance of your WordPress blog.