WordPress widgets are elements that you can use in the layout of your website.
The number of widgets and the places you can show them are depending on the theme you have installed.
Some themes, like the one I use here from StudioPress.com have several special widgets already build in, other can be installed via Plugins.
To see what widgets you already have you go to Appearance -> Widgets. You will see the Widgets that you can use as well as the Widget area's where you could show them.
Standard Widgets from WordPress
After a fresh WordPress installation you will have the standard widgets like:
- Custom Menu
- Recent Comments
- Recent Posts
- Tag Cloud
You will also find that in your sidebar you will have the Recent Posts, Recent Comments and Meta already in place. Especially the Meta widgets is one that I always remove. It does not fit well for me to show these option to my site visitors and I know how to login without that widget.
I also remove the recent comments as you very likely to not have any comments of you just started blogging.
Once you drag a Widget into a sidebar you can choose the options for that widget.
In this case the options are pretty simple, just the title of the Widgets, if you don't specify a title it will show Recent Posts.
You can put in the number of posts to show and can have the option to show the post date if you like that.
Genesis Featured Posts Widget
Below is a screen shot of the Genesis Featured Posts Widget that comes with the Genesis Framework.
As you can see, there are a lot more options to be set in this widget. As mentioned before, these widgets came with the my theme.
You will have others to choose from that are build into your theme.
New Widget Installation
Actually you don't install widgets… you install plugins that will create a widget area with specific options for you.
For example you can install a slider plugin that will give you a slider widget. You could install an advertisement plugin that will give you a widget that you can use to show an add in a widget area.
So in short, there are three ways you can get widgets that you can place into the sidebar's of your theme:
- Widgets included with the standard WordPress software,
- Widgets included into your WordPress Theme,
- Widgets programmed into a plugin you installed and activated.
The places where you can add a widget are called sidebars, but the locations shown in your lay-out depends on your theme.
You can have a primary sidebar, secondary sidebar, special Home page widget locations, but also footer widgets and after content. All depending on the Theme you choose.
Below is an indication of the widget area's that I can choose to show a widget in the Daily Dish Pro Theme that I use on WordPress Manuals
If you look at my other website hummerbie.com where I have the No-Sidebar them active you will see a different set of widget area's.