21 Days to a WordPress Blog: Day 14: Widgets & Sidebars

Whether you need a simple site for your business, want to start a blog or just want to try building a WordPress website, you’ll learn all the basics in these daily lessons. In three weeks—and about 30 minutes a day—you’ll build your first WordPress blog.

Widgets can be used so many different ways. In WordPress, widgets are items that are placed into a sidebar, footer or header of your site. They can be static or dynamic, big or small, and full of text, links, videos and/or images. Widgets can do and be anything you want—they’re best used to support your navigation and featured site content. 

Your theme will predefine the sidebars. In the screenshot below you can see the preset sidebars defined by the Tisa theme. On the left you can see the preinstalled and ready-to-use widgets. (Click the image to enlarge it.)

wordpress widgets, wordpress sidebars

This is what the widget area might look like if you’re using a free WordPress theme:

wordpress widgets, wordpress sidebar

Adding a widget to a sidebar is very simple. All you have to do is drag it from the holding area on the left to the right “activated” area. You can also reuse widgets as many times as you want in as many different sidebars as you want and download plugins that create new widgets for you to use. The changes go live as soon as you click Save. 

Tomorrow: Plugins and addons

Learn more about making a WordPress website with our great design resources. Can’t wait for the rest of the posts in this series? Download the whole guide to build a WordPress site now.