WordPress Tutorial #7

It’s much easier to add a widget in WordPress than to explain how. (If you’re not sure what a WordPress widget is, check out this explanation, then come back here for the how-to.)

Note: This article was updated on July 8, 2020.

#1. Click on Appearance/Widgets

From your WordPress Dashboard, scroll down the left-hand menu and click Appearance, then Widget.

Navigate to your WordPress Widgets screen

You’ll see a screen that looks like this.

WordPress widgets screen

On the Widgets screen you’ll see a list and brief description of all the available widgets. If you scroll down, you’ll see a section for Inactive Widgets.

Along the right-hand side are all of the available Widgetized Areas.

A widgetized area, as its name implies, is an area where you can place a widget.

The most common widgetized areas are the sidebar and the footer.

#2. Select the Widget You Want to Use

Notice that each of the widgets have a little arrow next to the name.

notice the arrows next to the widget names

My current theme offers a sidebar and several other widgetized areas area. I’m going to add an Image widget to the Footer.

Click the arrow to expand the area. Now you’re ready to add your widget.

choose the widgetized area you want to add the widget to

#3. Add the Widget

Make sure your widget is expanded (see #2 above), then click the location where you want to place it. Click the Add Widget button, and you’ll see it appear on the right at the bottom of the list of widgets for that widgetized area.

new Image widget in the footer widgetized area

The widget will be added at the bottom of the widgetized area, but never fear, you can reposition it.

reposition the widget by dragging and dropping

To reposition it, simply grab it with your mouse and drag it until you see the new box appear, then drop it.

#5. Set Up the Widget

After you add the widget, you may have one more step.

Some widgets require you to fill in some information. In this case, I need to give the widget a title and add the image.

The Title is whatever you want your site visitors to see as a label above the widget. Here I’m just going to use “My Image.”

Then I upload the image — just the way you would upload a Featured Image for a post, and click the Add to Widget button. (Remember to add your Alt Text!)

adding an image to a widget

You can even add a link to the image if you want. When you’re done, click the Save button.

the image widget

Let’s see how it looks to visitors.

Now here's the widget in the footer, as it appears to site visitors

Congratulations, Widget-meister! That’s all there is to it.

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