WordPress widget areas allow you to customize your site without specific coding knowledge.
What do WordPress widgets do?
Well, they add extra content areas to your site. You can use those areas for newsletter sign-ups, social media links, custom menus. to highlight featured posts or pages, advertisements, and so much more.
My favorite widget is the Text widget because you can literally make it anything you want it to be. You can use HTML to customize the text, add images, or create links.
First we will look at how to add a widget to a widget area and then I will show you how to find all of the widget areas on your site.
Head to the WordPress Widget Area
On the Widgets page, notice there are Available Widgets on the left side and Widget areas on the right side. Most themes come with a Primary Sidebar widget area.
Other widget areas vary based on the theme used. On my test blog, I use the Darling Theme which has 14 widget areas. In this tutorial, I used the text widget it to identify the 14 widget areas, so I can visualize the areas and make a better decision on what to place in each area.
To add an available widget to the widget area, you simply click on the widget, choose the area to place it in, and Add Widget.
In the widget area, it will be open and ready for your input. I typed the name of the widget area in the text widget and clicked Save.
Now, to identify all of the widget areas on my site, I repeated the process of adding a text widget to each area and typing the name of the corresponding area into the text widget.
I know, I know – It seems like a waste of time. And, if you feel that way – totally skip this step and start widget-ing it up, girl!
But if you are looking to plan a well-thought out site, this will totally help you visualize that plan 🙂
So here are some of the widget areas that I identified on my theme. And, because I used the same text in the Title and Content areas of the text widget, it gives me a better idea of what the widget will look like.
Bonus Tip: You don’t have to use the Title. I often leave it blank when adding images with text on them.
You should also know that some plugins will add widgets to the Available Widgets area. The most common are for social media or email subscriptions. Some examples include:
- Genesis eNews Extended – used for email sign-up forms.
- Jetpack by WordPress.com – adds several widget areas for social media badges or timelines.
- Simple Social Icons – used to add social media icons.
Are you setting up a new blog? Get all of the steps in the Complete Blog Set-Up Checklist