Now that you have an understanding of what widgets are, let’s take a look at some of the widgets available on a WordPress website.
Blog Related Widgets
Some of these widgets are really only good for blogs, for example, archives calendar categories, recent comments, recent posts, RSS and tag cloud. Those really are only useful if you’ve got blog or have a blog component to your site.
You can use the blog functions even if you’re not using it as a blog per se. You can use the blog as an article repository as I’ve sort of shown here. It’s useful in that context and in that context only. They’re not useful on a regular business website that is only using Pages.
Widgets for Traditional Websites
If you’ve got a regular business website and you are using Pages some of these widgets are going to be useful. For example, custom menu might be useful because you can drop a menu into one of these widget areas. Pages can kind of be useful because it’s like a menu, although this pages widget doesn’t really give you a lot of control over it.
Search widgets are generally good but your go to widget is going to be the text widget. The text widget can be used in many ways. Let’s just add one to the site.
Two Ways to Add Widgets
Notice that there are a couple of different ways to add widgets you can drag it over or you can open the widget up and tell it where you want it to add either way.
In this text widget what you have is a place where you can enter raw HTML. The widget has a title and then it’s got settings right. If you don’t put a title in it substitutes the name of the widget but this could be site categories. And we could show the hierarchy and hit save. Let’s go back to the site and take a look.
You can see the widget here in the sidebar. It’s called site categories rather than categories since we changed the name. It shows the categories hierarchy here.
Come back to the widgets panel. Let’s go to the search widget. I guess we could add a title, search our site. And then once you’ve done that I’ll go across the top of this. Without a title the search would have been obviously because it’s saying search so you know what it is.
Let’s go to the text widget. I’ll add a title and some text in the content area. Now when we come back and reload this, there’s our text widget with some text. There are plenty of times in which that’s useful just a straight text widget however I like to use of visual editor widget instead. And that brings us to the subject of plugins.