“Widget” has long served as a generic term for a unit of something the exact nature of which is unspecified. In the case of WordPress the word ‘widget’ refers to a small block that displays content on your website. WordPress widgets have various options and settings, depending on the widget. They might seem small but they can do a lot of work.
Widgets and Widget Areas
In the Dashboard under Appearance > Widgets, you can add one or more widgets to various areas of a page layout. There are many different kinds of widgets, and each WordPress theme has a number of predefined “widget areas” where you can drag and drop a widget for display on the site. Different themes will provide different widgets and widget areas, and Largo comes with some very useful ones for news websites.
WordPress Standard Widgets
WordPress provides a number of standard widgets like:
- Search box
- Category list
- Monthly Archives list
- Custom Menu
- Text widget for arbitrary text or HTML
Largo Custom Widgets
Largo adds a number of useful custom widgets:
- Largo About Site
- Largo Author Bio
- Largo Disclaimer
- Largo Donate Widget
- Largo Facebook Widget
- Largo Featured Posts
- Largo Follow Widget
- Largo Image Widget
- Largo Post Series Widget
- Largo Prev-Next Links
- Largo Recent Comments
- Largo Recent Posts
- Largo Related Posts
- Largo Series Posts
- Largo Staff Roster Widget
- Largo Tag List
- Largo Taxonomy List
- Largo Twitter Widget
A typical WordPress theme provides widget areas mostly in sidebars which can be included on various pages. Largo adds some new custom widget areas useful for news websites. You can manage all widgets in the Appearance > Widgets area of the dashboard. Just remember the available widgets are on the left of the Widgets settings screen, and the widget areas are on the right.
You can just drag and drop a widget from the left into a widget area on the right, or click the widget to open a menu for selecting a widget area.
After adding a widget to a widget area, you configure the widget settings. The available settings vary depending on the widget. As an example, here are the available settings for the Custom Menu widget:
In this case we are adding a Custom Menu. We had to have created that Custom Menu first, in Apprearance > Menus. This is a very powerful way to create any kind of menu needed, and place it in any Widget Area you wish.
Other widgets have options and settings unique to each widget, as you’ll see by working with them (and referring to the Widget pages of this guide). All Largo widgets include the ability to make them hidden on Desktops, Tablets, or Phones, in case you want to show different widgets for different devices.
Getting to know all the widgets and how they best fit on your site may take some experimentation. You can drag and drop a widget from one area to another, or just delete it from the area. Also note that you can drag and drop an active widget to the Inactive Widgets area on the left of the Widgets page to remove it from the site but keep its settings for possible use later.
For more on WordPress widgets see the WordPress Codex reference on widgets; for details on Largo’s custom widgets see the widgets section of the Largo Developer Docs.
Widgets make it much easier to customize your site layout and content, so make them do the work!