The term widget refers to any tool or content that you add, arrange or remove from the sidebar(s) of your blog — these are the blocks that make up your sidebar.
Here’s a summary of the main widgets you’ll find in your dashboard and what they are used for:
|Archives||Used to organise your previously published posts by month. Handy for readers who want to browser for older content To save space change the configuration to ‘Display as a dropdown’|
|Blog Avatar||Used to display your blog avatar (uploaded via Settings > Blog Avatar).|
|Calendar||Displays links to your posts by date on a calendar Can’t be used as an Events calendar.|
|ClustrMaps||A simple widget for quickly adding a ClustrMaps to your blog sidebar. Added when the Widget plugin is activated in Plugins.|
|Custom Menu||Allows you to display pages, categories, and custom links with a single widget. To use you first need to set up your custom menu in Appearance > Menu.|
|Email Subscriptions||A simple widget for adding email subscription to your blog.Used to notify readers of your latest posts by email.|
|Links||Used to display a list of links in your sidebar. Commonly used to share your favourite blogs or websites with your readers.|
|Meta||Simple widget for easy log in and log out of your blog, to access your dashboard and to locate your RSS feed.|
|Pages||Displays a list of your pages in the sidebar. Commonly used for themes that don’t have page links in the top navigation.|
|Recent Comments||Displays the most recent comments left on your blog by readers.|
|Recent Posts||Displays the most recent posts you have published. Makes it easier for readers to see what’s new on your blog.|
|Search||Adds a search box to your sidebar. Makes it easier for readers to search the contents of your blog.|
|Tag cloud||Adds a search box to your sidebar. Makes it easier for readers to search the contents of your blog.|
|Text||Allows you to add text or embed code to your sidebar. It’s the most useful widget because you can use it to add content from other sources to your sidebar using their embed code.|
Here’s how to add widgets:
Adding a widget is as simple as follows:
1. Go to Appearance > Widget.
2. Click on the arrow on the desired Sidebar to open up the sidebar (so you can add the widgets).
3. Drag the widget from the Available Widgets into the desired Sidebar.
You drag by click on the widget with your left mouse and moving the widget.
4. Drop the widget when you see a dashed line appear – this indicates the widget is in place.
5. The widget will automatically open — just configure, click Save and then Close.
Adding widgets using embed code in text widgets
You can add any other widgets you find on the Internet by pasting their embed code into a text widget in your sidebar. These widgets can be found on sites like Widget Box or have a look at this Edublogs post to see the top widgets for a classroom blog.
1. Grab the embed code for the widget you want to add.
2. Go to Appearance > Widgets.
3. Drag a text widget into your sidebar.
4. Paste the embed code into the text widget.
5. Click Save and Close.
6. You should now see the widget in your sidebar.