How To Use And Configure WordPress Widgets – Part 4

Learn how to add and configure various useful WordPress widgets on your sidebar and how to create custom sidebar widgets …

Adding And Configuring WordPress Widgets In Your Sidebar MenuIn Part One of this step-by-step tutorial, we explained how to use widgets in WordPress and in Part Two, you learned how to configure text widgets.

In Part Three, we began configuring various default WordPress widgets.

In this final installment, we show you how to complete this step-by-step tutorial series by configuring a few more useful WordPress widgets.

Useful Information

In WordPress v. 4.8, WordPress introduced new media widgets covering images, audio, and video, and an updated text widget that supports visual editing

WordPress 4.8 - WordPress Widget Updates

(WordPress 4.8 introduced new widget updates)

These widgets let you add content from your media library and media stored in other servers or storage locations (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc.).

Let’s go through how to configure and use each of these widgets:

Rich Text Widget

From version 4.8 onward, WordPress has added native rich-text editing capabilities to text widgets …

Rich Text Widget

(Rich Text Widget)

This lets you format text, create lists, add emphasis, and insert links into your sidebar text quickly and easily …

(Format text easily with the new text widget)

To learn more about using text widgets in WordPress, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Image Widget

The WordPress Image Widget lets you add an image to your sidebar from your Media Library or an external storage location.

To add an image, drag an image widget to your active widgets area …

Image Widget

(Image Widget)

Click on ‘Add Image’ …

Let's add an image!

(Let’s add an image!)

Select an image from the Image Library, check or add image details (e.g. Caption, Alt text, Description, etc.) if desired and click the ‘Add to Widget’ button …

Select an image

(Select an image)

The image will automatically load into the widget area …

Image added to widget

(Image added to widget)

Add a Title to your image if you want, or leave the ‘Title:’ field blank and click ‘Save’ …

Save your image

(Save your image)

Preview your website and you should see the image displayed where you have placed your image widget …

Image added to website using image widget

(Image added to website using WordPress image widget)

If you want to link your image to an URL, go back to your image widget and click on ‘Edit Image’ …

Image Widget - Edit Image

(Image Widget – Edit Image)

Add a URL in the ‘Image Details’ > ‘Display Settings’ > ‘Link To’ screen and click the ‘Update’ button …

Link your image to an URL

(Link your image to an URL)

To add an image stored in an external server or remote location, locate and copy the URL of the image to your clipboard …

Copy image URL to your clipboard

(Copy image URL to your clipboard)

Go back to your image widget and click on ‘Replace Image’ …

Image Widget - Replace image

(Image Widget – Replace image)

The Media Library browser opens. Click on ‘Insert from URL’ and paste in the image URL copied to your clipboard, then click on ‘Add to Widget’  …

Add image URL

(Add image URL)

If you have previously added an image title in your widget, remember to replace it if required, then click ‘Save’ …

Save your new image

(Save your new image)

The new image will now display on your sidebar …

New image added using WordPress image widget

(New image added using WordPress image widget)

To learn more about adding images to WordPress, see this tutorial:

WordPress Video Widget

The WordPress Video Widget lets you add audio files to your sidebar from your Media Library, YouTube, Vimeo, or an external storage location.

To add a video to the sidebar, drag a Video widget to your active widgets area …

Drag a Video widget to your sidebar

(Drag a Video widget to your sidebar)

Click the ‘Add Video’ button …

Video widget - Add Video

(Video widget – Add Video)

Select a video from your media library or add a video URL and click the ‘Add to Widget’ button …

Add a video URL

(Add a video URL)

Add a title to the widget if desired and click ‘Save’ …

WordPress Video Widget - Save Button

(WordPress Video Widget – Save Button)

Your video will display on your site where the video widget has been added …

Video added using WordPress video widget

(Video added using WordPress video widget)

To learn more about adding video to WordPress, see this tutorial:

WordPress Audio Widget

The WordPress Audio Widget lets you add audio files like podcasts, music or a personal greeting to your sidebar from your media library or an external storage location.

To add an audio file to your sidebar, drag an audio widget to your active widgets area …

Add an audio widget to your sidebar

(Add an audio widget to your sidebar)

Click the ‘Add Audio’ button…

WordPress Audio Widget - Add Audio button

(WordPress Audio Widget – Add Audio button)

Select an audio file from your media library or insert the URL of an audio file stored in an external location …

Select your audio file

(Select your audio file)

Add a title to your widget if desired and click the ‘Save’ button …

Save the audio file on your audio widget

(Save the audio file on your audio widget)

Your site will now display an audio file to visitors where you have placed the audio widget …

Audio file added to your site using the WordPress Audio Widget

(Audio file added to your site using the WordPress Audio Widget)

To learn more about adding audios to WordPress, see this tutorial:

Add A Newsfeed To The WordPress Sidebar

Let’s add a widget to your sidebar that will display news items from An RSS feed.

To add the widget, select an RSS widget in the Available Widgets section and drag it to your sidebar …

RSS Widget

(WordPress RSS Widget)

Enter the following information into the widget settings:

  1. RSS feed URL: Enter the URL of your RSS feed here.
  2. Feed Title: If you want to add a widget title, type it into this section.
  3. Items to display: Select the number of items you want to show on the sidebar from the drop-down menu.
  4. Display item content: Tick this box if you would like to show the item content.
  5. Display item author: Tick this box if you want to display the feed item item author.
  6. Display item date: Tick this box to display the RSS feed item date.

WordPress RSS Widget settings

(RSS Widget settings)

Experiment with different widget settings to find the combination that suits your preferences best.

The screenshot below shows an RSS Feed widget configured as per the settings shown above …

WordPress RSS Widget on sidebar

(RSS Widget on sidebar)

The example below shows a published RSS Feed widget configured with additional options selected …

RSS Widget settings

(WordPress RSS Widget settings)

To learn more about using RSS feeds in WordPress, see this tutorial:

Add A Tag Cloud Widget

Now, let’s add A Tag Cloud widget to display a tag list on your sidebar navigation menu.

Important

Tags appearing in the Tag Cloud widget are listed in the Tags section …

WordPress Tags area

(WordPress Tags area)

To insert the widget, find a Tag Cloud widget in the Available Widgets section and drag it to the sidebar …

WordPress Tag Cloud Widget

(Tag Cloud Widget)

There is really very little to configure in this widget. You can add a title if you want, and choose whether to display items in the tag cloud using Tags or Categories. Click Save when finished …

Tag Cloud Widget settings

(Tag Cloud Widget settings)

Your Tag cloud will now display on the sidebar navigation menu …

Tag cloud set to display WordPress post tags

(Tag cloud set to display tags)

The screenshot below shows a published Tag Cloud widget set up to show Categories instead of Tags

Tag cloud displaying categories

(Tag Cloud widget displaying WordPress categories)

To learn more about using post tags in WordPress, see this tutorial:

Configure Your WordPress Archives Section

To complete this tutorial series, we’ll configure the Archives Widget, which is another commonly-used WordPress widget.

As you continue adding new content to WordPress, your older posts begin to move further away from public view. Your posts are still there, it’s just not as visible.

The Archives Widget allows visitors to view dated posts …

WordPress Archives Widget

(WordPress Archives Widget)

There is not much to set up here. You can add a title if you want, and choose whether to display items in the sidebar widget as a dropdown menu, and display post counts . Click Save when finished …

WordPress Archives Widget settings

(WordPress Archives Widget settings)

The screenshot below shows a published Archives widget set for showing posts as a dropdown menu with number of posts checkbox enabled …

Archives widget displayed on sidebar

(Archives Widget added to sidebar area)

Now that you know how to configure sidebar widgets, let’s explore some other aspects of using WordPress widgets.

Useful Widget Tips

Here are some useful ways to use widgets:

Add ‘Visibility’ Function To Widgets

Installing the Jetpack plugin not only adds many new widgets to your widgets area …

Jetpack Widgets

(Jetpack Widgets)

It also adds a useful ‘Visibility’ function to all WordPress widgets …

Jetpack adds 'Visibility' to all widgets

(Jetpack adds ‘Visibility’ to all widgets)

This function lets you specify whether to display or hide widgets from your sidebar based on conditions you set for a particular category, author, user. role, tag, date, or page …

Set conditions to show or hide widgets

(Set conditions to show or hide widgets)

This is a really useful function to have.

For example, you can:

  • Display a widget only on your home page or only on posts published under certain categories, tags, authors, dates, etc.
  • Configure widgets to display specific or time-sensitive announcements based on a post’s category, date, etc.
  • Configure widgets to display targeted ad banners based on a post’s category or tag.
  • Hide widgets from appearing on certain posts or pages to prevent users from being distracted (e.g. remove widgets with ads from your sales pages).
  • And more!

To learn more about using the Jetpack plugin, go here:

Override Default Sidebar Widgets

If you see widgets appearing on your site’s sidebar that aren’t showing up under your active sidebar in the Appearance > Widgets section, it’s because with some themes, unless you add widgets to the sidebar navigation menu, the theme will display its own default set of widgets.

For example, this site displays a couple of widgets in the blog sidebar …

How To Override Default Sidebar Widgets

If you look inside the Widgets section, however, you will see that no widgets have actually been added to the active widget areas …

How To Override Default WordPress Sidebar Widgets

The theme above may be using default widgets.

As soon as you add one or more widgets to an active widget area, the other widgets will your newly-added widgets will be used instead.

Note: If you want nothing to display in your sidebar, either use a theme page template without a widgets layout or just add a blank Text widget to your sidebar.

Add a blank text widget to a widget area …

How To Override Default WordPress Sidebar Widgets

And default widgets won’t display in the sidebar/footer section …

Overriding Default Widgets

Accessibility Mode

As we’ve explained in an earlier example, WordPress lets you easily rearrange how content displays in widgetized areas like your site’s sidebars, footers and navigation menus with only a few clicks of your mouse, using drag-and-drop …

Rearrange sidebar layout with widgets to improve visitor experience

(Reorganizing sidebar layout with widgets can improve visitor experience)

In the above screenshot, for example, you can see that we have redesigned the sidebar by switching the search and testimonial sections. This is easily done by simply dragging and dropping the widgets into different positions inside the sidebar widget area.

Rearranging sidebar elements with widgets can help improve visitor experience.

If, however, you find that you cannot move widgets using drag and drop (e.g. using a mobile device that doesn’t support dragging-and-dropping), then you can still work with widgets if you enable Accessibility Mode.

Enabling Widget Accessibility Mode

Enabling Accessibility Mode, via your Screen Options, allows you to use Add and Edit buttons instead of dragging and dropping.

To enable Accessibility Mode, log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Widgets section …

Widgets Menu

(Widgets Menu)

Click on Screen Options on the top right hand corner of the screen …

Widgets - Screen Options

(WordPress Widgets – Screen Options)

Click on the Enable accessibility mode link …

Enable accessibility mode

(Switch On accessibility mode)

Once accessibility mode has been enabled, the widgets in the Available Widgets and the Active Widgets sections, widgets will display an Add and Edit links respectively …

How To Enable Accessibility Mode For Widgets

If you click on a Widget’s Add link in the Available Widgets section …

Enable Accessibility Mode For Widgets

A screen opens up the selected widget with options for customizing the widget’s settings, selecting a widget location, with dropdown menus that let you specify the position of the widget in the selected area (e.g. position “1”, “2”, “5”, etc.) …

Enabling Accessibility Mode For WordPress Widgets

Click Save Widget to add the widget to the Active Widgets section, or the Cancel button to go back to the previous screen …

Enabling Accessibility Mode For WordPress Widgets

Click on an active widget’s Edit link …

Enabling Widget Accessibility Mode

A screen displays the selected widget with options for changing the widget’s settings.

Click Save Widget to return to the Active Widgets screen, or click the Delete button to delete the widget from the Active Widgets section …

Enabling Widget Accessibility Mode

Click on Disable accessibility mode in the Screen Options section to go back to using drag & drop …

Disable accessibility mode

(Disable accessibility mode)

Create Your Own Sidebar Widgets

Most widgets will either be installed by default when you create a new WordPress site, or be automatically added to your Available Widgets area when you install a new plugin on your website.

Here is a simple way to create your own custom sidebar widget:

First, create a new Post and enter the content that you would like to show on your sidebar…

Creating Your Own Custom Sidebar Widgets

Ensure that any images you plan to use are resized to fit the maximum width of the sidebar section. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have a lot of room to add content on the blog sidebar, so keep your information concise.

Also, don’t worry about saving your Post – all we need is the content to paste into a widget.

After creating your content, switch to the Text tab …

How To Create Your Own Custom Sidebar Widgets

Select and copy everything to your clipboard…

Create Your Own Custom Sidebar Widgets

Next, go into your Widgets Area.

Add a new Text widget to your sidebar, paste the content from your clipboard into the content field and click Save

Creating Your Own Custom Sidebar Widgets

Your new widget is now added to the sidebar section…

Create Your Own Sidebar Widgets

(Create your own custom sidebar widgets)

Congratulations! Now you know how to use and configure WordPress sidebar widgets.

Adding And Configuring Widgets On Your WordPress Sidebar Menu

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How To Use And Configure WordPress Widgets – Part 3

Learn how to add and configure a number of useful widgets on your WordPress sidebar …

Adding And Configuring WordPress Widgets In Your WebsiteIn Part 1 of this tutorial series, we explained how to use WordPress widgets and in Part 2, we explained how to configure a text widget.

In this tutorial you will configure other commonly-used widgets.

How To Add A Categories Widget To The Blog Sidebar

Now that you know how to set up a text widget containing a help button, let’s configure your Post Categories.

By default, the Categories widget displays on your sidebar. Place the widget wherever you want your post categories to display by clicking and dragging it in your sidebar area …

WordPress Post Categories Widget

(WordPress Categories widget)

Useful Tip

Before adding a Categories widget to your sidebar navigation area, we recommend setting up your post categories first …

WordPress Categories Panel

(WordPress Categories Panel)

Note: We plan to provide step-by-step tutorials that explain how to set up and use categories.

Let’s configure the Categories settings for this widget as shown below:

  • In Title: type something that blog readers will understand, like “Choose A Topic…” (1)
  • Check Display as dropdown if you plan to use many categories (this significantly reduces the length of the widget content by displaying all categories inside a drop-down menu). Leave the box unchecked if you want a list of all categories to display on the sidebar section. (2)
  • Leave the other options unticked, or see the additional notes on configuring this widget below.
  • Click Save when done …

WordPress Categories Widget settings

(WordPress Categories widget settings)

Load the site in your web browser or refresh the page to see how your Categories widget will look to blog readers …

WordPress Categories widget added to sidebar

(Categories widget added to sidebar)

Practical Tip

Tips:

  • Change the default Uncategorized post category to something more meaningful.
  • If you use nested categories on your site, you may want to check the Show hierarchy option, otherwise leave this option as is.
  • To display the number of posts published in each category, tick the Show post counts check box …

Category widget options - Post Count Enabled vs Post Count Disabled

(Category widget options – Post Count Enabled vs Post Count Disabled)

Add A Recent Posts Section To The Blog Sidebar Menu

The Recent Posts widget displays on your sidebar by default. All you need to do is configure this widget.

Click on the Recent Posts title bar to configure its settings …

Recent Posts widget

(Recent Posts WordPress widget)

There’s really very little to configure. You can add a title if you want, select the number of posts to display and opt to display post dates. If you’re happy with the default Number of posts to show setting, then just leave the widget as is, otherwise enter the number of posts to show and click Save

Recent Posts widget settings

(Recent Posts WordPress widget settings)

The number of posts you have specified will be listed on the sidebar navigation menu …

Recent Posts widget displayed on blog sidebar

(Recent Posts widget displayed on blog sidebar)

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to create WordPress Posts, go here: How To Create A WP Post

Displaying Your Site’s Main Pages

Next, we’ll add a widget to your sidebar that links to your site’s main pages.

Find a Pages widget in the Available Widgets section …

WordPress Pages Widget

(Pages Widget)

Drag the Pages widget to your active widget section …

Adding a Pages widget to the sidebar navigation area

(Adding a Pages widget to the sidebar area)

The Pages widget lets you configure the following settings:

  • Title: Add a title to display above your links (e.g. “Site Info“) (1)
  • Sort by: Sort how your pages display: by title (i.e. alphabetically), by page order, or by page ID. (2)
  • Exclude: Use this setting to hide pages on your sidebar (3) …

WordPress Pages Widget settings

(WordPress Pages Widget settings)

By default, pages are displayed by title in alphabetical order. If you want to display pages using one of the other options, then select a different method from the Sort by: drop-down menu …

WordPress Pages Widget settings - sort options

(Pages Widget settings – sort options)

To prevent certain pages from displaying to visitors, type or paste in the Page Ids for the pages you want excluded separated by commas into the Exclude field of the widget …

WordPress Pages Widget settings - exclude pages

(WordPress Pages Widget settings – excluding pages by ID)

A tutorial is provided on finding a page ID in WordPress here: How To Find A Post Or Page ID In Your WP Site

Click the Save button when finished and click Close at the bottom of the widget box to minimize the widget.

Links to the pages will now show on the sidebar area …

WordPress Pages Widget on blog sidebar

(Pages Widget on blog sidebar)

Practical Tip

Tip: You can add multiple Pages widgets to your sidebar. This is useful if you need to display separate groups of pages on the sidebar area (e.g. “Products”, “Legal Pages” etc.)

Add Links To The WordPress Sidebar Navigation Area

Next, we’ll add a Links widget to the sidebar.

Before adding a Links widget to your sidebar, we first recommend configuring the Links section inside the dashboard …

WordPress Links screen

(WordPress Links screen)

Note: We plan to create separate tutorials about setting up and using the Links feature.

To add the widget, find a Links widget in the Available Widgets section …

WordPress Links Widget

(Links Widget)

Drag the widget to your active area …

Make Links Widget active

(Making Links Widget active)

The widget offers a number of configurable options, including the ability to specify what information to show about your links and how many links you want to display on your sidebar navigation menu …

Links Widget Settings

(Links Widget Settings)

You can add as many separate ‘Link Widgets’ to your sidebar as you want. As you will see in a moment, this lets you create and display specific lists of links on your site …

Add Multiple Links Widgets To Your Sidebar Area

(Add Multiple WordPress Links Widgets To The Sidebar)

You can sort links by Link title, Link rating, Link ID, or display links in Random order …

Links widget: 'Sort by:' drop-down menu

(WordPress Links widget: ‘Sort by:’ drop-down menu)

You can also create and display a list of items for a specific category, by selecting a link category from the ‘Select Link Category’ drop-down menu …

WordPress Links widget: 'Select Link Category' drop-down menu

( Links widget: ‘Select Link Category’ drop-down menu)

When you have finished configuring your Links Widget, click the Save button to update your settings. Your widget will become immediately visible on your WordPress sidebar area …

Links added to sidebar navigation menu

(External links added to WordPress sidebar)

As the above example shows, you can display specific external links to your site visitors (e.g. a list for a specific link category only), and add multiple link lists to your WordPress sidebar.

How To Add And Configure Widgets In Your WordPress Sidebar

***

This is the end of section 3 of this tutorial series on how to use WordPress widgets.

Click on this link to continue:

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How To Use And Configure WordPress Widgets – Part 2

Learn how to add, configure, and use text widgets on your WordPress sidebar …

How To Add WordPress Widgets To The SiteIn Part 1 of this step-by-step tutorial series, we cover the basics of using widgets in WordPress.

In this section you are going to configure various commonly-used WordPress sidebar widgets.

Widget Configuration

In a default WordPress installation, your site comes with a number of built-in widgets, such as widgets that let you display links to your site’s pages, recent posts, RSS feed content, filter content by publish dates, etc.

In a default WordPress installation, your site comes with a number of pre-installed widgets

(By default, your site comes with a number of preinstalled widgets)

How To Set Up Frequently-Used WordPress Sidebar Widgets: Tutorial

In this tutorial, we are going to add, configure and reorder s number of WordPress widgets, including:

  • Add a clickable Support graphic button linking to your contact page.
  • Add a Categories section.
  • Add a Recent Posts section.
  • Adding a list of the site’s most important Pages.
  • Display a list of useful Links on the sidebar navigation menu.
  • Adding an RSS Feed section.
  • Add tag links through a Tag Cloud section.
  • Configure how your Archived Posts display on your sidebar.

To access the Widgets area go to Appearance > Widgets

Understanding WordPress For Newbies: About WordPress Widgets

(WordPress Widgets Menu)

This opens the Widgets area in your web browser …

Widgets Screen

(Widgets Area)

Let’s start by configuring text widgets …

Adding Text Widgets To Your Blog Sidebar

Text widgets are incredibly useful …

Text widget

(Text widget)

Important

Rich Text Widget

From version 4.8 onward, WordPress has added native rich-text editing capabilities to text widgets …

Rich Text Widget

(Rich Text Widget)

This lets you quickly and easily format text, create lists, add emphasis, and insert links into your sidebar text …

(Format text easily with the new text widget)

A text widget lets you insert just about anything you want into your sidebar or other widget sections, such as email and contact information, maps and directions, forms and more to your site … simply type in text or paste HTML into the content area. You can also give the widget a title. Remember to save your settings when done …

A text widget is really useful

(Text widgets are really versatile!)

Example: Add A Clickable Contact Button To The Sidebar Navigation Area Using A Text Widget

For this example, let’s set up a support button on your sidebar navigation section that will take your visitors to a page on your site (or an external site, e.g. a helpdesk) where they can contact you for help and support.

First, you will need to create or source a graphic image that you can use on your own site …

Use A Text Widget To Add A Help Button To Your Sidebar Section

We’ll set up a clickable button to display at the top of the sidebar navigation menu like in the example shown below …

Use A Text Widget To Add A Clickable Contact Button To Your Sidebar Area

Step 1 – Upload your image.

Upload the image to a folder on your server and note down the address of your image location.

For example …

http://www.yourdomain.com/images/supportbutton.jpg

This information will be used in Step 3.

In order for someone to be taken to your contact page when the help button is clicked, you will need to either create a contact page, or have an existing destination page already set up (e.g. a helpdesk). We will link the button graphic to this URL in Step 3

Step 2 – Add the support page.

Create a contact page and note the page URL …

Using A Text Widget To Add A Help Button To Your Sidebar Navigation Menu

Step 3 – Create the code for your text widget.

Don’t worry … this sounds a lot more technical than it is. In simple terms, we just need to create the instructions for your clickable image.

Your code can be typed in a plain text editor and will look something like this …

Use A Text Widget To Add A Clickable Help Button To Your Sidebar Navigation Area

  • Replace “http://www.yourdomain.com/contact-us” in the code with the URL of your contact page location.
  • Replace “http://yourimagelocation.com/img/supportbutton.jpg” in the code with the URL of your image location.

The image below shows the sections of the above code that you need to replace with the actual web addresses …

Add A Support Button To Your Sidebar Navigation Menu Using A Text Widget

Replace the above URLs and then copy all of your text file content to your clipboard when finished.

If you need help figuring out basic HTML code, refer to this tutorial:

Next, go back into your Widgets screen …

Activate or deactivate widgets using drag-and-drop

(Widgets Panel)

Step 4 – Add a Text widget.

Add a Text widget to your sidebar where you want the clickable button to display.

In the Available Widgets area, find the Text widget …

Text widget

(WordPress text widget)

Drag your Text widget to your Active Widgets section and release the widget at the top of the Widget Area

Drag-and-drop your WordPress text widget

(Drag-and-drop your Text widget)

Step 5 – Configure the text widget settings.

Click on the widget title bar to configure the widget settings. Paste the code with the links to your contact page and graphic button into the text widget content area and click the save button …

Text widget

Add a title section to your widget if you want (e.g. “Need Help?”, “Get Help”, etc.) and paste the code with the correct URLs into the large text box, then click the save button …

Text widget

Info

Note: Remember to test all links before pasting scripts into the Text Widget, or your button won’t work.

*** If using WordPress version pre-4.8 ***

If you’re adding text with no formatting tags, you may want to tick the Automatically add paragraphs box to wrap each block of text in an HTML paragraph code (note: not required if you paste in HTML content like we’re using in the example for this tutorial).

Here is some text with Automatically add paragraphs box unchecked …

Automatically add paragraphs box unchecked

(Automatically add paragraphs option not selected)

Here is some text added to a Text widget with Automatically add paragraphs box checked …

Automatically add paragraphs box selected

(Automatically add paragraphs box selected)

***

Step 6 – Refresh the browser.

Once you have added the text widget and HTML code, go to the front-end of your site and refresh your web browser. If you have entered all of the links correctly, then the support button will display in your site’s sidebar menu …

Add A Clickable Help Button To Your Sidebar Section Using A Text Widget

(Clickable button widget on sidebar)

The screenshot above shows the support contact button in the sidebar of a newly-installed WordPress site.

Step 7 – Test the widget.

The final step is to make sure that the clickable button works. Test this by clicking the graphic button. If you are taken directly to your support page, then your text widget has been set up correctly …

Test the clickable button to make sure you've set everything up correctly

(Test the text widget)

Practical Tip

Useful Tips:

If you want a new browser window to open up when visitors go to the contact page (so they don’t leave the page they’re in), then change the code from this:

Using A Text Widget To Add A Clickable Support Button To Your Sidebar Navigation Area

To this (i.e. insert the section containing target=”_blank” in your code):

Using A Text Widget To Add A Contact Button To Your Sidebar Navigation Section - open in new window

When choosing images for your sidebar navigation menu, make sure that the width of the image doesn’t exceed the width of the sidebar column, especially if you are using a non-responsive WordPress theme. As mentioned earlier, some themes may display different column widths depending on their templates and layout. Some sidebars may be wider or narrower. If your theme’s sidebar width is narrower than the width of the graphic image, then you may have to either adjust the graphic size, or the column width to make the images display correctly on your sidebar.

Adjust column width or reduce image size

(Make sure that the width of the image does not exceed the width of the sidebar column)

More Tips:

  • If you don’t want the button image to be centered in your sidebar, delete the <center> and </center> tags from the beginning and end of the line of code. The image will then align to the left.
  • You can link the contact button to any URL you like (e.g. to an external site, contact form, FAQ page, etc.) and change this anytime by replacing the code in the widget.

Adding Widgets To Your WordPress Sidebar Navigation Section

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This is the end of part two of this tutorial on how to use WordPress widgets.

To keep reading, click this link:

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