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 …

Configuring Widgets On Your WordPress SidebarIn Part One of this tutorial, we explained how to use widgets in WordPress and in Part Two, you learned how to configure a text widget.

In Part Three, we began configuring various frequently-used WordPress sidebar widgets.

In this final installment, you are going to how to complete the step-by-step tutorial by configuring a few more useful sidebar widgets.

Info

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 Your Sidebar

Let’s now add a widget to the sidebar section that displays news items from RSS feeds.

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

WordPress RSS Widget

(RSS Widget)

Enter the following information into the widget settings:

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

WordPress RSS Widget settings

(RSS Widget settings)

Experiment with different settings to find the combination that best works for you.

The example below shows the RSS widget configured with the settings shown above …

RSS Widget on sidebar

(RSS Widget added to sidebar menu)

The example below shows a published RSS Feed widget configured using other options selected …

WordPress RSS Widget settings

(RSS Widget settings)

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

Adding A Tag Cloud Widget

Let’s add A Tag Cloud widget to the sidebar navigation menu.

Important Info

Tags appearing in your Tag Cloud widget are listed in the Tags screen …

WordPress Tags area

(Tags area)

To use the widget, find a Tag Cloud widget in the Available Widgets section and drag it to your active area …

Tag Cloud Widget

(WordPress Tag Cloud Widget)

There’s not much to set up in this widget. You can add a title, and choose whether to display items in the tag cloud using Tags or Categories. Click Save when finished …

WordPress Tag Cloud Widget settings

(WordPress Tag Cloud Widget settings)

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

Tag cloud displaying post tags

(Tag cloud set to display WordPress post tags)

The example below shows a published Tag Cloud widget configured for displaying Categories instead of Tags

Tag Cloud widget set to display WordPress categories

(Tag cloud displaying categories)

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

Configuring The WordPress Archives Widget

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

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

The Archives Widget lets your readers access older published WordPress posts …

Archives Widget

(Archives Widget)

There is very little to set up. You can add a title, and choose whether to display items in your sidebar area as a dropdown menu, and display post counts . Click Save when done …

WordPress Archives Widget settings

(Archives Widget settings)

The screenshot below shows an Archives widget set up to display posts as a dropdown menu with post counts enabled …

WordPress Archives widget added to sidebar

(WordPress Archives Widget displayed on sidebar)

Now that you know how to configure various widgets on your WordPress site, let’s explore some other useful aspects of using WordPress widgets.

Useful Widget Tips

Here are some additional things to know about 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:

Overriding Default Sidebar Widgets

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

For example, the site below shows some widgets in the sidebar …

Override Default Widgets

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

How To Override Default WordPress Sidebar Widgets

This is because the theme above could be using default widgets.

As soon as you add one or more widgets to an active widget area, the placeholder widgets will your selected widgets will be used instead.

Note: If you don’t want anything to show up in your sidebar, either use a theme page template without a widgets layout or just add a blank Text widget to your sidebar area.

Add a blank text widget …

Overriding Default Sidebar Widgets

And the default widgets will not appear in your sidebar/footer section …

How To Override Default Sidebar Widgets

Accessibility Mode

As we’ve shown you earlier, with WordPress you can easily rearrange how information is displayed in widgetized areas of your website or blog, like sidebars, footers and navigation menus with just a few clicks of your mouse button, using drag-&-drop …

Reorganize sidebar elements with widgets to improve your site's user experience

(Reorganizing sidebar layout using widgets can improve your site’s user experience)

In the screenshot above, for example, you can see that we have easily rearranged the layout in the site’s sidebar by switching around the search and testimonial sections. This is easily done by simply dragging and dropping the widget elements into different positions inside the sidebar widget area.

Reorganizing sidebar layout with widgets can help to improve your site’s 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), you can still work with widgets if you enable Accessibility Mode.

Enabling Widget Accessibility Mode

Enabling Accessibility Mode, via Screen Options, allows you to use Add and Edit buttons instead of using drag and drop.

To enable Accessibility Mode, log into your WordPress administration area and navigate to Appearance > Widgets

WordPress Widgets Menu

(Widgets Menu)

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

WordPress Widgets - Screen Options

(Widgets – Screen Options)

Click on the Enable accessibility mode link …

Switch On accessibility mode

(Enable accessibility mode)

Once the feature has been enabled, the widgets in the Available Widgets section will display an Add link, and the widgets in the Active Widgets section will display an Edit link …

Enabling Accessibility Mode For Widgets

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

Enabling Accessibility Mode For WordPress Widgets

A screen will display the selected widget with options for customizing the widget’s settings, selecting a location to add the widget, plus drop-down menus for specifying the position of the widget in the selected area (e.g. position “1”, “2”, “4”, etc.) …

Enabling Widget Accessibility Mode

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

Enable Accessibility Mode For WordPress Widgets

Click on an active widget’s Edit link …

Enabling Widget Accessibility Mode

A screen displays your 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 remove the widget from the Active Widgets section …

Enable Accessibility Mode For Widgets

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

Switch off accessibility mode

(Switch off accessibility mode)

How To 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 site.

If you want to create a sidebar widgets, then here is a simple and easy way:

First, create a new Post and type in the content that you want to add to the sidebar…

Create Your Own Custom Sidebar Widgets

Make sure that any images you plan to use are resized to fit the maximum width of the sidebar navigation section. Also, keep in mind that there’s no a lot of room to add content on your blog sidebar, so keep your information concise.

Also, don’t worry about saving your Post – all we really need is the content HTML to be pasted into a sidebar widget.

Once you have written your content in the WordPress editor, click on the Text tab …

Create Your Own Custom Sidebar Widgets

Select and copy everything to your clipboard…

How To Create Your Own Sidebar Widgets

Now, go into your Widgets Area.

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

Create Your Own Sidebar Widgets

Your custom widget will be added to your sidebar…

How To Create Your Own Custom Sidebar Widgets

(Create your own sidebar widgets)

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

Adding WordPress Widgets To The Sidebar

Subscribe below & receive 101+ useful WordPress tips that will help grow your business online faster ...

101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies

Get 101+ Powerful WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies ... 100% FREE!

Enter your details below and we'll send you 101+ useful WordPress tips, tricks and hacks directly to your inbox:

We will never SPAM you!

***

"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com

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 The SidebarIn Part 1 of this step-by-step tutorial, we explained how to use widgets in WordPress and in Part Two, you learned how to configure a text widget.

In this section you are going to learn how to configure other widgets.

Adding A Post Categories Section

Now that you have configure a text widget containing a clickable contact button, let’s configure a widget to display Categories on the sidebar.

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

Post Categories Widget

(Categories widget)

Practical Tip

Before adding a Categories widget to your sidebar, you should first configure your post categories inside your WordPress dashboard …

Post Categories Panel

(Categories Panel)

Note: Setting up and using WordPress post categories will be covered in other tutorials.

Configure your categories widget settings as shown below:

  • In Title: type something that blog readers will understand, for example, “Choose A Topic…” (1)
  • Check Display as dropdown if you plan to add several categories (this significantly reduces the size of your widget content by displaying all categories inside a drop-down menu). If you plan to publish posts under a few categories only, then leave the Display as dropdown box unticked. (2)
  • Leave the remaining options as the default, or see the additional notes on configuring the Categories widget below.
  • Click Save when done …

Configuring a Categories Widget

(WordPress Categories widget settings)

Click Visit Site or refresh the page to see how the content will display to your blog readers …

Categories widget added to sidebar

(Categories widget added to sidebar)

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 box, otherwise leave this box unchecked.
  • To display the number of posts published in each category on your site, enable 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 Widget

The Recent Posts widget displays in the sidebar navigation section by default. All you need to do is configure the widget.

Click on its widget title bar to display the configuration settings …

Recent Posts WordPress widget

(Recent Posts WordPress widget)

There is really very little to set up. You can add a widget title, select the number of posts to display and opt to display post dates. If you’re happy to use the default Number of posts to show setting, then just leave the widget as is, otherwise change the number of posts and click Save when done …

Recent Posts widget settings

(Recent Posts widget settings)

Your most recent posts will be listed on your sidebar …

Recent Posts widget on blog sidebar

(Recent Posts widget displayed on sidebar navigation section)

We provide a tutorial on how to create and edit a WordPress Post here: How To Create A WP Post

Adding A Pages Widget

Next, let’s add a widget to your sidebar area to display page links.

Find a Pages widget in the Available Widgets section …

Pages Widget

(WordPress Pages Widget)

Drag the Pages widget to your sidebar widget section …

Adding a Pages widget to your sidebar

(Inserting a Pages widget into the sidebar)

The Pages widget allows you to configure the following options:

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

WordPress Pages Widget settings

(WordPress Pages Widget settings)

By default, pages will be listed by title in alphabetical order. If you want to display pages using another option, then choose a different method in the Sort by: drop-down menu …

WordPress Pages Widget settings - sort options

(Pages Widget settings – sorting options)

To exclude pages from showing to visitors, just type or paste in their Page Ids separated by commas into the Exclude field …

WordPress Pages Widget settings - exclude pages

(WordPress Pages Widget settings – exclude pages by ID)

Finding a page ID in WordPress is explained in this tutorial: How To Find The ID Of WordPress Pages And Posts

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

Links to your blog’s main pages will now show in your sidebar menu …

WordPress Pages Widget on sidebar

(WordPress Pages Widget on sidebar)

Practical Tip

Tip: You can add multiple Pages widgets to the sidebar. This is helpful if you would like to display different page groups on the sidebar (e.g. “Products”, “Legal Pages” etc.)

Add A Links Widget

Now, we’ll add a widget to display external links on your WordPress sidebar menu.

Before adding the Links widget to your sidebar, you will first need to configure your Links section inside your WordPress dashboard …

WordPress Links section

(WordPress Links screen)

Note: How to set up the WordPress Links feature will be covered in separate tutorials.

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

WordPress Links Widget

(Links Widget)

Drag it to your sidebar area …

Making 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 the sidebar menu …

WordPress Links Widget Settings

(Links Widget Settings)

You can add as many separate ‘Link Widgets’ to the 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 WordPress Links Widgets To The Sidebar

(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 …

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

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

When you have finished configuring the Links Widget, click the Save button …

Links added to sidebar section

(Links added to WordPress sidebar navigation section)

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 lists of links to the WordPress sidebar section.

How To Add And Configure Widgets In The WordPress Sidebar

***

This is the end of section 3 of this series of tutorials on how to use Widgets.

To continue, click this link:

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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 Widgets To Your WordPress Blog Sidebar AreaIn Part One of this tutorial, we explained the basics of how to use widgets in WordPress.

In this tutorial you will learn how to configure a number of WordPress sidebar widgets.

Configuring Sidebar Widgets

In a default WordPress installation, your site comes with several built-in widgets, such as widgets that let you display external links, recent posts, RSS feed content, adding tag clouds, etc.

By default, your site comes with a number of built-in widgets

(In a default WordPress installation, your site comes with a number of active widgets)

How To Configure Widgets On The Sidebar: Step-By-Step Tutorial

In this tutorial, you are going to add, configure and reorder a number of frequently-used widgets, including:

  • Add a Help graphic linking visitors to your support page.
  • Adding a Categories section with a drop down menu.
  • Add a Recent Posts section to display the latest posts.
  • Adding a list of the site’s main Pages.
  • Display important Links on your sidebar.
  • Adding an RSS Feed section.
  • Adding tags to the sidebar area using a Tag Cloud.
  • Configure how your Archived Posts display on your sidebar.

The Widgets area is located in the WordPress administration area and can easily be accessed from the dashboard menu by choosing Appearance > Widgets

Understanding WordPress For Newbies: About WordPress Widgets

(Widgets Menu)

This brings up the Widgets section in your web browser …

Widgets Area

(Widgets Area)

Let’s begin by learning how to configure a text widget …

Adding Text Widgets To Your Sidebar

Text widgets are quite useful …

Text widget

(Text widget)

Info

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 can be used to add single lines or paragraphs of text, videos, scripts and more to your site … simply type in text or add HTML into the content area. You can also give the widget a title. Remember to save your settings when done …

A text widget is extremely versatile

(Text widgets are very useful!)

Example: Use A Text Widget To Add A Clickable Support Button To Your Sidebar Area

For this example, we’ll set up a clickable help button on your sidebar 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 “help button” graphic image that you can use on your own site …

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

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

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

Step 1 – Upload your image.

To display an image on your site, the graphic image must be uploaded to your server. Upload your button graphic to the images folder in your server and note the path to your image location.

For example …

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

This information will be used in Step 3.

For someone to be taken to the contact page when they click on the graphic button, you must either create a contact page, or have an existing destination page already set up (e.g. a helpdesk). We will then link the button image to this URL in Step 3

Step 2 – Create your contact page.

Create a contact page on your site and note the page URL …

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

Step 3 – Compose your text widget code.

If you’re not a technical-minded person, don’t worry … this sounds a lot more technical than it is. In simple terms, we just need to create the instructions linking your graphic image to your contact page.

Your instructions can be typed into a plain text editor and should look something like this …

Add A Clickable Help Button To The Sidebar Navigation Section Using A Text Widget

  • 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 above with the URL of your image location.

The screenshot below shows which sections of the above sample code you will need to replace with your actual contact details …

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

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

If you need help with basic HTML code, see this tutorial:

Next, go back to your Widgets section …

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 would like the button to display.

In the Available Widgets area, select the Text widget …

WordPress text widget

(WordPress text widget)

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

Dragging and dropping your Text widget

(Drag and drop your WordPress text widget)

Step 5 – Configure your text widget settings.

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

Text widget

Add a heading to the widget if you want (e.g. “Need Help?”, “Support”, etc.) and paste the code with the correct URLs into the text area, then click the save button …

WordPress text widget

Important Info

Note: Remember to test all links before pasting scripts into the Text Widget, or the clickable button will not work.

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

If adding text without formatting tags, you may want to tick the Automatically add paragraphs box to wrap each block of text in an HTML paragraph code (note: this is not necessary if you’re typing in code like we’re doing in this tutorial).

Here is some text with Automatically add paragraphs box not checked …

Automatically add paragraphs option unchecked

(Automatically add paragraphs box not selected)

Here is some text added to a Text widget with Automatically add paragraphs option selected …

Automatically add paragraphs option ticked

(Automatically add paragraphs option checked)

***

Step 6 – Refresh the web browser.

After adding your widget and code content, visit your site and refresh the web browser. If all links have been entered correctly, then your support button should display at the top of the sidebar menu …

Use A Text Widget To Add A Help Button To The Sidebar Navigation Section

(Clickable support button widget on blog sidebar)

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

Step 7 – Test your widget.

The final step is to make sure that the clickable button works. Test the button to make sure that your visitors will go to your help page when they click on the button. If you are taken to the support page, then your text widget has been set up correctly …

Test your text widget

(Test your clickable button)

Practical Tip

Text Widgets – Useful Tips:

If you want a new browser window to open up when visitors click on the help button (so they don’t leave the page they’re in), then change the text widget code from this:

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

To this (i.e. include the part containing target=”_blank” in the text widget code):

Use A Text Widget To Add A Support 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 we’ve previously explained, some themes can display different column widths depending on their templates and layout. Some sidebars are wide and some are narrow. If your theme’s sidebar is narrower than the width of your graphic image, then you may need to either adjust the image size, or the column width to make elements display correctly on your sidebar area.

Adjust column width or reduce image size

(Adjust column width or reduce image size)

Additional Tips:

  • If you don’t want your button to be centered inside 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.
  • Link the help button to any URL you want (e.g. to an external link, helpdesk, forum, etc.) and change this anytime by replacing the links inside your text widget.

Configuring Widgets On The WordPress Sidebar Menu

***

This is the end of section 2 of this tutorial series about using WordPress widgets.

Click here to keep reading:

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now