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How To Use And Configure WordPress Widgets – Part 3

In 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 tutorial you will learn how to configure other frequently-used WordPress widgets.

Add A Post Categories Widget

Now that you know how to configure a text widget containing a support button, let’s configure a widget for displaying Post Categories on your sidebar.

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

(WordPress Categories widget)

your your WordPress post categories …

(Post Categories Panel)

Note: We plan to create separate tutorials on how to configure and use post categories.

Let’s configure your Categories widget settings as shown below:

(Configuring a Categories widget)

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

(WordPress Categories widget added to sidebar)


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

Add Recent Posts To The Blog Sidebar

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

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

(Recent Posts WordPress widget)

There’s really not much 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 to use the default setting for Number of posts to show, then just leave the widget as is, otherwise enter the number of posts to show and click Save

(Recent Posts widget settings)

The most recent number of posts you’ve specified will appear on the sidebar …

(Recent Posts widget on sidebar)

Creating a post in WordPress is explained in this tutorial: How To Create A WP Post

Add A Pages Widget To Your Sidebar Navigation Area

Next, we’ll add a widget to your sidebar to display the pages you select.

Find a Pages widget in the Available Widgets section …

(Pages Widget)

Drag the Pages widget to your sidebar widget area …

(Dragging and dropping a Pages widget into your sidebar navigation section)

The Pages widget allows you to configure the following options:

(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 …

(Pages Widget settings – item sorting options)

To exclude certain pages from displaying to your visitors, type in the Page Ids for the pages you would like to exclude separated by commas into the Exclude field of the widget …

(WordPress Pages Widget settings – exclude pages)

A step-by-step tutorial is provided on how to find a WordPress post or page ID here: How To Locate WordPress Post And Page IDs

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

Links to your blog’s main pages will now display on your sidebar …

(Pages Widget on sidebar)

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

Add A Links Widget

Next, we’ll add a Links widget to display external links on your sidebar.

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

(WordPress Links screen)

Note: We plan to create separate tutorials on how to configure and use the Links feature in WordPress.

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

(WordPress Links Widget)

Drag the Links widget to your active area …

(Making Links Widget active)

The Links 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 section …

(WordPress Links Widget Settings)

You can add as many separate ‘Link Widgets’ to your sidebar area 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 Your Sidebar)

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

(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)

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 …

(External links added to sidebar menu)

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 the sidebar navigation area.


This is the end of part 3 of this tutorial series about using Widgets.

Click on this link to view the rest of this tutorial series:


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