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How To Use And Configure WordPress Widgets – Part 3

In Part One of this tutorial series, we explained how to use widgets in WordPress and in Part 2, you learned how to configure a text widget.

In this tutorial you are going to configure other frequently-used sidebar widgets.

Add Categories

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

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

(Post Categories widget)

Before adding a Categories widget to the sidebar, we recommend setting up your categories inside the WordPress dashboard …

(WordPress Categories)

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

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

(Configuring a WordPress Categories widget)

Click Visit Site or reload your page to see how your content will display to your visitors …

(WordPress Categories widget added to sidebar navigation menu)


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

Add A Recent Posts Widget To The Blog Sidebar Area

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

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

(Recent Posts widget)

There’s very little to configure in this widget. You can add a title, select the number of posts to display and 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 enter the number of posts to show and click Save

(Recent Posts widget settings)

Your most recent posts will display on the sidebar …

(Recent Posts widget displayed on blog sidebar)

To learn how to create and edit a WordPress Post, see this tutorial: How To Create A WordPress Post

Adding A Pages Widget To Your Sidebar

Next, we’ll add a widget to your sidebar menu for listing pages.

Find a Pages widget in the Available Widgets section …

(Pages Widget)

Drag the Pages widget to your widget area …

(Adding a Pages widget to your sidebar)

The Pages widget lets you configure the following options:

(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 in the Sort by: drop-down menu …

(Pages Widget settings – sort options)

To exclude certain pages from showing in the widget, simply type or paste in the Page Ids for the pages you would like to exclude separated by commas into the Exclude field …

(WordPress Pages Widget settings – exclude pages)

To learn how to find a WordPress post or page ID, see this tutorial: How To Find The ID Of WordPress Pages And Posts

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

Links to the blog’s pages will now display in the sidebar …

(WordPress Pages Widget on sidebar)

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

Add A Links Widget

Now, let’s add a widget to the WordPress sidebar to display links to external resources.

Before adding a Links widget to the sidebar navigation section, you should first configure your Links feature inside the WP dashboard …

(WordPress Links screen)

Note: We plan to create step-by-step tutorials about how to use WordPress Links.

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

(Links Widget)

Drag the Links widget to your active area …

(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 …

(WordPress Links Widget Settings)

You can add as many separate ‘Link Widgets’ to the sidebar menu 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 Navigation Area)

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. Your links will become immediately visible on your site …

(External links added to sidebar)

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


This is the end of part three of this series of tutorials on how to use Widgets.

To continue, click this link:


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