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How To Use And Configure WordPress Widgets – Part 3

In Part One of this step-by-step tutorial series, we explained how to use WordPress widgets and in Part Two, we explained how to configure text widgets.

In this section you are going to learn how to configure other commonly-used sidebar widgets.

How To Add Categories To Your Sidebar Section

Now that you have configure a text widget containing a clickable support button, let’s configure a widget to display your Categories.

The Categories widget displays on your sidebar by default. All you have to do, therefore, is place this widget wherever you want your categories to display by clicking and dragging it on the sidebar widget area …

(Categories widget)

Before adding a Categories widget to your sidebar area, you will first need to configure the Categoriessection inside the WordPress dashboard …

(WordPress Categories Screen)

Note: We plan to provide separate step-by-step tutorials on how to set up post categories.

Let’s configure your categories settings as shown below:

(Configuring a WordPress Categories widget)

Load the site in your web browser or reload your page to see how your sidebar categories will display to site visitors …

(WordPress Categories widget added to sidebar navigation section)


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

Add Recent Posts

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

Click on its title bar to configure its settings …

(Recent Posts widget)

There is not much to set up. You can add a widget title, select the number of posts to display and display post dates. If you’re happy with the default setting for Number of posts to show, then just leave the widget as is, otherwise change the number of posts and click Save when done …

(Recent Posts WordPress widget settings)

The number of posts you have specified will appear on your sidebar …

(Recent Posts widget on sidebar area)

For a step-by-step tutorial about how to create and edit a WordPress Post, go here: How To Create A New WordPress Post

Adding A Pages Widget

Next, let’s add a widget to your sidebar for listing pages.

Find a Pages widget in the Available Widgets section …

(Pages Widget)

Drag the Pages widget to your sidebar widget section …

(Adding a Pages widget to your sidebar navigation area)

The Pages widget lets you configure the following options:

(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 select a different method in the Sort by: drop-down menu …

(WordPress Pages Widget settings – sort options)

To exclude certain pages from displaying in the widget, type or paste in their Page Ids separated by commas into the Exclude field of the Pages widget …

(WordPress Pages Widget settings – exclude pages by ID)

A tutorial is provided on how to find a WordPress page ID here: How To Find WordPress Page And Post IDs

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

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

(Pages Widget on blog sidebar)

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

Display Links On Your Sidebar Menu

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

Before adding the Links widget to your sidebar menu, we recommend setting up the Links section inside your dashboard …

(WordPress Links section)

Note: We are currently putting together tutorials on how to configure the Links feature in WordPress.

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

(Links Widget)

Drag the widget to your sidebar …

(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 …

(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 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 …

(Links added to WordPress sidebar navigation 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 your sidebar navigation menu.


This is the end of section 3 of this tutorial series.

Click here to view the rest of this tutorial:


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