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How To Use And Configure WordPress Widgets – Part 3

For a white label version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.

In Part 1 of this step-by-step tutorial series, we explained how to use widgets in WordPress and in Part 2, we explained how to configure a text widget.

In this tutorial you will configure other WordPress widgets.

How To Add Post Categories To The Sidebar

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

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

(WordPress Categories widget)

Before adding a Categories widget to the sidebar, we recommend configuring your post categories first …

(WordPress Post Categories)

Note: We plan to create tutorials on how to set up and use WordPress categories.

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 sidebar categories will look to blog readers …

(WordPress Categories widget added to sidebar area)


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

Add A Recent Posts Widget

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

Click on your Recent Posts widget title bar to display the configuration settings …

(Recent Posts WordPress widget)

There is really very little to set up in this widget. You can add a title, select the number of posts to display and opt to display post dates. If you want to use 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

(Recent Posts WordPress widget settings)

Your most recent posts will now display to visitors on the sidebar navigation area …

(Recent Posts widget on blog sidebar)

We provide a tutorial about how to create and edit a WordPress Post here: How To Create A New Post In WordPress

Add A Pages Widget To Your Blog Sidebar Area

Next, we’ll add a widget to your sidebar navigation section showing links to your pages.

Find a Pages widget in the Available Widgets section …

(WordPress Pages Widget)

Drag the Pages widget to your widget section …

(Adding a Pages widget to the sidebar)

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 choose a different method from the Sort by: drop-down menu …

(WordPress Pages Widget settings – sorting options)

To prevent certain pages from showing to your visitors, enter the Page Ids for all the pages you would like excluded separated by commas into the Exclude field of the widget …

(Pages Widget settings – exclude pages by ID)

We provide a tutorial on how to find a WordPress page ID here: How To Locate A Post Or Page ID In Your WordPress Blog

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

Links to the site’s main pages will now show in the sidebar …

(Pages Widget on blog sidebar)

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

Add Links To Your WordPress Blog Sidebar

Next, we’ll add a widget to the WordPress sidebar section to display external links (e.g. to useful resources, affiliate links, etc).

Before adding a Links widget to your sidebar navigation area, we recommend setting up the Links feature inside the WordPress dashboard first …

(WordPress Links section)

Note: Configuring and using Links will be explained in other tutorials.

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

(WordPress Links Widget)

Drag it to your sidebar 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 your sidebar …

(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 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)

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 …

(External links added to WordPress 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 3 of this tutorial series about using WordPress widgets.

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For a white label version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.