Are you searching for How to add custom widget area in WordPress Website then you have landed on right place?
In today’s article I will show you different types of widgets and how to add a custom widget area effectively.
A visually engaging website is a must to have if you want to be a successful blogger.
But it is not that easy to make a website visually attractive. Do you want to improve your user retention and make your website more attractive?
Well, the clear solution is to add a custom widget area to WordPress. By adding a custom widget, you will get a lot of benefits.
These themes come with many default widget areas. But the best part is, now, apart from using those default WP widgets, you can directly add custom widgets.
It lets you draw visitors’ interest by making engaging content. Also, website owners can use specially picked widgets to attract more visitors.
These unique widgets keep the visitors engaging with the website for longer.
You need to find the exact number of widgets you are going to use. Otherwise, using too many or too few widgets can hamper your website.
In today’s, we will give you a comprehensive guide on adding WP custom widget areas. So, are you ready to know how to add a custom widget area to WordPress and improve your website?
If yes, follow the guide below.
- What is a Widget in WordPress Website?
- Why Create a Custom Widget Area? Or When to Use WordPress Widget?
- Different Types of Widgets in WordPress
- How to Create Widgets in Your WordPress Website?
- Find Widgets for Your WordPress Site
- How You will Find the Proper Widget for Your Website
- How to Create a New Widget Area for Your Custom Theme (Theme Specific Widget)?
- Add a Custom Widget Area to Your WordPress with a Plugin
- Free Plugins to Add Widget in WordPress
- Paid Plugins to Add Widget in WordPress
- Final Words
What is a Widget in WordPress Website?
If you are just starting and not very familiar with WordPress, you must be concerned about what widget is on WordPress?
Have you ever noticed any signup form, photo, or menu in the sidebar while visiting any website? Well, those are the widgets.
To know about WordPress Widget, have a look at WordPress first. WordPress is a beginner-friendly platform for creating websites.
It is also familiar as an open-source content management system.
WordPress widgets are options that you can use to build sidebars on your website. This pre-built module adds a particular feature to a site.
Widgets let you quickly add links, texts, and search bars to your website.
In WordPress, you will find some default WordPress widgets.
These are sufficient for many websites. But now you also can download and add the widget to WordPress.
In WordPress, you can add widgets to the website’s footers, sidebars, and other areas. Every widget adds a feature to your website.
Now, are you concerned about where you can add the widgets to your site? Actually, it depends on the WordPress theme. Several themes have footer and sidebar widgets.
Some themes let you place widgets on the homepage, header, or other areas. WordPress comes with many widgets.
It includes tag cloud, categories, calendar, search bar, navigation menu, and recent posts. WordPress widgets provide a simple way of
controlling the entire website’s design.
Widgets are beneficial for your visitors to navigate your website. It is also helpful for visitors to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on the website.
Why Create a Custom Widget Area? Or When to Use WordPress Widget?
You can use a widget whenever you want. It lets you add extra content to one or more pages on your website. Widgets are mainly helpful for those contents that you want to show on each website page.
There are several reasons for creating a custom widget area in your theme. But the most obvious reason is to expand the theme functionality to other areas of your website.
Custom widget areas help to deliver the required flexibility to WordPress users. It allows users to add, edit, or delete any functionality in the website.
Widgets are also helpful to re-arrange the elements of your website. It also makes your website more presentable.
Widgets follow a very basic Drag and Drop approach. So, a non-technical person also can handle a website pretty well.
Here we can say that widgets in the sidebar will be more worthy than those widgets in the footer.
For particular widget areas, you can navigate around your site’s departments, media, and relevant content.
The WordPress custom widget area offers you some more advantages. Such advantages are;
Customized WordPress widgets help you to beat the competition. It helps your website to stand out among other websites.
Custom widgets let you build an expert image instantly for customers. It makes sure your website will look better than your competitors’.
The custom widget makes your website more customizable and easier to update.
By utilizing a custom WP widget, you will be able to customize any feature in your website. Custom widgets come with more support.
Moreover, if you are a business owner, a custom widget will be the best option for you.
You must add the custom widget area to WordPress to get the advantages mentioned.
Different Types of Widgets in WordPress
WordPress has several widgets. Here, you will see default widgets such as tag cloud, Category, and search.
Widgets offer simple and easy structure control to WordPress users.
Apart from the default widgets, now you can add custom widget areas as well to WordPress.
The custom widgets provide more dedicated options related to the functionality of WordPress.
Now have a look at the different types of widgets on WordPress.
1. Navigation Widgets
These particular widgets encourage visitors to navigate around your website.
The Navigation Menu Widget and Tag Cloud Widgets are navigation widgets.
It allows you to create a custom navigation menu and the main navigation menu on your website. And, then you can add it to the widget area.
Adding the main navigation menu to a widget area will only work if you have a small navigation menu.
And, if you add the navigation menu to the footer of a site, people will reach the very end of your post.
So, navigation widgets will be more beneficial for mobile users. They usually do a lot of scrolling and reach to the very end of a post.
Also, you can use the Categories widget to display a list of the categories on your website.
2. Media Widgets
It lets you add media to the footer or sidebar of your website. Media widgets make your website livelier and give visitors something to look at.
So, want to make your website look more attractive? Then don’t forget to add the media widgets.
You can use the Image widget to display images in the footer or sidebar. Also, it lets you turn the image into a link.
The video widget allows users to stream video from YouTube into the website’s widget area. It will be more beneficial if your website has particular widget areas.
Media Widget is always helpful in catching people’s attention.
3. Social Media Widgets
The social media widget displays tiny graphics linked to your social media accounts. You can add these widgets in any widget area of your theme.
Adding social media links to the social media icons will allow visitors to reach your social sites. It will be beneficial for website owners to engage with their visitors.
However, every social media platform has its plugins. Here, you can install plugins to access the social media widgets.
The third-party plugins also let you customize the display of the social media feed.
4. Recent Posts Widget
These widgets display the most recent posts in the sidebar of your website. Recent post widgets let your readers easily see your blog’s new posts.
It is the most common widget used in blogs. These widgets ensure that people will browse your site and won’t skip any posts.
With WordPress, you will get these widgets pre-installed. It allows you to set as many posts you want to show in the sidebar.
For extra functionality, install plugins that will display the most popular content of your site.
Also, the Advanced Random Posts widget refreshes your web page whenever a user visits a new screen.
5. Recent Comments Widget
Want to show visitors how much the audience is engaged with your content? Then just add the recent comments widget to your website.
It is a sidebar tool that displays readers’ most recent comments on your blog.
This widget displays the latest comments on your website. Your visitors can navigate to those comments and join in the discussion. In WordPress, you will get the recent comments widget pre-installed.
Moreover, to add extra functionality, install the third-party plugins. With plugins, visitors can comment on your posts using their Facebook accounts. So, it will be beneficial for social media engagement.
6. Form Widget
Want people to contact you or sign up for a mailing list on your website? Then the form widget is the thing for you.
This widget allows users to input data and enable them to interact with the site owner. You can add a form widget to the sidebar of your website.
The form widget is not included with WordPress.
But you can add plugins to add this widget to WordPress.
7. Search Widget
The search widget lets you add a search box to the website. It allows the readers to search posts easily on your site.
This widget is simple and very useful for users. With WordPress, you will get this widget pre-installed.
You can add the search widget to the header or sidebar on your website. It will be easier for users to find things on the site.
To boost the power of the search widget, you can install the free WP Google Search widget. This particular widget uses Google search.
8. Login Widget
Do you want to add a login form to the sidebar of your website? Well, a login widget lets you do so.
A login form allows users to quickly login from anywhere on the website. If you run a membership site, a login widget will be helpful for people to log onto your website. It won’t need any separate login page.
However, in WordPress, the meta widget comes pre-installed. It comes with a login link and other things that are not useful for every website owner. Hence, using a separate plugin will be more beneficial for you.
9. Call To Action Widgets
This widget is handy as it helps people to take action. This widget creates beautiful boxes, combined with images, texts, and a button.
So, the widget can be a simple button, a text widget, an image widget, or an HTML widget. All these widgets come pre-installed with WordPress.
This widget lets people sign up to your mailing list.
So, add this widget if you want to make your site easier to handle for users.
10. Map Widget
Do you want people to know about your business efficiently? Then don’t forget to add a map widget to your website.
The map widget enables you to display the predefined locations on the onscreen map.
You will get several free WordPress map plugins or other Google map widget plugins.
If you don’t want to install the plugins, get the embedded code from Google Maps and add it to the HTML widget.
11. Shopping Cart Widget
If your website is about e-commerce, then a shopping cart widget will be very useful for you. This widget helps people to navigate to their cart easily.
- You can put the shopping cart widget in the sidebar so that people can easily see it.
- Also, you can add this widget to the header area for better visibility.
- You can install eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, which includes shopping cart widgets.
- After adding the eCommerce plugins, you will get them added to the Widget screen.
- Here are the different types of widgets that you can add to the Custom Widget Area to WordPress.
- To get the right WordPress widget’ first, you need to precisely understand what you
- need. Choose the widget according to how you want to make your website.
- You can check the built-in widgets to check whether they are fulfilling your needs or not.
- If they are suitable, then OK, otherwise add the custom widgets.
- Whatever widget you choose, you have to test it to check whether it works or not.
If you buy premium plugins, you should buy one with a money-back guarantee. Also, you can purchase those plugins that come with a free trial period.
How to Create Widgets in Your WordPress Website?
Widget’s areas are a significant part of every WordPress site. It helps to enrich the website’s design and draw visitors’ attention as well.
However, every theme has default widget areas. By adding a custom widget area, you can make your website better than the others.
But how to add a widget in WordPress? Here, we will give you a complete guide to add a custom widget area to WordPress.
Find Widgets for Your WordPress Site
There are a lot of available widgets. So, you may find it challenging to choose a widget for your WordPress site. Let’s have a look at the different types of widgets.
In-built WordPress Widgets
In WordPress, you will get so many built-in widgets. Such widgets are calendar, image, navigation menu, archives, video, custom HTML, Tag cloud, audio, meta, etc.,
You can use any of these pre-installed widgets according to your needs. These widgets will save time.
the in-built widgets will be helpful while creating a custom widget on a WordPress website without a plugin,
These plugins let you add the widget to WordPress without any complications. It also ensures less code runs on your website.
Add Widgets with a Plugin
WordPress plugin respiratory comes with a lot of free widget plugins. Here, you will get a massive number of custom widget area WordPress plugin options to choose from.
Other plugins also have widgets. For example, you will get a cart widget and more with an eCommerce plugin.
If the plugin directory doesn’t have the particular plugin you need, you must add a premium plugin.
Hence, it would be beneficial to do well research before buying a plugin.
To add a custom widget area to WordPress through plugins, first, you have to install and activate the plugin. Then navigate to Appearance > Widgets.
Here you will get a section named Custom Sidebars. You can use the default sidebars or create customized sidebars.
Then click on your preferred widget and then on visibility. Save your widgets settings and preview the changes.
By adhering to these simple steps, you can add the widget to WordPress through plugins.
How You will Find the Proper Widget for Your Website
You need to follow a few tips to get the right widget for your site.
- First of all, you have to understand precisely what you need from the widget.
- Understand what functionality your website needs to have and how you want it to look?
- You have to find the widgets according to these requirements.
- Next, you have to check the in-built widgets and see whether any widget meets your needs or not.
- You can test the relevant widgets. If you find a suitable one, then use it.
- Otherwise, add a custom widget area to WordPress.
Then go through the plugin directory to search for more plugins. It will help you to find the right plugins for widgets.
Go for a premium plugin if you don’t see anything among the free plugins.
By following these tips, you can choose the right widgets for your website.
Add Widgets in WordPress
After choosing the right widget, now it’s time to add the widgets to your website. You can add the widgets to the active widget areas.
If your theme doesn’t come with a widget area, you can go for an alternative theme.
The two ways of adding widgets are;
- If you are using theme customizer, then go to Appearance. Next, go to customizer> Widgets in the admin menu. Also, the alternative way is to Customize > Widgets from the admin bar at the top of the screen.
- Go to Appearance > Widgets in the admin menu/admin bar for the Widgets admin screen. Then click Customize > Widgets.
Add Widgets in the header with several WordPress themes; you will get different widget areas. Most of the themes come with widget areas in the footer or the sidebar. But in some themes, you will see widget areas in the header as well.
Go to the WordPress widget settings screen in WordPress admin, and see all the widget areas in your theme.
To add widgets in several places, you need to find a theme with multiple widget areas. A framework theme works best for various widget areas.
Use the Widget Screen to Add Widgets.
You can use the Widget screen to add a custom widget area to WordPress. To do this, first, click on Appearance > Widgets. Here the widget screen will appear.
To add widgets to WordPress, you have to drag the widget from the widget list on the left-hand side. Click on the particular widget that you want to add.
Now, choose the site location where you want to add the widget. Then click on the Add widget button, and the widget will be added.
With this process, you can add as many widgets as you want in every widget area. But, don’t add too many widgets to avoid a messy look.
Use WordPress Customizer to add Widgets.
You can use a customizer to add a WP custom widget area. With this process, you can easily add and monitor your widgets.
You also can do it from the admin bar on the live site. Just go to the admin menu > click Appearance > Customize. Just click on Customize to open the customizer.
Now you have to click the Widgets options, and you will get the list of all the widget areas in the theme.
Click the particular widget area where you want to add the widget and click the ‘Add a widget button.’
Here, you can see a list of all available widgets for your website. It will show the built-in widgets and the widgets you have added through plugins.
Select the widget you need, and see it in the preview screen on the right-hand side. You can reorder the widgets by clicking the Reorder link below the widgets list.
Then click the arrows to move the widgets up and down.
After adding widgets with a customizer, make sure to click the Publish button at the top left. It will help to save the changes to the website. The changes won’t be active on the live site without this particular step.
After adding the widgets, take a look at them and check how the widgets fit in the page’s design.
Try not to add too many custom widget areas to WordPress. Otherwise, it may look messy.
How to Create a New Widget Area for Your Custom Theme (Theme Specific Widget)?
Knowing about WordPress themes you must understand that many themes come with the sidebar’s widgets area.
So, you can add, reorder, or remove widgets on your WordPress website. Here you have to use the widget section on the WordPress dashboard.
Widgetized sidebar is very useful. But do you want to add a new widget area to your customs theme? Well, that’s also possible. The process is pretty straightforward.
After modifying the themes, you can easily swap the widgets to different parts of the website. You have to follow three steps to add the WP custom widget area to the custom theme.
- Add Custom Code to Theme First- you have to add the code (custom widget area WordPress code) to the part of the theme that you want to add a widget. Make sure to change the name of the widget area. You have to do it with a code editor. Then finally, upload the file through an FTP client.
- Edit functions.php – You will get a functions.php file in the WordPress theme folder. If you don’t find any file there, you have to make a new file and change the name to functions.php.
In the functions.php file, add the following code:
( function_exists('register_sidebar') ) register_sidebar(array( 'name' => 'Name of Widgetized Area', 'before_widget' => '<div class = "widgetizedArea">', 'after_widget' => '</div>', 'before_title' => '<h3>', 'after_title' => '</h3>', )
This code will be wrapped in PHP open and close tags. With a function.php file, the tags will be present there already. Otherwise, if you have to create the functions, PHP file, then add the tags.
Here, don’t forget to change the name of the Widgetized Area. Make sure the name of the first step matches the name of the widget area.
The before and after widget parameters specify the codes you will put before and after each widget.
With the before_title and after_title parameters, you can wrap the widget titles in code.
- Adding Widgets: After adding the custom widget area to WordPress, start adding the widgets. To add widgets to your site, you have to log into your WordPress dashboard.
Then you have to click on Widgets in the Appearance dropdown. Now, you can see the name of the widget area on the right side of the screen. Click and drag the widgets into that box, and the widgets will be added.
Add a Custom Widget Area to Your WordPress with a Plugin
Usually, when you add a widget to a sidebar, you will see it on every page of your website. It works as a reminder to the visitor to your site to engage with the extra resources that you offer.
The sidebar contents are not always relevant to all pages and posts on the website. Instead, you need to show relevant and page-related content.
If you use the native WordPress functions, the default settings won’t display the widgets on specific pages. To solve these issues, you can use plugins. It will help you to manage widgets perfectly.
But how to add a widget to WordPress with a plugin? Here you go with the simple steps that you need to follow.
You will find very few plugins that will let you display the widgets on specific pages. Here we will separate the plugins into free and paid groups.
Free Plugins to Add Widget in WordPress
1. Content-Aware Sidebars
Content Aware Sidebar is a powerful plugin for displaying various sidebars and widgets. This plugin displays one set of widgets for posts in one category and another in another.
So, you can create more personalized widgets on your site. You can set up the conditional logic sidebars by using a simple interface.
With this plugin, you will get over 13 options for displaying the sidebars. For these advantages, you may consider it the most user-friendly widget manager.
2. Ninja Forms
The sidebar is a significant space for placing contact forms. It allows visitors to reach the website owner easily.
However, every contact form plugin doesn’t come with a dedicated widget. But do you want a plugin that lets you add a custom widget? Then Ninja Forms will be an ideal option for you.
This plugin is quite user-friendly and easy to use and comes with a lot of customizations. You can utilize this plugin to create user-friendly and beautiful WordPress forms.
Want to be a professional web developer? Then just go with this plugin to add a custom widget area to WordPress.
Besides, this plugin is 100% beginner-friendly. Even if you are a beginner, you can also use it easily to add widgets.
3. WordPress Popular Posts
Do you want to make your best-written posts more popular? Then the plugins for WordPress popular posts will be ideal for you.
WordPress Popular Posts is one of the most famous & best plugins for making your best-written posts popular. It displays the thumbnails of your posts.
It lets you target the popular posts based on time and category. Also, you can have many posts widgets live at a time.
With this plugin, you will get shortcode support. You can use the shortcode to display the most popular posts on your website.
So, if you want to make your site more popular, you must use this plugin to add a WP custom widget area.
Do you want your visitors to find helpful content easily on your page? Then Relevanssi will be the suitable plugin for you.
This plugin can partially match a visitor’s search query. Besides, it lets users sort the relevant content quickly on your website.
By installing this widget, you also can use the default WordPress search widget. Relevanssi now powers this plugin.
Though it is a free plugin, you will get the paid version here as well. This plugin gives you complete access and control with a lot of features.
To get a better searching experience, you must get this plugin to add a custom widget area to WordPress.
5. Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed
This plugin is best to pull your images from Instagram instead of your media library. It is active on more than 90 thousand sites.
The features and performance of Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed are pretty commendable. It lets you display images and thumbnails on your website.
Here, you also can use several Instagram accounts to post pictures for your posts.
This plugin is quite user-friendly and very easy to set up. It is very responsive and mobile-friendly. The layouts look amazing on any screen size.
This plugin is entirely customizable as well. It lets you customize the height, width, image size, image spacing, background color, number of photos, etc.
If you wish to increase your social media engagement, you must add this plugin to your site.
Paid Plugins to Add Widget in WordPress
1. Slider Revolution
Are you looking for more dynamic sidebar images? OR how to create custom image widget in WordPress? Then the Slider Revolution plugin will be the best option for you.
Though this plugin is paid, the price tag is quite affordable. The package starts from $26 per year. This plugin comes with a dedicated slider widget.
It lets you scroll images in any widget area on your site. This versatile plugin works impressively for beginners and mid-level web designers as well.
This plugin is quite easy to use. This plugin’s stunning visual elements help your site stand out among others.
It makes your website look excellent. If you want your site to be more engaging, you must go with this plugin.
Most website owners add social sharing buttons to their blog posts. It is essential to do this if you want your website to become more popular.
Here, Monarch Plugin works as the best social media plugin. The sidebars are the best place to put the social follow buttons. The package starts from $89 per year.
This plugin comes with a lot of advanced features and a fantastic design. It lets your users see your social network profiles.
So, you can make your site more engaging now just with a few easy settings. With this plugin, you will have a lot of design options for seamless design integration.
Besides, it is mobile-friendly as well.
It is one of the most powerful plugins for adding WordPress custom widget areas. SeedProd perfectly helps you to design and customize your WordPress site.
This plugin lets you boost conversion rates with great landing pages that convert.
The best part is that this plugin is very easy to use. The payment plan starts from $39.50 per year.
With the visual builder and many landing page templates, you can build your web page quickly. Hence, it is suitable for beginners as well.
Here, you will get the advantage of Coming Soon Pages. Maintaining maintenance mode features helps your website rank early in search engine results.
You can use this plugin if you want to publish reviews on your site’s sidebar.
Taqyeem is the best review plugin around. The package starts at $29 per year.
This plugin comes with a gorgeous design, customizable fonts, colors, and review styles.
It supports random, best, and most recent reviews.
You can utilize this plugin to create the perfect rating addition to your website. You can easily change the image, style, and criteria.
Here, you will get over 500 Google web fonts. Also, you will get localization support with this plugin. Just within a few steps, you can install this plugin and make your website look unique.
5. Smash Balloon
It is one of the best WordPress social feed tools. Samsh Ballon Plugin comes with an impressive collection of multiple plugins. It is best for handling different social media platforms.
The payment package is $49 per year. There are more than 1M+ websites that use this plugin for its unique features.
It is easy to use. So, you can easily control Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram on your website.
This plugin is quite flexible. It lets you customize beautiful foods according to your preference.
The best part of this plugin is that it is SEO-friendly. It keeps your feeds in the search engine to grow your channels more.
Here we can say, customizing web pages or blog posts is quite a difficult job. But adding a custom widget area to WordPress is essential to engage more visitors to your website.
You can use any plugin which is mentioned above to add widgets to your web page or posts.
WPForms is a versatile form builder for WordPress website. It has tons of features and functionality that help you to create various types of forms that you can add as a widget.
It offers drag and drop features so that you can create any type of form hassle-free and without writing a single line of code. Even if you don’t have technical knowledge, you are able to build a form and display it throughout your website wherever you want.
Here are some forms widgets that you can create-
- Contact Forms
- Payment Forms
- Survey Forms
- Newsletter Forms
- Registration Forms
- And Man More
Apart from that it offers many Addons so that you can integrate any third-party apps/ tools (email marketing, payment gateway, HubSpot CRM, Security and much more) seamlessly to improve your performance.
I hope the complete guide to adding a custom widget area to WordPress will be helpful for you. Widget areas are a vital part of every WordPress site.
It helps to engage more visitors to your site and makes your site more attractive than others. However, every theme comes with default widget areas. But the custom widget areas will help your site to stand among others.
Now, it’s your turn to decide which process you will follow to add a WordPress custom widget area. Are you going to use plugins?
Or will you add widgets without plugins? No matter which processes you are going to use, make sure to follow the steps attentively.
It is necessary as the website’s performance depends on the functions of your site. So, what are you waiting for? Add a widget to WordPress and make your website better than your competitors.
And, consider showing your love by sharing your experience after getting praised for owning a fantastic site.
So, go through the process and give your precious comments in the comment box below.