WordPress widgets are extremely important when it comes to building a website. A widget is a tool or piece of content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebar (and other widgetized areas) of your site. Widgets add extra features and functionalities to your site, giving you the freedom to grow in different ways.
Adding widgets to your site is done by using the Customizer. You can access the Customizer under the Themes menu within your WordPress.com My Site area. Click on the Customize button and you’ll be taken to the Customizer. Select Widgets and designate the area where you’d like to place your widget.
Typically, you’ll have one Sidebar widget area and a few Footer widget areas, depending on your theme. After you’ve selected your widget area, click the Add a Widget button to select your widget from the list.
Picking the right set of WordPress widgets for your business site is a big decision, so here are five popular business-oriented WordPress widgets available by default on your WordPress.com site.
1. Top Posts & Pages
The Top Posts & Pages widget gives you the ability to display your most popular posts or pages, or up to ten posts and pages that received the most traffic over the last day.
This is very useful if you want to draw reader attention to your most popular content. This content is usually popular for a reason, and exposing your visitors to it means there’s a good chance they’ll benefit from reading it. This might encourage your readers to follow you to read your future posts.
2. Social Icons
Being active on social media helps improve your search engine optimization, so what better way to drive new fans to your Facebook page, Twitter profile, and Instagram feed, than by integrating clickable social icons right into your sidebar using the Social Icons Widget?
There are even separate Facebook page, Twitter timeline, and Instagram feed widgets available to add to your sidebar.
3. Navigation Menu
Creating fluid navigation for your WordPress.com site is important so that you can lead visitors through your content and showcase your products or services. By integrating the Navigation Menu Widget, you can create custom sidebar menus. This can be used to seamlessly promote specific pages, products, or services that might otherwise muck up your main navigation menu.
4. Follow Blog
One of the easiest ways to encourage readers to return to your website or blog is to allow them to subscribe to your updates with the Follow Blog Widget. It embeds a simple “follow” form into your sidebar which allows fans to subscribe to updates.
To prevent spam, your site will send emails that instruct readers to confirm their subscriptions before your site is officially followed.
5. Custom HTML
This is one of the more powerful default widgets. If you have any third-party HTML content (such as Google AdWords or code to integrate an affiliate program), you can add it using the Custom HTML Widget. If you have basic HTML knowledge, you can even craft your own custom functionality using this widget. The possibilities are endless.
A new WordPress.com site launches with 45 widgets ready and waiting for you to use. This list just scratches the surface of what’s possible.