What Is a Widget on WordPress.com?

If you want to add some extra functionality to your WordPress.com website — like a search box or a calendar — using widgets is the best way to do it. But, what is a widget on WordPress.com?

A widget is a small area devoted to a specific function, usually found in the sidebar or footer of your site. Widgets are used to add very specific features to your site without having to write any code.

To give you a better idea of what a widget is, some of the most common ones on WordPress.com include the Search, Recent Posts, Recent Comments, Tag Cloud, and Archive widgets.

Get widget-ing

You can find a host of ready-made WordPress.com widgets for your site by going to the WordPress.com Customizer.

Once you open the Customizer, select Widgets from the sidebar. This will list the areas of your theme where widgets can be added. The sidebar is almost always a widget-ready zone, and it’s also a common practice to use widgets in the footer. Your theme may introduce additional areas where you can place widgets as well.

Once you click on the area where you want the widget to live, a list of available widgets will appear. Select from the list or search for the widget you want. Then, click and drag the widget into its area to make it appear on your site. You can also rearrange the order that widgets appear in by clicking and dragging.

Do more with your widgets

There are special features that help make widgets on WordPress.com more user-friendly.

For example, you can customize your widget visibility. Adding a widget to a sidebar or footer makes it show up on every page across your site by default. If you don’t want it to appear on every single page, you can specify which pages should show or hide your widget.

You can also add customized text or photos by using a text or image widget. This gives you more control over your site appearance.

Some third-party themes and plugins introduce their own custom WordPress.com widgets. You can install third-party themes or plugins if you have the WordPress.com Business plan.

Grow your site with widgets

Widgets compartmentalize code for specific purposes. The drag and drop functionality of WordPress.com widgets makes them quick ways to add and organize content on your site. By using widgets, you can build exciting new features into your site, ultimately better engaging with your visitors.

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