Widgets & Sidebars


Widget is a fancy word for tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebar(s) and footer of your website or blog. Widgets make it easy to customize the content of your sidebar(s) and footer.  If you don’t see your sidebar you may need to add at least one widget. You can learn more about the widgets we offer by checking out the Related links on the right.

Widgets Overview

To add a widget, watch the video below for a quick overview of how it works, and read below for more examples and settings.

You can access your widgets from the My Site(s) Design → Customize.

This takes you to the Customizer, where you’ll be able to add and remove and configure widgets for your site.

Customize your widgets

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Adding and Configuring Widgets

In your Customizer, click on the Widgets tab. Your theme’s available widget areas will display (and might look a bit different from this):

Widget areas

To add a widget, first click on a widget area. In the panel, click on Add a Widget. The Customizer will show all of the available widgets that you can add.

Widgets available to your site

Scroll the alphabetized list of widgets, or use the search field at the top to find one. Then, click on a widget to add it. The Customizer will then display a box to configure the widget’s settings.

Widget configuration

When you’ve finished updating these fields, click Close on the bottom left of the widget box. You can also reopen and update a widget using the small down-facing arrow, or remove it by clicking Delete.

You can reorder these widget panels as well — hover over one and mouse-click to select and drag it up or down, depending on where you’d like it to display. After making your changes, don’t forget to save them by hitting the blue Save & Publish button at the top of the panel.

If you have questions about a particular widget, each one has its own support page, which you can find in the Related section on the right side of this page.

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Widget Visibility

Widgets can be configured to appear only on certain pages (or be hidden on certain pages) by clicking on the Visibility button.

Widget visibility settings
Visibility is controlled by six aspects: page type, category, tag, date, author, and taxonomy. For example, if you wanted the Archives widget to only appear on category archives and error pages, choose “Show” from the first dropdown and then add two rules: “Page is 404 Error Page” and “Category is All Category Pages.”

Widget visibility settings

You can also hide widgets based on the current page. For example, if you don’t want the Archives widget to appear on search results pages, choose “Hide” and “Page is Search Results.”

Hiding widgets

Each visibility rule is handled separately. There isn’t a way, for example, to only display a widget on posts that are categorized as “Summer” and also tagged with “Picnic.”

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Removing Widgets

If you would like to remove a widget from the sidebar, click the Delete link in the configuration options as show above.

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Adding Widgets as Blocks

Many widgets can be added directly onto pages and posts thanks to the WordPress block editor.

Adding widgets as blocks

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Accessibility Mode

If you need a more accessible way to add widgets, go to My Sites → WP Admin → Appearance → Widgets and toggle Screen Options to turn off the drag and drop feature.

Enable accessibility mode

In accessibility mode, you can add widgets to your sidebar using the Add links next to each widget name

Adding a widget in accessibility mode

and you can modify widgets using the Edit links.

Editing a widget in accessibility mode

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Instructions to enable Accessibility Mode Via Keyboard

For those using screen readers and keyboard navigation, these instructions should help you enable Accessibility mode:

  1. Go to My Sites  Settings → WP Admin → Appearance → Widgets.
  2. Press ‘L’ to skip from list to list till you find ‘HELP’. Alternatively, press ‘landmark’ command once to get to ‘NAVIGATION MENU’.
  3. Arrow down you will hear ‘screen option – collapsed’
  4. Press ‘ENTER’ to open drop down menu.
  5. “Enable accessibility mode” is the only option available. Select that and you will have keyboard options for many of the widgets.

When using a keyboard, if you have trouble modifying widgets or encounter any other accessibility issues, please feel free to contact support for more assistance.

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Why are sidebar elements showing up on my blog that aren’t listed under my widgets?

Some older themes offer a set of sidebar elements. For example, the Nuntius theme offers a search bar and an archives list as default sidebar elements. You will notice that when you go to My Sites  → Customize  → Widgets  these elements will NOT appear among your Current Widgets. To remove these sidebar elements, go to My Sites  → Customize  → Widgets and add one or more widgets to the widget area. This will replace all sidebar elements with the widget(s) of your choice.

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Using Widgets Effectively

Widgets offer a wide range of ways to add more interest and content to your site. We’ve gathered our best advice and tutorials on how to use widgets.

Still confused?

Contact support.

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