When the operating system started supporting GUI (graphical user interface), the term widget became increasingly popular in the computer field. It refers to the element that makes up an application’s GUI. For example, buttons, search boxes, scroll bars and check boxes were all known as widgets.
A widget is a small application added to a website’s sidebar, header, or footer. It’s a specialized mechanism for users to interact with an application or the operating system (OS). Generally, you are required to copy and paste a small code from the widget provider’s website into your own.
What Are WordPress Widgets?
In WordPress, Widgets are content blocks that you can put on the sidebars, footers, and other places of your WordPress website.
WordPress Widgets allow you to add extra content outside the body of a post or page on a website. That significantly helps you encourage users to get information, take action or follow links.
Widgets are added to Widget ready areas on your site. Widget areas may differ depending on the theme you use. For example, some themes provide the option to add a widget in the header, footer & sidebar, whereas some themes support adding a widget in the footer only.
WordPress also includes several widgets by default, So even without installing any plugins or adding any code, WordPress widget comes preloaded. However, you can also add more widgets with the help of plugins and coding.
What’s the Difference Between a Widget and A Plugin?
Plugins are used to add functionality to your wordpress website, a piece of software that “plugs into” the site to extend functionality that allows you to create any website, from eCommerce stores to Multilingual Websites.
Widgets are used to provide more content within various elements of your website that you wish to present or make anything specific apparent to the visitors.
Though they sound similar, The main differences are in visibility and interaction. So. It’s a plugin if it keeps your page running and functioning adequately in the backdrop, and It is a widget if a user can access it and interact with it on the page.
You must start a Multilingual website and include this feature that allows you to convert language into multiple languages. Because WordPress does not include this feature by default, you must install a plugin and create a Language translation Widget that you can use in the sidebar or header.
How to Add Widgets in WordPress
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create and add a widget.
In this blog, we include a Multilingual widget that lets you translate languages.
To add language translation features, we have to add a plugin. There are many different plugins available that you can use to add this feature. For example, here we are using Weglot Translate Plugin.
First, Install and activate this plugin from your WordPress dashboard.
After Activating The plugin go to the plugin-specific setting.
In the main configuration, set the original language and destination language. And after entering the API key, save your changes.
You must add this feature to a widget to place it where you want it on your website.
Widgets can only be placed into widget-ready areas.
Looking for available Widget areas whenever you want to add a widget to your site would be most important. Widget areas’ Availability depends on which theme you are using because different themes support different Widget areas. Not only that, many themes do not even support any Widget areas.
To check the Availability of the Widget area, Go to Appearance >> Widgets option from Your WordPress Dashboard.
You can find all the available Widget areas where you can add Widgets. If you require more widget area options and your theme can’t support the same, you can opt for another theme or try a plugin to create custom widget areas that meet your requirement.
From the WordPress dashboard, select the appearance option, then select the widget area to add and manage widgets.
Simply drag & drop any widget from the list widget.
Click upon the + icon to show the available widgets. Then, drag the widget from the list on the left widget and drop it into the widget area on the right to arrange and manage them.
Once a widget has been added to an area, you can modify its settings that suit your needs.
Here you can Add a title. Now to save your changes, click on the update button.
The page or post has now shown a widget you have added something like this after completing these steps, though this may vary depending on the theme you use.
The setting and configuration vary by the theme and plugin you use. For example, some Widgets only provide the option to add text and content, and some provide an option for more settings. Typically when you add, widgets are displayed on every page of your website, but some provide an option to select the Number of posts you want to show those widgets. Some themes or plugins also provide an option to arrange links to open in a new tab or the same tab, etc.
When to Use WordPress Widgets.
A widget is used to add any visibility function on your website that is easily accessible to visitors. The widget provides a practical and user-friendly strategy of giving WordPress design and structural control. Widgets can be added in the sidebar, footer, or elsewhere in the WordPress design and structure.
You can use widgets to add the following features or functions:
- Image gallery,
- Popular post,
- Recent post section,
- visitors count
- social media feeds,
- Author Bio,
- Email Subscribe Form,
- Language switcher,
- Search bar,
- Contact form,
- Login form
- Countdown Timer,
To improve overall functionality and make your website more engaging, you can easily add a WordPress Widget with the basic knowledge that improves design and customer experience. However, while adding widgets improves your site’s functionality, it is recommended that you do not overdo what distracts visitors from your main content.
Widgets can be used in a variety of ways on WordPress. Unfortunately, widgets aren’t always popular among website owners because they typically don’t focus on “pure design.” Still, you can incorporate them by using extra blank space in the sidebar, header & footer while improving the user experience. In addition, they can help redirect visitors to new sections or pages on your website, which helps you to add precious insight to your site.