Working with Widgets in WordPress

Today I’m going to show you how to manage your wordpress widgets- we’re going back to the basics ;)

The wordpress widget systems allows you to drag and drop your widgets and essentially ‘re-arrange’ them until your heart is content. You can also have widgets in different areas beside your sidebar(s)- header, footer, below posts, etc. The themes I create allow for many widget areas, but I’m going to focus on the primary sidebar today.

Let’s take a look at what we’re working with.

Using Widgets

Log into wordpress and go to

Appearance -> Widgets

I’m assuming that this is where some of you may get confused… The widgets on the main part of the screen are all of your available widgets to use. Some of these widgets came with wordpress, some may have come with your theme, and some you may have installed on your own. WordPress displays a set of ‘default’ widgets when you install a new theme, so there will most probably be widgets in your sidebar area. To use widgets, you simply drag and drop them to your desired widget area on the right side of the screen, like so:

Wordpress Widgets

Each widget will come with a drop down arrow on the right side, and when clicked it will display the widget’s options.

To remove a widget, drag it from your sidebar back into the list of available widgets. It’s really that easy.

Naming Widgets

The widgets that you decide to display on your blog can also have names or ‘titles’ that show up above each widget. For example, let’s say you just dragged the ‘archives’ widget into your sidebar, but you don’t want the default title of ‘Archives’ to be displayed.  No problem! Open up your archives widget, and type a new name in the title box. Click save, and refresh your blog to see the updated title.


Naming the ‘Links’ (Blogroll) Widget

Their is one widget title that I receive a lot of questions on how to change- the Blogroll. This is what WordPress will display by default:

To change the ‘blogroll’ title, you will need to go to

Links -> Link Categories

then on the right hand side, click ‘edit’ to change the name. You can also add new categories here.

When you are finished, click update. You can also take this time to add/remove any links of your choice. (Go to Links- Links)

Now, when you go back to your ‘links’ widget you should be able to choose and display the updated title.

Adding Widgets

You can download and install plugins/widgets from many places, but a good place to start is the official Plugin Directory.


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