Using WordPress Widgets

WordPress Appearance Options:  WordPress widgets and how to use them

Depending on your Artbiz theme, there are 3 to 7 widget areas.  A widget is a tiny application that adds features and functionality to your site. For example; with the NextGen Widget you can add  thumbnail images or a slideshow to any widget area. Use the text widget to add the NextGen Album short code or say anything you want, like a welcome message.

In the admin menu, navigate to the Appearance Widgets. Using WordPress Widgets is a simple as dragging and dropping the widget into any one of the widget areas.

How to use WordPress Widgets
Click image to enlarge

Active Widgets – the top left side lists all the available widgets in alphabetical order. You can use each widget more than once by dragging and dropping it into a widget area shown on the right.

Inactive Widgets –  drag and drop a widget out of a widget area and place here for safe keeping. This removes the widget from your live site, but because you stored it in the inactive widget area, it will save all the settings. If you delete a widget from an area, you will lose any custom settings.

There are some widgets that do not have any settings. You can safely delete these widgets from your widget area. As there are always more than one of each widget, you can always access a fresh one from the Inactive Widget area later.

Widget Areas – These are the containers for the widget. The number and location of the widgets will vary depending on the theme you’re using. If Artbiz created a custom theme for you then your widget areas may be different.

To expand or collapse a widget panel, hover on the widget’s top bar to reveal an arrow to click. When you drag a widget over, you will see a dotted lined box, indicating that you can drop the widget. To change the stacking order of your widgets, drag and drop into place.

Artbiz Themes widget area descriptions from top to bottom

Thumbnails (named Footer widget on new themes): This is a full width but short widget area that was specifically designed for a row of random thumbnails from your galleries or your portfolio album, that contains all your galleries. Depending on your theme, this may appear at the top or bottom of the page. It appears on all pages and posts.

Blog Widget Area: This is the vertical sidebar that appears only on your blog. If there aren’t any widgets in this area, then by default, your categories, archives and meta (login) are shown on the live site. For new responsive themes, by default if there aren’t any widgets added nothing shows.

Page Widget Area: Artbiz themes have two page templates (see content mgmt/create new page) One with a sidebar, “Page with Sidebar” and one without, the “Default Template”. The Page Widget Area is available only on the Page with Sidebar template. On the new responsive themes this widget area is available on the default page template, you don’t need to select a page template to use it. Except for Huffman, Lisa and  Studio which all have an extra page with sidebar template.

First, Second, Third & Fourth Footer Widget Areas – These occur side by side in the footer of the blog only, keeping the footer of your static pages clean. These widget areas are not available on the new responsive themes.

To get a feel for where all the widget areas occur on each theme, browse the artist themes at the demo site. For the new responsive themes preview at http://artbiz.ca/testdrive/widget-areas/

The video below has additional information like how to use the text widget and more. The video is based on the older themes but the same usage applies to the new responsive themes.


Next: Create and Manage a WordPress Built in Menu

10 thoughts on “Using WordPress Widgets”

  1. Under number 3 above I only have 3 things: Main Sidebar, Blog Widget area, and Footer Widget area. I don’t have Thumbs and only have the one Footer Widget area. How do I get those?

    Also when I tried moving a widget into the Blog Widget area, saving and looking at it on my site it doesn’t show up on the Blog but on the Home Page?

    1. You have your latest posts set as your landing page. Go to Settings > Reading and select a static page.

      The widget areas on David themes are different than the older themes used in the tutorial. You can use the footer widget area the same way the thumbnail widget area is demonstrated.

    1. Widgets are added to the widget areas via drag and drop but that is explained in the tutorial so…

      Can you be more specific please. Do you mean you want something that isn’t there? If so what is it you would like.

      1. My apologies – what I’d like to do is make it possible for people to follow my blog posts. I added a “follow” plug-in but when I tested it, it took me to a page that said “we can’t find what you’re looking for”.
        The “translate” widget which you added a little while ago for me seemed like a new thing that was not originally in the widget options, so I was wondering how you did that, and whether I might add a “follow” widget in the same way.

        Thank you,
        🙂
        V

        1. The translator widget isn’t new, it has always been there, otherwise it wouldn’t show up on your site. The reason you think it’s new is because some widgets can be used more than once.

          The Follow plugin you added isn’t a widget. You need to configure it under “Follow Plugin” in the admin menu (it’s at the bottom).

  2. Hi,
    Do you have a visual “map” of where these widget areas are for the theme: Still-parent?
    Maybe one for the “Default template” and one for the “Page with sidebar?
    Maybe a PDF file I can print out?

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