Widgets in WordPress are code blocks that allow you to introduce various additional functions (blocks) to your website or blog, e.g. navigation bars, dynamic elements, visualisations, ads, social media tools. You can add them without editing the page’s source code or, more precisely, the WordPress template. Widgets were originally designed to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress Theme to the user, which is now available on appropriately “widgetised” WordPress Themes to include the header footer elsewhere in the WordPress design and structure.
Elements inserted in this way can be displayed (by default) in the sidebar or the footer. Depending on your template, there may be more or fewer areas, and the number of default widgets will change.
You can use ready-made widgets available from the first launch of WordPress or extend the CMS with additional ones, e.g., installing plugins, changing the template with different widgets, or introducing your own content/widget scripts. All options related to adding such items are available directly in the WordPress admin panel. You can do everything with the simple Widgets section tool without editing the template files.
In areas prepared for this element, you can place the available widgets in specific places on the website. The list of locations is also available in the admin panel, thanks to which you can quickly set up a new block in the selected place. By default, all WordPress widgets will be displayed on all website pages of your site, whether you want it or not. You can use plugins that extend widgets settings and allow you to have complete control, so you can indicate where selected elements should be visible or hidden.
Widgets are most often used to add additional elements to the WordPress site, e.g. menu navigation, newsletter forms, lists of popular entries or recently added comments.