Major WordPress version updates come a few times a year, and we now have version 4.8, named after Jazz Pianist Bill Evans. We call it the Widget edition.
For those of you who don’t know what widgets are, they started as the way to put stuff on the sidebar- the thing on the side of your blog, that’s there all the time…
wait? Does that sound a little foreign to you? It should. Because with the Theme Universe exploding, and responsive design (that resizes to any device size) widgets have become the way to put things anywhere on your site- from the front page to the sidebar, to the footer etc.
Other than stock widgets, many widgets are installed by Plugins, and some by themes and theme builders.
What used to require a bit of a hack, is now easy with these new widgets:
Adding an image to a widget is now a simple task that is achievable for any WordPress user without needing to know code. Simply insert your image right within the widget settings. Try adding something like a headshot or a photo of your latest weekend adventure — and see it appear automatically.
A welcome video is a great way to humanize the branding of your website. You can now add any video from the Media Library to a sidebar on your site with the new Video widget. Use this to showcase a welcome video to introduce visitors to your site or promote your latest and greatest content.
Are you a podcaster, musician, or avid blogger? Adding a widget with your audio file has never been easier. Upload your audio file to the Media Library, go to the widget settings, select your file, and you’re ready for listeners. This would be a easy way to add a more personal welcome message, too!
Rich Text Widget
This feature deserves a parade down the center of town! Rich-text editing capabilities are now native for Text widgets. Add a widget anywhere and format away. Create lists, add emphasis, and quickly and easily insert links. Have fun with your newfound formatting powers, and watch what you can accomplish in a short amount of time.
Source: WordPress 4.8 “Evans”
And of course, with the customizer as the WordPress answer to SquareSpace, Wix and whatever other WYSIWG proprietary website solution- you can now do a drag and drop element in your site.
Just remember to always use a child theme to make your customizations. There are plugins that can help you set that up (right now, Child Theme Configurator seems to be the most popular)
Some of our favorite Widgets are:
Source: Ad Inserter — WordPress Plugins
WordPress Popular Posts is a highly customizable widget that displays the most popular posts on your blog.
Source: WordPress Popular Posts — WordPress Plugins
And the SiteOrigin widget installer – which bundles a bunch of useful tools:
SiteOrigin Widgets bundle:
- Google Maps Widget that’s going places.
- Button Widget that you’ll love to click.
- Image Widget that’ll let you add images everywhere.
- Call To Action Widget that’ll get your users performing the actions you want.
- Slider Widget that slides images and HTML5 videos.
- Price Table Widget that’ll help you sell more.
- Post Carousel Widget that displays your posts as a carousel.
- Features Widget that lets you display a set of site or service features.
- Video Widget to get your videos out there.
- Headline Widget to get you noticed.
- Social Links Widget to show you’re active.
Source: SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle — WordPress Plugins
The beauty of WordPress is that there is a complete selection of vetted tools on WordPress.org to extend and expand the capabilities of your site. Come to our next Websitetogy Seminar and learn about widgets, plugins, best posting practices and a whole bunch more.