Widgets are “instant” tools you can add to your site. Follow this section to add a few popular widgets to your site, you can come back later and try the others out, or re-arrange them.

Don’t worry for now if you don’t know what Widgets you want or what the individual Widgets actually do – we’ll go into more detail later. For now, just follow the section through to familiarise yourself with how they are chosen and positioned.

Pop out the Appearance menu and click on “Widgets”.

Youl’l see a large list on the left site of the page of “Available Widgets”. On the right side you’ll see a number of sections for where on your page you can put widgets. NOTE the available sections on your page depend on the template you’ve chosen. If your template doen’t have spaces for widgets, you won’t see any! If you’ve chosen Twenty Ten as your template, you’ll see six possible screen locations for Widgets, starting with “Primary Widet Area”. These are “Poppable” just like the menus on the left. Pop open “Primary Widget Area” if it isn’t already.

By default, the Primary Widget Area is populated with six Widgets, Search, Recent Posts, Recent Comments, Archives, Categories, and Meta.

Pop out the Secondary area. You’ll see there are none here.

If you view your live site, you’ll see the effect of the Primary Widget Area on the right side of the screen.

You move Wigets around by dragging and dropping. You can

  • move a Wiget from one area to another. For example, click and hold on the Meta wiget in the Primary Area and drag it into the Secondary area. Let go.
  • move a Widget out of the active areas, into the “Inactive Widget” area. This is not the same as “deleting” a widget. An “Inactive Widget” still remembers any settings it may have, and you can drag it back onto an active area at any time. A deleted Widget doesn’t keep its settings, so you can put it back later but you’ll have to re-do any settings.
  • move a new Widget from the Available Widget area to an active area. e.g. click and hold on Tag Cloud and drag it to the Primary area under Categories. Let go. The Widget is now live!

You’ll note each Widget is “poppable”. Many of them have editable settings (it is these that are preserved by putting a widget on “inactive” instead of deleting it). For example, POP open the Recent Comments widget on the primary area – You’ll see you can have a “Title” for the page segment, and also choose the number of entries that will be shown. Other Widgets have fewer settings or sometimes none – for example in the Search Widget all you can set is the title.

Following that long page how about a really short one on Menus.