“WordPress Widgets (WPW) is like a plugin, but designed to provide a simple way to arrange the various elements of your sidebar content (known as “widgets”) without having to change any code.”
Are you smarter now? 🙂 so let me explain a little more. When looking for your new theme, make sure that you pick a theme that is “widget-ready” there are some older themes that do not allow widgets.
We have talked about the “content” section of your website and the “sidebar” section.
The Sidebar is the most common place to use widgets.
Now lets look at what this looks like from the Dashboard. Go to Appearance >> Widgets. * click on the image to zoom.
You can see there is a section for available widgets. There are a set of widgets that come standard with the WordPress install.
There is a section for Inactive Widgets, these have recently been removed but still hold all the setting or information they had.
The Sidebar section is where you really get to have fun.
You can pick up a title from the available section and drag it over to the sidebar.
You can re-order the widgets, just drag and crop the same way you do with other pages.
In additional to the standard set of widgets you can install additional widgets and you can add your own content to text or RSS widgets.
Clicking on the icon on the right side of the widget allows you to enter the widget Options.
All widgets will open, basic options would be to rename the title that appears in the title header on the sidebar. All widgets have a unique set of options. In the example here, you can change the title, the number of posts that appear and you can set restrictions as to when the widget appears.
In the example above the Popular Posts Plugin, this is a plugin that has been installed and is then configured in the widget. Some custom theme will include additional widgets built into the theme and many plugins create widgets.
You can as many was you want to, just think about the reader having to scroll down the page.