Widgetizing Your Sidebar

Your blog is made up of at least two information areas. The primary area is where you will write each post. The secondary area is called the “sidebar”. Depending on the theme, you may have one or two sidebars.

The theme usually comes with a standard sidebar. If you are happy with it, you don’t need to read any further. However, if you want to modify your sidebar, continue reading.

WordPress has done a great job in giving you flexibility to change the contents of your sidebar. To make modifications, from the Dashboard go into the Presentation area. This was where we went in an earlier post to chose the theme we wanted to use. Next to the Theme tab you will see Sidebar Widgets. Click on Sidebar Widgets.

Here you will see a vertical area called “Sidebar“. Below it you will see a horizontal area called “Available Widgets“. Get ready, this is going to be easy.

Decide what information you want displayed on your sidebar. If you want a calendar, then drag and drop the “Calendar” Widget from the horizontal area to the vertical area. Viola, you have a calendar on your sidebar.

If you want to show your resent posts, drag that widget to the vertical area. If you want to know how many comment spam attempts were blocked from your blog, drag the “Akismet” widget to the vertical area. When you have the ones there you want you can put them in any order you want. Just drag them to the position you want them in.

That is so much nicer than having to modify sidebar code. Thank you WordPress!

One special Widget I will mention is the Text widget. That is the one I am using to put the Panama weather girl in the sidebar. Anything you put in the test widget will be translated and displayed.

When you have your widgets like you want them, click on the “Save Changes” button. You are done. You now have your own personalized sidebar.

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