A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page.
WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. Widgets can be easily dragged and dropped into a specific widget area. You can find the list of available widgets and widget areas by going to the Appearance » Widgets section in your WordPress dashboard.
If you are new to creating your own website you will want to read a easy step by step guide for beginners.
There are many WordPress plugins and themes that allow you to add different kind of widgets such as popular posts, calendar, email subscribe, etc. In this article, we have handpicked 25 best WordPress widgets for your site that are extremely useful.
By default WordPress comes with a recent posts widget, which displays a plain list of your recent posts. Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails allows you to display recent posts with thumbnails. It uses featured image or the first image in a post as thumbnail. You can also adjust the height and width of image from widget’s settings screen.
As the name suggests Category Posts Widget shows recent posts from a selected category. You can show post titles as a list, or select to show excerpt and thumbnail as well. Using it with Display Widgets will allow you to show hide widgets on specific pages in WordPress.
It is a really simple widget to add social icons to your sidebars. All the configuration options are in the widget’s settings. You can choose which social networks to link to and add your profile URLs. You can also modify the icon by choosing background and icon font color. S
This is by far the best WordPress widget for adding social icons.
An easier way to add a map to your site’s sidebar is by using Google Maps Widget. This simple widget allows you to display a Google map in a widget. When a user clicks on the map, a larger map opens in a lightbox popup. Checkout our guide on how to add Google Maps in WordPress for more information.
This is one of the best WordPress widgets for businesses who want to display their address and location on their site.
You may have seen something like this on some popular websites. This widget allows you to easily display your social media follower count in your sidebar. The social proof helps you build trust and a loyal following. See our guide on how to display social media followers count in WordPress.
If you need to add an image to a sidebar, then you need to write the HTML in a text widget. However, many beginners do not know HTML and cannot properly style an image. The Image Widget solves this problem by allowing users to add an image using the media uploader in WordPress. It also provides a graphic UI to add caption, alt text, and select the image size.
By default WordPress comes with a categories widget. There is no default widget to display custom taxonomies in the sidebar of a WordPress site. Custom Taxonomies Menu widget allows you to easily display custom taxonomies in the sidebar. See our guide on how to display custom taxonomies terms in WordPress sidebar widgets for more information.
The default monthly archives widget shows your archives in a long list of months. This takes a lot of space and makes users scroll down. Compact archives solves this problem by grouping your monthly archives into years and displaying them in a compact form. It also comes with a widget which you can add to your sidebar.
Easily display a list of authors on your multi-author WordPress blog. This simple widget allows you to display author names with their avatars and link to their posts. You can also display an article count and display a link to the author’s RSS feed.
This widget allows you to display latest videos from your YouTube channel on your WordPress site. It displays your videos in a nice grid layout, which takes less space and looks more interesting. For more information checkout our tutorial on how to show latest videos from YouTube channel in WordPress.
OptinMonster is a WordPress lead generation plugin. If you’re looking to build an email list for your blog, then OptinMonster is the plugin you need.
OptinMonster comes with two widgets: Sidebar and Afterpost. Both of these allow you to add high converting subscribe forms on your site. You can even group the users into different categories, show different forms on different pages, and more.
OptinMonster is the best WordPress widget for eCommerce site and businesses who want to boost their conversions.
Another way to add login form to WordPress sidebar is by using the Tabbed Login Widget. As the name suggests, it adds a tabbed widget with tabs for login, registration and password recovery forms. This allows users to quickly login into your site without even accessing the admin area.
Simple Contact Info allows you to easily add your contact information, social icons, and location information by simply filling out a form. After that you can simply drag and drop contact info widgets to your sidebar to display this information.
Quick chat is a tiny but very powerful and highly configurable chat system for WordPress websites. It comes with a widget which you can add to your WordPress sidebar to enable chat everywhere on your website. You can also create a dedicated chat page on your site and use the shortcode [quick-chat].
Testimonials are a nice way to show off your satisfied clients and customers. Testimonials Widget helps you easily create testimonials and display them using a widget or shortcode.
Testimonials are one of those widgets that you can add in your footer to make it more useful.
Ever wanted to add jQuery based accordions, toggles, and tabs on your WordPress site? Whistles allows you to easily create and display content in beautiful accordion, tab and toggled menus. It also comes with a widget that you can add to your sidebar to display any content in accordion, tab or toggled menus.
Ever wanted to display your Skype Contact an online status on your WordPress site? Skype is used by thousands of professionals to connect with clients and customers. Neat Skype Status allows you to easily display your Skype status on your WordPress site.
This simple plugin provides an easier way to display random posts in your WordPress sidebar. The widget settings also allow you to show random posts from a particular category. It also supports multiple instances, which means you can add this widget multiple times. F
Soliloquy is a responsive WordPress slider plugin that makes building sliders easy. The best thing is that you can add these sliders anywhere using their widget. So you can show your recent posts, featured posts, videos, pinterest images, instagram, or anything you like.
This neat plugin allows you to add a page as a featured page in your WordPress sidebar. It allows you to display a page title, featured image, and excerpt.
Envira Gallery is a responsive WordPress gallery plugin. If you’re a photographer or a photo-enthusiast, then this is the perfect plugin for you to showcase your photo galleries in a sidebar widget.
There is also a free version of Envira Gallery.
Probably the easiest way for beginners to display current date and time on their WordPress site. This plugin uses the time you have selected in your WordPressSettings » General page. You can choose time and date format, font and background colors.
This plugin offers an easier way to display event calendar on your WordPress website. You can create your events using Google Calendar and then sync the calendar with the plugin to display the calendar on your website.
This widget can be handy for non-profits who want to display their events.
On a multi user WordPress site you may want to showcase your recently registered users. This plugin provides an easier way to display your recently registered users in a widget. You can choose to display user gravatar, join date, and link to user’s author page in WordPress.
Just like the name suggests WordPress Popular Posts plugin allows you to display your website’s most popular posts in a nice widget. You can display popular posts by number of views or display popular posts by number of comments.
We hope this article helped you find some of the most useful WordPress widgets for your site. If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+.