8 Hot WordPress.com Widget Tips

All WordPress.com themes are widget-activated. This is the main link to all the available widgets that WordPress.com provides – Widgets & Sidebars.  Clicking links on that page for individual widgets will get you to specific descriptions and instructions for each one.

Getting rid of unwanted widgets

When you first begin your blog and go to your dashboard you won’t see widgets in your sidebar because you are viewing the default display.

Every theme has a “default sidebar display” which does not contain actual widgets. The first time you move a single widget in any theme here > Appearance > Widgets the “default display” which does not contain actual widgets will disappear.

Activating the widgets you want to use

Simply go here > Appearance > Widgets and drag and drop the widgets you want to use into place. To activate the widgets:

  • Click each widget to open it;
  • Configure where required;
  • Set up widget visibility settings that determine which blog pages they display on;
  • Click “save” and click “close” inside the widget.

Eliminating the display of all widgets

If you do not want any widgets to display in any sidebar(s) at all (or footer widget areas) you place an empty text widget at the top of each sidebar or footer area. Then click to open, add no title, add no body text, click “save” and click “close”.

A different sidebar on each page or in each parent page

In most WordPress.com themes, widgets are displayed on all dynamic pages (main posts page, archives, category pages etc.) as well as when you view a static page or a single complete post. There are some exceptions or special cases found in Widgets on static pages or single posts.

Sidebars and other widget areas: number and position

Each theme is uniquely designed and the number of sidebars, other widgets areas and their positioning is determined by the theme designer. That said, widgets have “visibility” settings so we can select which pages they display on.

Changing themes and Re-activating Widgets

Go to Dashboard > Appearance > Themes

  • browse themes until you find one you like and click “activate”
  • or type in the name of the theme you want to use and click the “activate” link when it appears.

After you change your theme all you need to do is go here Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets > Inactive Widgets and re-install them where you want them to appear. The widget contents and settings will be the same as they were prior to changing themes.

Posting third party widgets

There are code restrictions with regard to widgets with flash, code and JavaScript and embeds for security reasons as WordPress.com blogs are all on the same multiuser blogging platform. The only additional third party widgets we can use on WordPress.com free hosted blogs are those that are straight up HTML.

Sidebar and widgets displaying below your posts

Sidebars and widgets in them do not fall to the bottom and display below posts, and/or posts do not appear in sidebars, and/or fonts do not suddenly become blog or italicized unless

  • content has been imported into the blog
  •  the blogger has been copying and pasting content from elsewhere, without using either icon 5 or icon 6 in Row 2 of the visual editor 
  • or the blogger has copied and pasted invalid HTML into a text widget or left an HTML tag open.

First, go here and enable this > Settings > Writing
Formatting
_ WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically
“save changes”.

Then see Sidebar at the bottom and related layout issues for sorting this out.

22 thoughts on “8 Hot WordPress.com Widget Tips

  1. I am always eager to see each one of your new tech blogs and learn something from every one of them. They make me a better blogger. Thank you.

  2. I really needed your blog in the beginning stage of my blog on wordpress because you explain everything much better then the tutorials on worpress. Ooh Yeah!

    1. I’m smiling as I read this. Blogging tips blogs tend to be revolving door blogs. Those who use my site heavily this year will be infrequent users next year if the pattern holds. That’s why I value the feedback I get from those who do continue to be faithful readers and commenters like yourself as well as what they add to all discussions. Their (your) comments enrich my posts. It’s so encouraging to have faithful readers who do comment as it helps me sustain my motivation.

  3. Another great post. I can also see the sense in your Further reading section-I just rambled on around there for the past hour or more. Great stuff. I presume that`s what deep linking is?

    Hope you`re health issue is sorted soon and for good. I can stand anything-except pain!

    1. H Red Hen
      Thanks for your feedback.

      Deep linking is a reference to including links to your own directly related earlier posts in the new post you publish.

      What I did on Further reading is called external linking as I linked to directly related posts found in the two WordPress.com Staff blogs.

      The pain is gone – thank GOB! The treatment has been effective and I will have an ultrasound on Wednesday so we can see what’s going on.

  4. Great post – I never thought of adding an empty widget to ‘get rid’ of the default widget display.

    Nor did I ever notice the checkbox for ‘WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically’.

    I normally don’t use the Visual Editor but I tried it just now on my Mac and while Cmd+c / Cmd+v works for copy/paste, Cmd+2 doesn’t make h2 headings.

    Instead it reads it as an instruction to leave the page and take me to the second from the left of the tabs in the bookmark bar.

    Where should I bring this up with the WordPress team?

    1. Nor did I ever notice the checkbox for ‘WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically’.

      Everyone should enable that setting on every WordPress blog they have.

      Where should I bring this up with the WordPress team?

      After the long weekend post to the support forums http://en.forums.wordpress.com/?new=1
      Be sure to state your OS and browser version when you do.

    1. I’m pain free for the second day, Jamie. I just got back from the doctor and have been told this could arise again. Next week I get an ultrasound to see what’s going on inside the kidney.

Comments are closed.