WordPress is an online, free and open tool used worldwide for online blogging, posting information/articles and an overall website content management system. WordPress is considered as the most easiest and admired blogging systems globally.
WordPress started as just a blogging system but now it’s much more than that. It helps companies worldwide to update their websites, run big online business and much more.
The first step is to download and install software from the ‘website wordpress.org’ or can even work online by using a service called ‘WordPress.com’, which can help start your own blog within seconds, however the software is advised to be used for better services.
Once the software is installed the next step is to understand what are and how does plugins, widgets and themes work.
WordPress plugins proceed like additional options which improve to your system. It enhances the blogging experience. Plugins are supposed to be downloaded and installed from the WordPress directory. Thorough plugins one can customize features to one’s specific need; it is used to display information.
WordPress themes dictate the design and functionality of a website. It can act like clothing for a website. A theme is how the overall structuring of a website is, the contents of the page, page layout, and all the aesthetic feature of website such as font style, font color, background, header, footer etc. WordPress themes are like WordPress plugins, they are supposed to be downloaded and installed to be used from the WordPress theme directory.
WordPress widgets permit you to insert static and dynamic content to areas of your website theme like sidebar, header, and footer because they widget-ready areas.
There is no doubt that widgets are the important features of WordPress. The ease of widget interface basically is the reason behind the beauty of widgets. It is not difficult to display a widget on your website. You can do that in three simple steps:
- Turn on the plugin
- Drag the widget to the suitable widget region
- Configure the widget.
It eases the design procedure by eliminating the requirement for modifying theme templates.
There are different ways of adding themes to the web page. Currently WordPress comes with 3 themes
- Twenty fourteen theme
- Twenty thirteen theme
- Twenty twelve theme
Furthermore themes can be added by using the ‘Administrative Panels’ or by using the ‘cPanel’ or can be added manually.
For the administrative panel the following steps are to be followed:
- Open the WordPress Admin Panels.
- Log in
- Now open Appearance panel > Themes.
- Choose Add New.
- You can choose your Theme by using Filter or Search options.
- You can upload that Theme to your blog by simply clicking on the “Preview link” or “Install Now” button.
- You can also upload a .zip file of your Theme that you download previously on your computer by using Upload link.
For using the cPanel the following steps are recommended;
- Download the zipped file of your Theme.
- In the File Manager of cPanel, you can find the way to the Themes folder. You need to install your WordPress in the document’s root folder so you would find the way to "public_html/wp-content/themes" but if you have installed your WordPress in a subfolder named WordPress, you would go directly to "public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes".
- As you steer to the File Manager of Cpanel> Themes, choose Upload file(s) button and upload the downloaded file of your theme (Refer to Step 1).
- Open your file in cPanel once that zipped file gets uploaded.
- Now in the right side panel, choose "Extract File Contents", and the uploaded file will get uncompressed.
- For choosing any new Theme, you need to follow the following instructions.
And finally for adding themes manually the following steps are recommended;
- You have to extract all the files it has through Theme archive. But first you have to download it. While extracting those file you should save its directory structure within the archive. It will be easy to do by following the instructions given by Theme author.
- To save your Theme, you need to make a directory. That can be done simply with the help of a FTP client to reach host web server. You Theme will be saved in the “wp-content/themesdirectory” offered by WordPress itself. For instance, a Theme naming color supposed to be in wp-content/themes/color.
- On your host server, your Theme files will be uploaded to a new directory.
- For choosing the new Theme you wish to display, follow the below steps.
To select an Active theme for you website follow these steps;
- Open the WordPress Admin Panels.
- Log in to it
- Now open Appearance panel > Themes.
- Choose any thumbnail image of a theme from the Theme Panel is to see options for that theme.
- “Theme Details” button offers you to view extra information of your theme.
- “Live Preview” button is for displaying the Theme’s live preview.
- Activate your Theme by simply click on the Activate button.
WordPress widgets add content and features to the sidebars. Example adding options such as navigation or a search tool bar to a website. Plugins will often have their own widgets. WordPress widgets may be added, removed or rearranged according to the requirement; it is extremely easy to use as it does not need any expertise. Widgets too have to be downloaded and installed. Custom widgets can be made too. Also it may be added anywhere on the web page.
To widgetize your WordPress theme, we will first see how to add a widget.
- Installing widgets
- Displaying widgets
- Using text widgets
- Using RSS widgets
Firstly the widget has to downloaded and installed from the WordPress directory. While displaying, you have to check whether the theme supports the widget or not. This can be done by the following steps;
- Open widget which is under “Appearance” heading.
- Now you have to choose a Widget and you can drag it to the place where you wish it to come into view or you can simply open the widget. You need to pick a destination sidebar if you are dealing with more than one and at the end just click the “Add Widget” button. Once you place the widget to the first sidebar, WordPress will automatically update your Theme.
- When you preview your site. You will find that the new addition is able to be seen.
- You can add more Widgets on Widgets Panel.
- You can manage Widgets by simply dragging it into different areas within the sidebar.
- By expanding Widget’s interface, you can customize the Widget features.
- Click “Save” button to keep all the changes you make while customizing.
- You can delete your Widget/s by simply click on Remove or Delete button.
Next, using text widgets will allow the users to add text, video, images, custom lists and more to their websites. To use the WordPress text widget the following steps are to be followed:
- Open “Widgets in the WordPress Administration Panels” under Theme heading.
- You can choose where you want to add the Text Widget (i.e. sidebar, footer, or Theme section).
- Go through the list of Widgets and find the required Text Widget.
- Simply drag the Widget to the place on the sidebar where you want it to be seen.
For Posts and Comments, RSS Links shows a record of the links to a variety of main WordPress feeds. The RSS permits you to put together an external feed source for text and other content into the Widget area e.g. Twitter account, Face-book posts, Google+ posts, or other blogs.
The RSS Links Widget provides the choice to label the section and select which sort of feeds to present to visitors. This widget only shows the links to the feeds not the feed content.
- In “Posts” region, recently published content will be displayed.
- In “Comments” region, most recent comments will be displayed.
- “Posts and Comments” region shows a combination of both.
The RSS Widget shows the latest published material from any visitors or users with the dynamic feed. This is the best method of integrating the content from any external source into your site.
Without doing anything, WordPress RSS Widgets itself shows the title of the post or sometimes the little text of a Tweet or untitled post of almost 120 characters. This could be directly in the form of link or through the original source. Featuring a link depends upon the design and structure of the feed.
- In the first form, you need to enter the RSS feed URL then copied your content that you want to put in from the source page in your sidebar or may be any other Widget area.
- Do not forget to give a title to your feed. This is not necessary but the benefit of that is it will allow you to display the content source.
- You can choose manually from 1-20 posts how much items you want to show on the page.
- If you want to show item content then this will allow you to display an piece of the content not only the title.
- If you want that original author needs to be known then select “Display item author” option if available.
- You can put the date of your published content by selecting “Display item date” option.
Multiple RSS Widgets can be inserted to your WordPress sidebar and other Widget areas of the site.
Furthermore, to widgetize your WordPress theme, you need to follow these steps:
First, you have to make some required changes in functions.php file. You can do that by making a file backup in case of any problem. After that it is secure to insert the given code to the same function:
<?php $args = array(
'name' => __( 'Home Widget 1', 'theme_text_domain' ),
'id' => 'unique-sidebar-id',
'description' => '',
'class' => '',
'before_widget' => '<li id="%1$s" class="widget %2$s">',
'after_widget' => '</li>',
'before_title' => '<h2 class="widgettitle">',
'after_title' => '</h2>' );
register_sidebar( $args ); ?>
Every widget should be given a distinct name. It is better to give widget a name according to the place it is intended for such as "Home Widget 1."
Please remember that h2 tags are for ‘before_title’ and ‘after_title’ heading. There are some WordPress themes that are by default h3 set. You need to be intelligent in making adjustments.
Now, go to your file that needs to be widgetize and insert this code:
<?php if (!function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar('Home Widget 1') ) : ?>
<p>This space is ready for widget.</p>
<?php endif; ?>
You need to give the same name to widget in the code’s first line such as ‘Home Widget 1. The post and stylistic characteristics can be done by inserting additional code to the file name style.css.
Then simply return to the widget area of the WordPress control panel and enjoy.