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Widgets are a "simple way to arrange the various elements of your sidebar content" (WordPress Codex). Examples of popular widgets include log-in tools, RSS feeds, a list of blog pages, a list of links (your "blogroll"), and a list of blog authors. In WordPress, you can click, drag, and drop these modules into your sidebar and arrange them in the order that you would like to have them appear on your sidebar.

Adding widgets to your blog

To browse the widgets that are available to you, go to your dashboard, and under "appearance," locate "widgets." You will see a list of "available widgets," "inactive widgets," and on the left a "sidebar" box. Drag and drop your "available" or "inactive" widgets over to the "sidebar" box. You can then open the widgets by clicking on the downward arrow beside them; most give you the option of renaming them or changing some of their display properties. If you want to remove a widget, simply drag it back over to "inactive widgets," and it will save the settings you have changed until the next time you want to use that widget.


Some themes come with pre-defined widgets in the sidebar, and by adding widgets in the appearance menu you might overwrite the current defaults. However, you can add them back.

If you are using our Georgetown Course Template, you should be aware that changing your widgets will override the sidebar that came automatically with the course blog template. You can reconstruct the course blog template sidebar with widgets by doing the following:

  1. Add a "pages" widget and retitle it "Course Documents."
  2. Go to "plugins" and activate the "Authors - sidebar widget" plugin.
  3. Add the new "authors" widget to your sidebar.
  4. Add the "tags" widget.
  5. Add the "categories" widget.
  6. Add the "archives" widget.
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