Widgets are a powerful feature of WordPress you can add text, signups, images and menus to the sidebar and footer of your website by dragging and dropping. But if you aren’t confident with WordPress they can be difficult to master. Customising and enhancing widgets can also be tricky if you don’t have knowledge of CSS and HTML.
So when I got the opportunity to test out ‘Widget Options‘ a new plugin that let’s you take full control over your WordPress widgets,I jumped at the chance.
Widget Options is “The World’s Most Complete and User-Friendly WordPress Widget Management Plugin” and with over 20,000 downloads so far, it’s certainly a popular one.
And after using it for a few weeks, I can see why.
The plugin is a real benefit to your WordPress arsenal. With easy to use settings and a tonne of useful features it is definitely worth investing in. Especially if you want to change your sidebar or footer widgets without having to edit your theme files or hire a developer. At only $29 for a personal licence, it is a steal considering the control it gives you.
Widget Options is jam packed with features and settings that allow you to set up and format the plugin on your website. An overview of features include:-
- Page Visibility Options – choose to show or hide widgets on certain pages
- Devices Visibility Options – display different sidebar widgets for various devices
- Custom Alignment – select the alignment (right, left, centre) for the content of each widget
- Responsive Columns – display widgets in columns depending on screen size
- User Roles Restriction – show or hide widgets for each WordPress roles
- Widget Styling – style each widget in a unique way – background, text, titles and links colors
- Days & Dates Visibility – show or hide widgets on a certain day or date
- Widget ID & Classes – add custom widget ids and classes
- Widget Animations – choose from a selection of animations for widgets
- Sticky / Fixed Widgets – make certain widgets sticky when you scroll down the page
- Custom Widget Links – add links to pages or posts
- Display Sidebars and Widgets via Shortcodes – use the built in shortcodes to display widgets elsewhere on your website
Using the plugin
I’ve been playing around with the settings and switching up the widgets on this website for the past few weeks.
The options are impressive and even with limited technical know-how, you can easily make the most of your sidebar and footer. I sometimes find that plugins have an over-complicated setup but I found the user interface intuitive and easy to use.
After installing the plugin, the control options appear within each widget panel in a tabbed format.
With each widget having its own options, you can control and style your widgets separately – giving a bit more freedom. This is, I think, a really good feature as it doesn’t limit you in any way. For example, if you want each widget to have a different background colour – you can use the colour selector instead of having to dig into the CSS code.
On my main blog page sidebar, you can see a working example of some of the features including:
- Different widget alignment – center and left.
- A sticky widget for my newsletter signup which stays in the same place even when you scroll down the page.
- Hidden widgets for viewers on mobiles
- Background colours for different widgets
An example of the setting and final result is shown below.
What themes are supported?
The plugin works with all themes that support widgets. I’m using the Genesis Framework* on this website and it has integrated without any problems.
One of the bonus features of the plugin is that you can use it to setup a widgetized homepage on Genesis child themes. I know those widget homepages can be confusing for new users who don’t want to deal with HTML and CSS. Widget Options should make that a lot easier by letting you add responsive columns and style the content by selecting colours to match your branding. Check out a full tutorial on creating a widgetized homepage on Genesis.
If you would like to find out more about the plugin or to buy visit widget-options.com.
Widget Options is a fantastic plugin it packs in so many features – allowing you to extend your widgets from standard (and a little bit boring) to something unique. It integrates with virtually any theme, it’s easy to use and you can make some excellent customisations to your widgets. It’s definitely on my recommended plugin list now.
I’ve teamed up with Jeffrey at Phpbits to giveaway 3 personal licences to lucky readers.
GIVEAWAY END – WINNERS NOTIFIED.
I was delighted to receive a request from Phpbits to review the Widget Options plugin and given a personal licence. All opinions and comments expressed here are my own based on my testing of the plugin.
There are affiliate links on this page marked with a *. If you choose to purchase through these links you are supporting Wildflowers & Pixels.