One of the defining strengths of WordPress is its rich ecosystem of plugins and widgets. As of 2023, WordPress had over 59,000 plugins available, and this number has only grown since. But, implementing these plugins would require a widget to implement a chosen plugin or functionality to your website.
Different types of websites need specific widgets, a pre-build modular element that forms a part of building blocks that will have content. You can add the widget to any column, making it an integral aspect of WordPress’ design and style.
For instance, WordPress 5.8, published in July 2021, witnessed a major overhaul of the WordPress widget editor that now boasts a block-based widget interface. Such a shift allows text blocks to control the content in your site’s widget areas, and developers can use WordPress editorial plugin as a comprehensive text editor. This widget can be resourceful to bloggers or journalists where multiple authors contribute to creating an article.
Let us explore how the latest WordPress widgets have taken site functionality to the next level.
1. Contact Form Widgets
Small businesses running their websites rely heavily on contact forms. This widget is a must if you are one of those businesses that generate a lead from the website.
A contact form widget is a pre-built element or tool you can easily integrate into a website to create a contact form. This will help make a simple, integrated, neat, and professional-looking form with all the fields you need to screen leads and organize responses.
Example: Contact Form Widget
Source: Contact form widget
Enable easy communication with this WordPress contact form widget that offers convenient storage for contact and support queries.
Also, it is accessible from the backend on the All Query page.
2. Enhanced eCommerce Widgets
Businesses operating as storefronts can benefit from using eCommerce widgets customized for such websites. Typically, enhanced eCommerce widgets will integrate with popular eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce and offer additional features to enhance the shopping experience.
For instance, using the Recent Purchases’ widget, you can improve the eCommerce website’s functionality. It shows visitors what others have recently bought, creating a sense of a vibrant, active marketplace.
Similarly, there is a ‘Product Recommendation’ widget backed by advanced algorithms suggesting products the customer may be interested in based on their browsing history, enhancing personalization.
For instance, consider how Amazon shows some products under the label ‘People who bought this also bought’ to smartly recommend the product.
Example: WooCommerce Product Slider
Source: WooCommerce slider
This widget lets you showcase your products in an attractive, interactive slider format.
3. Recent Posts, Pages, and Categories Widgets
The primary goal for any website owner is to enable seamless navigation. Recent posts, pages, and categories widgets help showcase your site’s most recent content, organized pages, and categories to your visitors.
- ‘Recent Posts’ enhance the user experience by displaying your most recent blog posts, keeping your readers engaged with your freshest content.
- ‘Pages’ enables easy navigation to important areas of your site.
- ‘Categories’ widgets help users filter posts by topic.
Other related widgets such as ‘Archives’ and ‘Calendar’ provide additional ways to access older posts.
Example: Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails
Source: Recent Post Display With Thumbnail in WordPress Draft
4. Social Media Widgets
It is impossible to ignore social media in today’s time. And therefore, businesses looking to link websites with social media platforms must leverage social media widgets. Such widgets make it easy for visitors to share your content and follow your social media pages.
Given the integral role of social media in digital marketing, many new widgets focus on seamlessly integrating social media platforms with WordPress sites. The ‘Social Feed’ widgets help display a live feed of posts from various social platforms. It ensures that your website content remains fresh and engaging.
Other social media widgets offer easy ways for visitors to share content from the site on their personal social media profiles, boosting the site’s visibility.
Examples: Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed
Source: Smash Ballon Social Photo Feed to display Instagram feeds.
This widget allows you to display your Instagram feed on your WordPress site. Similarly, Custom Twitter Feeds(Tweets Widget) do the same with Twitter content.
5. Accessibility Widgets
Lastly, website owners often overlook the accessibility aspect when creating a website. In fact, 90% of websites lack accessibility, depriving people with disabilities who rely on assistive technology to access the site. Therefore, accessibility is a crucial aspect of modern web design.
Thankfully, there are a few accessibility widgets in WordPress that help enhance your website’s usability, making it accessible to people with disabilities. These widgets may offer text-to-speech functionality, adjustable font sizes, contrast controls, and keyboard navigation. All such factors make your website more user-friendly.
Example: One Click Accessibility is a widget that adds numerous accessibility features with a single click.
Source: One-click accessibility plugin
It includes single-click features like grayscale and high contrast modes, link underlining, readable fonts, keyboard navigation, etc.
Over to you
Ready to use WordPress to impress?
Use the range of WordPress widgets shared above to enhance your website functionality. From enhancing forms, enriching eCommerce experiences, facilitating navigation, integrating social media, and prioritizing accessibility, widgets are key to making your site distinctive.
Choosing the right set of widgets for your website can help create user-centric websites, a testament to your commitment to user satisfaction and inclusive design.