The ability to add widgets to some of the locations on your website provides a simple and effective way to display important content to your readers without needing to do a lot of manual coding or theme editing.
Most good themes are going to have a handful of different areas where you can add widgets. One such area is the sidebar, if you have selected a layout option for your theme that includes a sidebar.
You may have already found out how to add a widget to your sidebar, but constantly switching back between the Widgets menu and your home page can be a little tedious. Fortunately there is a “Live Preview” option that lets you make changes while you are looking at your site.
How to Enter “Live Preview” and Make Widget Changes in WordPress
The steps in this article were performed in WordPress 5.2.2. Note that you will need to be on a page where the sidebar is displayed for this to work so, if after clicking “Live Preview” in the steps below you don’t see the sidebar, then you will need to navigate to a page that displays it.
Step 1: Sign into the admin dashboard of your site at (yourdomain.com)/wp-admin.
Step 2: Hover over Appearance in the left column, then click the Widgets option.
Step 3: Click the Manage with Live Preview button at the top of the menu.
Step 4: Select your sidebar from the list of widget areas at the left side of the window.
Step 5: Reorder current widgets by clicking and dragging to the desired location. You can also click the arrow to the right of a widget if you wish to change an option for that widget, or you can click the Add Widget button to add another one to the sidebar. As you make changes your site will update in the preview window so you can see how they will look (this won’t change anything on your site until you click “Publish” though.) Once you’re done making changes, click the Publish button at the top of the window.
Do you have Jetpack installed on your site? Find out how to enable Jetpack widgets and see if they have some of the widget options you have been wanting to add to your site.
Matt has been working with WordPress and creating content using this powerful content management system for years. While he has written about many other tech topics, WordPress is one of his favorites.