Now! I have to admit when I first started on my WordPress journey I thought you could only get a widget on a can of beer! Thankfully I now understand how they and plugins can transform your website!
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website, such as an eCommerce function or an analytical reporting tool. They can extend functionality or add powerful features to your WordPress website, making it easy for users to add features to their website without knowing a single line of code. There are thousands available for free to download at the official WordPress plugin directory. One of our favourite plugins is the one by Yoast, which helps with your SEO - https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/ . Apart from the free plugins, you'll also find loads of amazing commercial ones available from third-party companies and developers.
A WordPress Widget is a small button/badge which performs a specific function. They can be added to sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on a web page and can be easily dragged and dropped into a specific widget area. You can find the list of available widgets and widget areas by going to the Appearance » Widgets section in your WordPress dashboard.
Widgets in WordPress allow you to add content and/or services in a widgetised area of your theme which is mostly the sidebar. For example on a blog page you can add a 'subscribe' or 'search' area widget. Widget-ready areas can be located in the header, footer, sidebar, below content and is specific areas of your theme. The available widget areas that you have in your theme will vary from theme to theme.
There are many different types of widgets, another example is a tab widget which shows your recent posts (see left).
WordPress by default comes with several widgets including categories, tag cloud, navigation menu, calendar, recent posts etc.
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