How to Create a Custom WordPress Widget?
In this fast-growing world, everyone wants to do their daily work with ease. While using any web app, users will want to shortcuts to access everything. These shortcuts are known as widgets. WordPress Widget is easy-to-use component that provide instant information about the software, app, or web app. In a web app, widgets allow users to directly check social media accounts of the website or check the photo gallery of the website.
Web apps created in WordPress have incredibly useful and unique widgets that enable businesses to add links of extra content to their websites outside the body of the page to encourage users to get information.
Today, let’s learn more about WordPress Widget and see steps to create a custom WordPress widget.
What is WordPress Widget?
WordPress widgets are nothing but snippets of content that live outside the flow of the web page. It contains media, navigation, or information that is separate from any page.
Each widget is displayed on every page of the website, but WordPress developers can also specify some of the registered widget areas on the pages, such as the website’s home page.
WordPress is a platform that comes with some of the standard sets of widgets that one can see with any WordPress theme. The majority of the WordPress themes have widget areas in the sidebar and footer, but the developers can also choose any other place to add it.
When to Use the WordPress Widget?
The WordPress developer can use a widget whenever they want to add extra content to one or more pages of any website. It is mainly used in sites that showcase a list of latest posts or shopping carts or call to action buttons.
Users click on widgets to get quick information or to get quickly navigated to other pages. Therefore the most prominent place to add the widget in the sidebar.
It is proposed by the experts that the latest post widgets or a call to action widget are best fitted in the sidebar as it is the place that increases the chances of user interaction.
Top 6 Widgets in WordPress
Here are some of the best examples of WordPress widgets-
1. Recent Post Widgets
The recent post widget is one of the most common widgets in any blog. It enables you to display the most recent posts in the sidebar or the footer of every page of the website. This widget is pre-installed with WordPress.
2. Call to Action Widgets
With the help of call to action widgets, you can encourage the audience to take action. This widget can be a simple button or an image.
3. Media Widgets
The media widgets can be added to the sidebar or the website’s footer to give users something to look and interact with. You can also add a built-in image widget to any image in the sidebar or footer.
4. Navigation Widgets
The navigation widget enables users to navigate around the website easily. The options of this widget are- Tag cloud or categories widgets and Navigation Menu widget.
5. Social Media Widgets
Social media widget shows people that you are active on social media. This widget can be used for the most prominent platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
6. Map Widgets
If you own a physically location-based business and want local people to find you, adding a map widget to your site can be beneficial.
Steps to Create a Custom WordPress Widget
Here are the steps you can follow for creating a WordPress Custom Widget-
1. Extend the WP_Widget class
The first thing to do for creating the custom app is to open the editor and create a new class that extends the base WP_Widget class.
The next step is to start implementing the standard functions. The first is the constructor method. It determines the widget’s ID, name, and description.
3. Add widget()
Now, you can focus on the widget() function. It defines the look of the WordPress widget.
4. Add form()
After the front-end, it’s time to program the back-end of the widget using the form() method.
5. Add update()
Once you are done with the back-end, you have to implement an update(). This can help to refresh the widget every time you change the settings.
6. Register the Widget
The last thing to do is to register the new custom widget using add_action() function. The registration code must be placed before extending the WP_Widget class.
Custom WordPress Widget allows you to add functions to your website according to the needs. In this article, we saw how WordPress widgets work and how one can create it. You can create a widget without a plugin, as well as can create a widget with the plugin. To use the WordPress plugins or not entirely depends upon the need of the project.