Most WordPress themes in 2014 are widgitized where you go to “Appearance” >> “Widgets” and drag and drop various widgets on the left to your themes sidebar(s) on the right, creating a WordPress blog precisely how you want it.
The simplest of WordPress themes have a single widget area: like a left sidebar where widgets can be dragged to and the 12 WordPress default widgets:
Calendar Widget : HIGH SEO Damage
Custom Menu Widget
Meta Widget : LOW SEO Damage
Recent Comments Widget : MEDIUM SEO Damage
Recent Posts Widget
Tag Cloud Widget
The Stallion Responsive Theme includes no fewer than 21 additional custom WordPress widgets (Stallion also disables 4 default widgets for SEO reasons) and 23 WordPress Widget Areas.
What’s a WordPress Widget Area?
The WordPress widget area found on the right hand side under “Appearance” >> “Widgets” is where you drag and drop the widgets (the widgets are on the left), each widget area corresponds to a different part of the theme, after dropping a widget into a widget area your site should load the widget in the corresponding part of the theme.
Since Stallion Responsive includes 23 widget areas there’s basically 23 locations you can add a widget to, some are straight forward like a Left Sidebar, Right Sidebar, Footer… but others will add your widgets to specific page types or inside the content.
Click the image below to see a full screenshot of “Appearance” >> “Widgets” page on a site running Stallion Responsive with no widgets added and all the widget areas expanded.
How to Delete WordPress Widgets
When WordPress is first installed the default Twenty Fourteen WordPress magazine theme is active and this adds a few default widgets to the first widget area. You will find when activating a new theme like Stallion some of those widgets are still added to your top widget area. Since there are better Stallion versions of these widgets it’s usually easier to delete these widgets and start from scratch, this is probably true for a lot of WordPress themes that include their own custom widgets.
Really easy to delete widgets added to a widget area, open the widget area (arrow on top right corner of widget area), open the widget (arrow on top right corner of the widget you wish to delete) and click the Delete link: screenshot below is for Twenty Fourteen theme.
After you’ve deleted all the default WordPress widgets we can add Stallion widgets.
Add Widgets to WordPress
Adding a widget is easy when you know how, under “Appearance” >> “Widgets” decide on a widget you want to add to a widget area, I’m going to add a Stallion AdSense widget to the Left Sidebar widget area. With so many Stallion widgets and widget areas can be a little tricky because even on a desktop PC with a large monitor (I use a 23″ monitor for example) the widgets and widget areas still cover multiple pages (have to scroll a lot).
Left click and hold the click on the widget you wish to add to a widget area, now drag your mouse pointer to the widget area and the widget you selected will move with your mouse pointer. Hover the widget over the widget area and when it’s in the right location you’ll see a dashed rectangle within the widget area, if you don’t see the dashed rectangle the widget isn’t ready to be placed (can be temperamental at times :-)).
When you have the widget over the correct widget area and you see the dashed rectangle release the mouse button and the widget will lock in place: see AdSense widget image below.
Best WordPress Widgets
Below is a screenshot of this sites widget areas in May 2014 (will probably change in the future), to create this image I opened only the widget areas that have widgets and cut off the bottom widget areas (6 of them) to save space.
There’s no best WordPress widgets setup for all sites, but the ones I’ve added a tick to above are highly recommended WordPress widgets for Stallion Responsive theme users.
From top to bottom we have:
Stallion SEO Recent Comments Widget
For this site I’ve given the SEO Recent Comments Widget a heading “Latest Comments” and set the widget to show a user gravatar, title of the post (anchor text of the link to the comment) the comment is to and a short excerpt of the comment.
I will be writing a tutorial article about the Stallion SEO Recent Comments Widget it has a LOT of options, but for now the output looks like the image to the right.
Stallion AdSense Content S1 Widget
This is an AdSense widget which options are set under “Stallion Theme” >> “AdSense Ad” options page, see AdSense Theme Tutorial for more details.
Stallion SEO Posts Widgets
I’m using two Stallion SEO Posts Widgets on this site, the first one is Popular Posts widget, the other is Recent Posts widget, for full details about this advanced SEO widget see Stallion SEO Posts Widgets.
Below is a screenshot of the two SEO widgets side by side.
Tag Could: Categories Widget
I’m using the WordPress default Tag Cloud widget selecting Categories instead of Tags as the output (I don’t use Tags for SEO reasons). It’s important to link to your WordPress categories for SEO reasons and using the Tag Cloud: Categories widget or another Categories widget is a good choice.
Custom Ad Widgets
From the earlier screenshot you can see I’ve also added two Stallion custom Ad widgets within the right sidebar, these are for the two Stallion theme links, the “Buy Now Using PayPal” widget and the “Download Stallion Theme” widget.
The Stallion Custom Ad Widget allows you to build text link ads and banner ads without understanding any HTML/PHP. custom ad widgets are like the default WordPress Text widgets with more options.
You will also see three WordPress Text widgets, one is within the right sidebar (Text Widget: WP Robot discount Code) which only loads on posts like the WpRobot Review article (the Stallion Display Widget Feature, can set which posts etc… a widget loads on), this is a cloaked affiliate image link (see link cloaking tutorial).
The two Text Widgets within the “Bottom of Blog Posts and Static Pages” widget area also use the Stallion display widget feature and each load for posts in two categories. The Bottom of Blog Posts and Static Pages widget area corresponds to the bottom of the content of Static Pages and Blog Posts only, any widgets added here will not load on the home page, categories, tags or search results.
The “Text: WordPress SEO tutorial” widget contains links to all the WordPress SEO Tutorial articles and only load for posts in the WordPress SEO Tutorial Category. Load a post like the Title Tag SEO Tutorial and scroll to the base of the main content and there’s links to the other WordPress SEO tutorial articles.
The “Text: Yoast WordPress SEO Tutorial” widget same as above, but loaded for articles within the Yoast WordPress SEO Tutorial category only.
By combining the Bottom of Blog Posts and Static Pages widget area and the Stallion display widgets feature I’ve been able to specify exactly what and where I want those two text widgets loaded.