WordPress Widgets: A Comprehensive Guide and Top 15 WordPress Widgets List

WordPress Widgets: A Comprehensive Guide and Top 15 WordPress Widgets List

WordPress widgets are software components used to add various features to websites’ sidebar areas using little to no code. These features include galleries, calendars, links to recent posts, and social links – it’s difficult to imagine an attractive site without them.

So, if you want to improve your website’s quality but are unfamiliar with WordPress widgets, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about them. 

This article will explain what WordPress widgets are and list the top 15 widget plugins, together with showing how to add default WordPress widgets to your site and use them effectively.

Video Tutorial on WordPress Widgets

If you would like the short version of this article, you can watch our video tutorial for a quick rundown.

Subscribe For more educational videos! Hostinger Academy

What Is a WordPress Widget

A WordPress widget is a website’s component containing media, navigation links, or additional information separate from the main content of a post or page.

Widgets in WordPress can be placed on every page of a website or specific pages only, like the home page. 

Usually, widgets are located in special content places called widget areas, such as the sidebar, footer, header, or above and below the content. These areas may differ from one theme to another. You can add more widget areas using code.

WordPress comes with default widgets, such as the calendar or archives. We’ll discuss them in more detail later in the article. 

Besides the default WordPress widgets, you can code your own or install plugins to add widgets.

Top 15 WordPress Widget Plugins for Your Website

Here are the 15 best WordPress widget plugins gathered by our experts to show what they can add to the website. 

1. More Widgets

More Widgets WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 200+
  • Rating: 5/5 
  • Notable features: numerous WordPress widgets in one plugin, default styling
  • Price: free

More Widgets is a WordPress widget plugin that provides various widget options without installing multiple plugins. 

These WordPress widgets examples include:

  • Advertisement widget – gives a commission every time a site visitor clicks on a product or service ad featured in your widget area.
  • Business Information widget – displays a brief description of your business, such as its location and owner.
  • Social media icon widget – leads people to your social media profiles with a single click. 

More Widgets keeps your widget settings customization even if you switch themes. This plugin offers all the best widgets for websites with default styling, so they look great with any template. 

This plugin is free, open-source, and well-coded – there’s no need to worry about it slowing down your site’s load time. 


2. Simple Social Icons

Simple Social Icons WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 200,000+
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Notable features: easy customization, support for over 30 digital platforms
  • Price: free

Simple Social Icons is a free WordPress widget plugin to link your social media profiles on your site with social icon widgets.

Your activity and content on various social media platforms can help widen your reach and drive traffic to your website. By providing a social icons widget in one of your widget areas, you’ll let people access your social media profiles without having to type your username into the search box.

The plugin allows customizing your social media icons’ color, size, and alignment to suit your website’s theme better. You can reorder them according to popularity or personal preference.

This plugin supports over 30 digital platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and Youtube. 


3. WP Call Button

WP Call Button WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 10,000+
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Notable features: customizable call button, smartphone field, seamless integration with popular plugins and business phone providers
  • Price: free

WP Call Button is a free WordPress plugin that adds a click-to-call button widget on your WordPress site. Just enable the plugin after downloading it and enter your phone number. 

You can match the call button’s design with the site theme’s look in its customization options. The call button can be placed within the page content or in the sidebar areas. 

Another option is to create a floating call button that stays visible as people scroll down the page. The button can be made visible only to mobile users. 

The Smartphone field ensures the right country dialing code appears after visitors select their country from the menu.

The plugin works with both the Classic and Gutenberg editors. It also integrates seamlessly with popular business phone providers and WordPress plugins. 


4. Google Maps Widget

Google Maps Widget WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 80,000+
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Notable features: thumbnail and lightbox maps, extensive customization options, multilingual support
  • Price: freemium

Google Maps Widget is a WordPress plugin that shows a Google Maps widget in the form of a lightbox or thumbnail.

Users can customize the thumbnail map size by adjusting the width and height and picking their preferred map type, such as satellite map, road map, or terrain map. There is a wide array of map color schemes.

You can pick the color, size, type, and label of the thumbnail map pin. The zoom level of the map and the image you use as a custom map icon is adjustable. 

The interactive lightbox map can be configured by changing the map mode, type, color scheme, and zoom level. Its size and skin are adjustable as well. There are other settings that determine how the lightbox is closed and whether to show the map title. 

The plugin also has multilingual support and is translated into numerous languages, including Spanish, German, and French. 

Google Maps Widget is free to use, but there is a premium version available. Users of the pro version enjoy extra features such as multiple map pins, pin library, and Google Analytics integration. 

There are three Google Maps Widget premium plans: Personal at $29/year, Lifetime for $49, and Agency for $79. The Personal plan is billed annually, while the Lifetime and Agency plans are acquired through one-time payments. 


5. OptinMonster

OptinMonster WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 1,000,000+
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Notable features: drag-and-drop campaign builder, numerous pop-up campaign types, campaign template library, smart controls for targeted marketing campaigns
  • Price: freemium

OptinMonster is a plugin for creating pop-up marketing campaigns with a drag-and-drop builder. It also comes with other marketing tools, such as built-in analytics and smart targeting. 

Users can create different types of campaigns, such as lightbox pop-ups, fullscreen welcome mats, floating bars, inline forms, and slide-in scroll boxes.

Design-wise, OptinMonster provides access to its library of over 75 pre-made campaign templates. Their appearance can be customized using custom fonts and CSS.  

The plugin has smart controls to display your campaigns to chosen visitors at a preferred time:

  • Timed display control. Display a targeted campaign once visitors have stayed on your website for a specified period.
  • Scroll triggering feature. Show a campaign after visitors have viewed a certain percentage of your page.
  • Email list segmentation. Divide your email list into different parts based on certain criteria and tailor specific messages for each recipient group.
  • Page-level targeting. Display targeted campaigns on a specific category or page.
  • Subscriber recognition. Only present your marketing campaigns to people who haven’t subscribed.

Sign up for OptinMonster’s free subscription by creating an account and entering your credit card information. You’ll get the same features as their most affordable premium plan for free. 

There are four premium plans: Basic at $9/month, Plus at $19/month, Pro at $29/month, and Growth at $49/month. All plans are billed annually. 


6. Strong Testimonials

Strong Testimonials WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 100,000+
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Notable features: intuitive editor, customizable testimonial templates, testimonial view, testimonial submission form
  • Price: freemium

Strong Testimonials is a WordPress plugin for collecting and displaying customer testimonials or reviews in a widget area on your site.

The plugin has an intuitive editor to create unlimited testimonials. Once you’ve adjusted the settings and applied the shortcode, the testimonials will appear in the designated area. 

Design-wise, the plugin’s various testimonial templates provide customization options such as choosing the background and font color. Also, you can use custom CSS to modify fonts, margins, and borders. 

This plugin creates testimonial submission forms with customizable fields to collect testimonials. The form properties, such as the placeholder, order, and label, can also be modified.

The plugin is available for free, but the premium version will provide you with more features, such as the third-party review importer, multiple testimonial forms, and schema markup

It comes in four premium plans – Basic at $29/year, Plus at $49/year, Business at $69/year, and Agency at $89/year


7. Easy Table of Contents

Easy Table of Contents WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 200,000+
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Notable features: automatic table creation, extensive customization options, built-in themes, multiple counter bullet types
  • Price: free

Easy Table of Contents is a user-friendly plugin people can use to add a widget in the form of a table of contents into pages, posts, or themes’ widget areas.

This plugin automatically creates a table of contents by scanning posts, pages, or custom post types for headers and arranging those headers into a hierarchical list. Using its customization options, people can decide where to insert the table of contents, when to display the table, whether to display the content hierarchy and which headings to include.

It has built-in themes for displaying the table of contents. If you don’t want to use a pre-made theme, create your own – pick the border and background and link colors to your liking.

This free WordPress plugin works seamlessly with both the Classic and Gutenberg editors, in addition to numerous third-party page builders. It also supports smooth scrolling. 


8. Google Language Translator

Google Language Translator WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 100,000+
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Notable features: machine language translation, right-to-left language support, floating language selector
  • Price: freemium

Google Language Translator is a WordPress plugin that adds a language switcher widget to your website. It uses Google Translate to translate website elements into various languages, including right-to-left script languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. 

This plugin has a floating language selector and flags in the language menu for easy language switching. It supports WooCommerce and Google Analytics integration. 

You can use it for free, but there is a premium version available with advanced features such as multilingual SEO, URL localization, and metadata translation. 

The plugin offers four premium plans – Custom at $7.99/month, Startup at $17.99/month, Business at $27.99/month, and Enterprise at $37.99/month


9. The Events Calendar

The Events Calendar WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 800,000+
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Notable features: multiple calendar viewing options, event search feature, upcoming events list widget, event taxonomy, extensive customization options
  • Price: free

The Events Calendar is a responsive WordPress plugin used to create and manage an events calendar with multiple viewing options, such as a month, day, or event list view. 

It provides multiple skeleton stylesheets, partial template overrides, numerous template tags, hooks, and filters for customization. In addition, it has a library of free plugin extensions. 

You can export your Google Calendar or Apple’s Calendar and organize events using categories and tags. Don’t worry if English is not your first language – the Events Calendar has multilingual support.

You can use this plugin for free, but a paid version is also available. 

Use the Events Calendar Pro by purchasing one of the five premium plans offered – 1 Site at $99/year, 3 Sites at $149/year, 10 Sites at $299/year, Multisite at $349/year, and Unlimited at $750/year


10. Relevanssi

Relevanssi WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 100,000+
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Notable features: fuzzy matching, Did you mean? search result suggestions, search term highlight, multisite support, search query log, search restriction configuration options
  • Price: freemium

Relevanssi is an upgrade from the basic WordPress search widget. It offers better search results and their presentation, sorting them in order of relevance instead of date. However, this WordPress plugin is more suitable for websites with plenty of database storage, as it requires a lot of memory and may triple your database size.

This search widget lets users search site posts, comments, tags, categories, and custom fields. Its fuzzy matching feature helps give accurate results based on partial or incomplete search queries. The tool can even give the Did you mean? suggestions similar to the ones found on Google search engine results pages. People can also search for phrases with quotes.

While you can use the search widget for free, the premium plugin is available with extra features. These include the options to index PDF files and user profiles, as well as improved spelling correction for the Did you mean? search suggestions.

There are two Relevanssi Premium plans: Annual at $109/year and Permanent for $379. The former gets you one year of support and upgrades, while the latter gives you the same for a lifetime. You can still continue to use the plugin after your annual license expires, but you will need to purchase a new license to get more support and upgrades. 


11. WPForms

WPForms WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 4,000,000+
  • Rating: 4.9/5
  • Notable features: drag-and-drop contact form builder, email subscription form, anti-spam protection, hCaptcha, reCAPTCHA
  • Price: freemium

WPForms is a WordPress contact form plugin used to add form widgets to your website’s widget areas. It features various forms, including contact, feedback, subscription, and payment. 

WPForms has a drag-and-drop builder to add or remove contact form fields easily. This plugin also comes with built-in security features such as anti-spam protection, hCaptcha, and reCAPTCHA.

WPForms Lite is a free option for creating contact forms on your WordPress site. However, upgrading to the pro version will unlock extra features, like the form locker feature to manage contact form permissions and control the kind of content people can submit through forms.  

The pro version has improvements to the user experience, such as smart form confirmation, instant form notification, offline forms, and conversational forms. 

The pro plugin also maximizes leads using features like contact form abandonment and form landing pages.

There are four types of premium WPForms plans – Basic at $39.50/year, Plus at $99.50/year, Pro at $199.50/year, and Elite at $299.50/year


12. Countdown Timer Ultimate

Countdown Timer Ultimate WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 20,000+
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Notable features: unlimited, responsive, and customizable countdown timers
  • Price: freemium

Countdown Timer Ultimate is a straightforward plugin that adds a countdown timer to your website’s posts, pages, or widget areas. The number of countdown timers is unlimited.

This WordPress plugin works with the Gutenberg shortcode block. Also, you can add the timer via template code.

The countdown timer is customizable – it’s possible to set the background and text color as well as choose which text to show or hide.

The free version’s features include various designs for the timer and clock, custom CSS, and page builder support. You’ll also get updates and ticket support.

The premium version of the plugin is available as part of the WP Essential Plugin Bundle. The bundle also contains other plugins such as WP Featured Content and Slider, WP News and Scrolling Widgets, and WP Logo Showcase Responsive Slider.

There are two licenses to use the WP Essential Plugin Bundle on an unlimited number of sites – Annual and Lifetime. The Annual license is billed yearly at $119/year, while the Lifetime license is purchased by making a one-time payment of $299.


13. GiveWP

GiveWP WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 100,000+
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Notable features: powerful donation forms, full-featured reporting, donor management   
  • Price: freemium

GiveWP is a powerful WordPress plugin that allows adding donation forms to your website’s widget areas for nonprofit and fundraising purposes.

It comes with features such as donation forms, full-featured reporting, and donor management.

Users can create custom donation forms, utilize donation form templates, or use GiveWP’s legacy forms. The aspects of forms that can be customized include fundraising goals, giving amounts, and terms and conditions. 

GiveWP’s donation form also adapts to the style of your template, so it’ll look attractive on any theme.

The reporting feature provides an overview of your donation activity. It also controls your data and filters reports by form, date, and payment method. Use this feature to measure the performance of multiple campaigns. 

The WordPress plugin’s donor management feature keeps track of donors and donation activity history. The plugin can create tax-deductible receipts and is integrated with third-party services. 

GiveWP takes no cut from the money raised and is available for free.

However, it does offer premium plans for people who want access to the premium add-ons. Their examples include the Form Field Manager, Currency Switcher, PDF Receipts, PayPal Pro Gateway, and Email Reports. 

There are three premium plans – Basic at $174/year, Plus at $252/year, and Pro at $349/year.  Note that these are special introductory prices. The plans are renewed at full price.


14. Quiz and Survey Master

Quiz and Survey Master WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 40,000+
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Notable features: multiple question types, flexible customization options, categories, quiz countdown timer, personalized results page, result emails  
  • Price: freemium

Quiz and Survey Master is a free WordPress survey plugin built specifically to add interactive content like quizzes or surveys to your theme’s widget areas.

People can add various question types, like single or multiple-choice and drop-down questions. Visitors can be asked open questions for more elaborate answers. There’s also the possibility to implement polar or slider answers to rate something with a scale.

Customization includes modifying the number of questions to display, their order, and whether to group questions into categories. You can change the appearance of text blocks and the submit button or create your own personalized text. 

You can personalize the results page’s layout according to the user’s final score. In addition, you can choose to show the user’s overall score or points from a specific category. There is also the option to send emails of the quiz results to you and the quiz takers. 

To unlock the plugin’s full capabilities, purchase a license. The premium add-ons include the Google Sheet Connector, reCAPTCHA, Flashcards, Google Analytics Tracking, and Advertisement Be Gone. They can be bought individually or together in a bundle.

There are two types of premium add-on bundles – Starter Bundle at $79/year and Premium Bundle at $149/year.


15. Widget Importer/Exporter

Widget Importer Exporter WordPress plugin banner

Plugin Stats:

  • Downloads: 300,000+
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Notable features: widget import and export, smart widget handling
  • Price: free

The Widget Importer/Exporter plugin is different from the other WordPress plugins in the list since it doesn’t serve as a widget that adds specific functionality to a site. 

Instead, it imports and exports the installed widgets from one WordPress site to another when you switch hosting plans, clone your site on your local host, or plan to reuse the widgets in a multisite system. 

Widget Importer/Exporter imports your widgets taking these factors into account:

  • Widget areas don’t exist in the new site’s theme. In such cases, the widgets will be imported as inactive.
  • Widgets already exist in the same widget area in the new site’s theme. In this case, the plugin will avoid duplicating the widgets.
  • Widgets not supported by the new site. In this case, the widgets won’t be imported.

The plugin exports active widgets as a JSON file with a proprietary .wie extension to avoid confusing this plugin’s export file with the ones from other plugins. 


Default WordPress Widgets

Don’t forget about the default WordPress widgets. In some cases, they may be enough to achieve the desired website functionality. 

Here is a list of the default WordPress widgets to use on a site:

  1. Archives. Provide links to published posts on your site, organized by month. 
  2. Audio. Embed an audio player in a widget area on your website. 
  3. Calendar. The date numbers on the calendar act as links to posts published on the corresponding dates. 
  4. Categories. Group your published posts by category and show the post categories on your site’s sidebar area. 
  5. Gallery. Display multiple images as a photo gallery in a grid format or a slideshow in your sidebar.
  6. Image. Show an image in your website’s sidebar area.
  7. Meta. Provide metadata, including RSS feeds and login links. 
  8. Navigation. Display a navigation menu for your website. 
  9. Pages. Show your site’s pages in the site’s sidebar areas for easier navigation. 
  10. Recent Comments. Showcase the most recent comments left on your site. 
  11. Recent Posts. Provide links to your latest published blog posts in your site’s sidebar. 
  12. RSS. Show posts from any RSS feed – including ones from other sites or, for example, your Instagram feed – in your sidebar area. 
  13. Search. Add a search box to help people find any post on your website. 
  14. Tag Cloud. Display up to 75 of your most frequently used post tags, with the most popular post tags shown in larger font sizes. 
  15. Video. Embed a video in a widget area on your site. 

How to Add a Default Widget to Your WordPress Site

After choosing the default WordPress widgets you want, there are three methods to add them to your WordPress site straight from your dashboard.

How to Add a Default Widget to Your WordPress Site Using the Widgets Screen

Here’s how to add default WordPress widgets using the Widgets screen:

  1. On your WordPress admin dashboard, hover over Appearance and click Widgets.
  1. You’ll see the available default WordPress widgets. Click on the desired widget, select the widget area you want it to be displayed in, and click the Add Widget button.
The widgets area in the WordPress dashboard
  1. The chosen widget will appear in the selected widget area. Configure the widget options according to your preferences. Click the Save button to finalize the changes. 
The widgets area, highlighting a newly added Archives widget

Repeat the process to add as many types of widgets as you want to one widget area. 

The WordPress Widgets screen also has an accessibility mode to add widgets and edit them using a keyboard instead of a mouse. To do so, follow these instructions:

  1. On your WordPress admin navigation menu, hover over Appearance and click Widgets.
  1. Activate the accessibility mode by clicking on Enable accessibility mode in the top right corner of the Widgets screen. 
The enable accessibility mode at the top right of the widgets area in the WordPress dashboard
  1. Once you have successfully switched to the accessibility mode, use Tab to navigate. Hit Enter to select an element and make the changes you want. Use the up and down arrows to choose items from drop-down menus. 
The widgets area in the WordPress dashboard - enable accessibility mode version

How to Add a Default Widget to Your WordPress Site Using the Customizer

The second method to add default widgets to a WordPress website involves the WordPress Customizer. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Access the Customizer by hovering over Appearance on your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Customize.
  1. Click on Widgets on the sidebar menu on the left side of the page. 
The widgets menu in the WordPress customizer
  1. Click on the desired widget area, click the Add a widget button, and select the widget you want from the list.
Add a widget button in the widget customizer
  1. After choosing the widget, it’ll appear in the preview of your site. Adjust the widget order by dragging them around or by selecting the Reorder link and clicking the arrows that appear. 
The widget customizer, highlighting the part that's reordered
  1. Configure the widget settings and click the Publish button at the top of the screen to save your changes. 

How to Add a Default Widget to a Specific Page Using the Gutenberg Editor

Users can also add a widget to a specific page on a WordPress site using the WordPress Gutenberg editor. Follow the steps below to do it:

  1. Hover over Posts on your WordPress admin dashboard and access the Gutenberg editor. Click Add New to create a new post or All Posts to edit an existing post.
  1. In this tutorial, we’ll click Add New. Click the Plus button. Then click Browse all.
The popup to add blocks in the Gutenberg, highlighting the Browse all option
  1. Scroll down the block library on the left side of the screen and find the Widgets section. Click on the widget type you want. 
The widgets section in Gutenberg's tab
  1. Configure the widget settings. Click the Publish button at the top of the screen once you are done.
Configuring a newly added widget using the Gutenberg WordPress editor

How to Use WordPress Widgets Effectively

WordPress widgets add additional content or features to expand your site’s functionality. Include widgets where you see fit, but don’t fill your website with too many of them. 

If you overcrowd your website with WordPress widgets, it may look messy. It’ll be difficult for the widgets you use to stand out, distracting the visitors from your main content. 

If you’re not sure what are the best WordPress widgets to use, don’t worry – we’ve prepared a few lists of recommended widget plugins. 

Use these widget plugins to add more information about yourself or your business:

With these plugins, you can make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you:

Use the widget areas of your theme to enhance the marketing of your business with the following plugins:

If user experience is one of your top priorities, improve site organization with the search and navigation widgets placed using these plugins:

To make your site more accessible for users worldwide, use these plugins:


WordPress widgets are website components that provide extra content types or information that’s separate from posts’ or pages’ main content.

Usually, they’re placed in special locations, such as the header or sidebar, called widget areas. You can also code your own widget area.

There are three ways to add default WordPress widgets to a site: 

  • Widgets screen. 
  • Customizer.
  • Gutenberg editor. 

Add more widgets by coding your own or using widget plugins, such as the list of the 15 WordPress plugins we discussed in the article.

Although widgets are helpful, be careful. Too many of them can clutter your website or overwhelm its visitors, distracting them from your content.
Now go ahead – it’s high time to improve your site by adding some WordPress widgets.

The author

Tashia T.

Tashia is passionate about all things website development, digital marketing, and eCommerce. She strives to spread her knowledge and help people navigate the online world through her words, one article at a time.