Create a Better WordPress Sidebar with These Widgets

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One of the wonderful advantages of having an open source platform such as WordPress is that it allows for a lot of creativity and ingenuity in improvements. Many of these improvements come in the form of downloadable blocks called widgets. Widgets are blocks of data that can be installed onto a website owner’s WordPress site and placed into the sidebar to enhance the look, feel, and productivity of the website. They allow for more control, more functionality, more ease of use, and more customization. There is a countless number of widgets and plugins for WordPress at this point, but a few that stand out from the pack are Contact Form WD, Event Calendar WD, Social Count Plus, Image Widget, Custom Taxonomies, Tabbed Login, and Testimonials Widget.

Event Calendar WD

Event Calendar is an easy to use plugin that offers a sidebar widget that allows visitors to view a calendar of events and important dates for the website owner’s site. The website owner can create as many events as they like, they can separate events into categories, create search bars for events, integrate a map into their events so customers know exactly where to go, and can even integrate a share button for social media, so customers can share the event with their friends. Having a simple method of letting your customers know about important events and dates is essential to every business, and Event Calendar allows for a fast, efficient, and customizable way of getting this done.

Social Count Plus

Social Count Plus is another simple to use yet extremely helpful widget. Brand loyalty and trust are of the utmost importance these days when it comes to customer retention, and nothing instills as much trust as a strong social media presence. When customers are able to see behind the curtain and interact with a company and see the interactions that others have with that company, it gives them a sense of safety and trust about that company. This is what makes the widget Social Count Plus so important. It not only provides a neat and easy to navigate the list of all your social media outlets, but it allows the website visitor to see, in real time, how many other people are subscribed to those outlets. Seeing other people trust a company is how most people decide if a company is worth trusting, and this widget provides a quick and easy way to integrate that concept into a website.

Image Widget

Image Widget performs exactly as it sounds. It is a widget that allows the site owner to add images anywhere that the widget can be placed. It requires no coding knowledge or experience. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when a website owner is trying to convey as much emotion and information in a small area of space, it is important to be able to post an image to help customers understand exactly what they are looking at. Image Widget makes this task extremely simple and customizable and should be considered a very important addition to any widget arsenal.

Contact Form WD

Contact Form is a plugin that can be used as a widget that allows the creation of any kind of contact form a website owner can think of, whether it is as simple as a name and a message, or as complex as forms with passwords, maps, multiple choice options, and captcha. Contact Form allows all of this to be done, and it allows the website owner to do it without ever learning a single line of code. It is important for customers to be able to access and communicate with a business, and Contact Form makes this a breeze.

Custom Taxonomies

The Custom Taxonomies widget is a great widget for all website owners who understand the importance of giving customers an organized and streamlined experience. In order to avoid frustration and to be able to get in and out as fast as possible, Custom Taxonomies provides an organized list of categories and subcategories that the website owner has deemed important. Rather than having to constantly return to the home page or use the back and forward arrows on their browser, customers can see all categories broken down in detail, and simply click on the category they feel best suits their needs.

Tabbed Login Widget

Tabbed Login Widget is a widget with many benefits. It allows a very simple and easy to use login option to be added to the sidebar. This allows customers to create a login and password on the site so they can keep track of their activities while connected. This gives the owner a working database of all their customers and potential customers and allows for customizable sales campaign to be sent to specific customers according to their recorded activities. On top of all these benefits, it also creates a positive psychological effect that makes customers feel more loyal to the website owners brand, as signing up makes them feel part of their team.

Testimonials Widget

The Testimonials Widget allows for even more brand trust and loyalty, by allowing customers to very simply write and leave their reviews and experiences about the brand, right there on the site for other customers to view. Seeing customers sing praises about a brand makes other customers and potential customers feel much more at ease when purchasing from that brand. This creates trust which leads to long-term brand loyalty. This makes the testimonials widget a vital sidebar widget for any company with products and services to sell.

WordPress is an amazing platform for building a site no matter what the purpose and sidebar widgets are the icing on the cake. They allow for an easier, more efficient WordPress experience, where instead of spending a lot of time and effort learning to code and typing out long strings of data in order to make minor changes, the website owner can simply install a widget, move it into the sidebar and begin to customize their site with more freedom than ever before.

Contact Form, Event Calendar WD, Social Count Plus, Image Widget, Custom Taxonomies, Tabbed Login, Testimonials Widget are all amazing widgets that will make any WordPress site much better and easier to use. However, they are not the only widgets on the block. There is a widget for almost every need a website owner can think of at this point. Every WordPress site can benefit from the vast array of widgets available right now, and thanks to the open source nature of WordPress, that number is only growing.  

Web developer Richard Sutherland has been working with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other content management systems for over a decade. Graduating from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Richard has held a number of prominent website development roles at major companies such as Samsung, ASDA and Prudential.

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