Good Question. What is a WordPress Widget? Clients that I build for ask me all of the time, “What is a WordPress Widget? Clients that are learning WordPress with me frequently ask me, “Hey what is a WordPress Widget.”
Questions, questions and more questions. Also, people often ask me what is the difference between a WordPress Plugin and a WordPress Widget? Very good question also. And, the fact of the matter is that if you are new to WordPress you really want to understand the difference between the two very early in your introduction to the world of all things WordPress.
Hopefully, you have viewed our video, “What is a WordPress Plugin?” That will tell you in depth what a WordPress Plugin is. That video will tell you how to find them, how to load them into your WordPress workflow and more.
In a nut shell, a WordPress Plugin provides some overall function to your entire WordPress site. Maybe you need a high powered system to make forms. Maybe you need a high powered way to let people order gifts for your wedding. Maybe you need a high powered specialized way to resize imported images automatically into WordPress. These would all be the function of a plugin.
A widget provides a high powered special function too. Each widget will do something a little different for your WordPress site. But now we can really answer the question, “What is a WordPress Widget.?
Sure, a WordPress widget will provide a specific need. Like the search widget. That will let people search your site with the click of a button. The thing is, widgets can only be placed in certain places on a WordPress page ( that sounds like that is true ehhhh??? Not the case, there are plugins that let you put widgets where ever you want to place them on your WordPress page). Whatever.
Widgets were created in the beginning to place on the WordPress sidebar, or footer, or header. They provide a function, but only can be placed in certain places in a page ( see paragraph above ).