How To Add a WordPress Widget to Your Website

by on April 24, 2009 · 13 comments

WordPress provides a nice way to add pre-built components to your website. These components are called Widgets, and WordPress comes with a variety of them “out of the box.”

In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to add an AWeber email newsletter opt-in form to your site using a WordPress Widget. In this way, you can provide a call to action to your website visitors, by giving them an easy way to sign up for your newsletter.

Video: How to add a WordPress Widget to your blog or website

In the video, I am using the Expand2Web SmallBiz WordPress Theme – a theme designed specifically for small business websites – and AWeber for the email newsletter opt-in form.

Note: If your AWeber form does not fit in your sidebar, here’s how you can resize it.

However, this same process will work for any Widget-enabled WordPress theme, and any email newsletter service.


An important part of your small business website is providing a call to action for your visitors.

If you’ve done the work to put up a decent website, and get some visitors who are looking for your goods or services, you need to provide them a way to reach you.

Depending on your objective, adding an email newsletter opt-in form to your small business website is one way to connect with prospective customers. You could also add a widget inviting them to call you for more information, or just about anything else you might want.

If you give this a try yourself, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!

I like AWeber for email newsletters – they’ve got a great service and I’ve been very happy with it. Perhaps one of the coolest features is the ability to do a “Blog Broadcast”, which takes your blog posts and creates newsletters directly from them. This gives you plenty of content for your newsletter, along with total control on how the content is released to your subscribers.

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Hillary September 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Hi Don,
Thank you for providing the Chiro theme! I’m working with it and would like to add more sidebars so that I can have different sidebars per page. The usual way of doing it isn’t working – for instance this generic code:

I’m thinking it’s not working because of the array, but I’m not sure. Any suggestions?



Don Campbell September 28, 2009 at 8:36 am

@Hillary – My pleasure!
I can’t see the code you posted – how are you trying to change the sidebars per page? Are you adding conditional logic in the page template?


Hillary September 29, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Hi Don. Thanks for writing back. The site is live now at I’m not sure how to post the code here if it’s not showing up in the comments. What I wanted to do was be able to have a different side bar per page, or at least a couple of different side bars I could use. I suppose I could hard code them in, but i like using widgets.

Thanks for your help!


Don Campbell September 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Nice website Hillary!
This article describes how to have a different sidebar per page in WordPress.


Ken October 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Hi Don,
We spoke today. I followed the steps to add a map and to change the permalink structure and am now having major problems. The map is placed at the bottom left of everypage and the links to the pages I create show up on the main page but go to 404? When I change the permalink structure to %postname%, wp automatically changes it to /%postname%…but then the links don’t work.

Can you help ?


Don October 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Hi Ken,
When you update Permalinks in WordPress, make sure you see this message when you hit save – Permalink Screen Shot – if you don’t, it means that WordPress could not update the config files required to change your link structure.

In this case, change it back to the default. It means that your hosting provider does not allow WordPress the proper write permissions required to update the .htaccess file for the web server.

You can ask them to update the .htaccess file directly for you, (the exact directions are at the bottom of the permalinks screen if it fails) or ask them to do the unix chown command to allow WordPress to run as the same user as the web server.


shaikh zafar January 21, 2012 at 2:29 am

Very useful post. I really enjoyed reading your blog and it also saved my time.


Zaf February 23, 2012 at 9:01 am

Very useful post. I really appreciate your blog.


Ken October 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm

thanks don, I’ve reinstalled wordpress to my root directory and without frontpage extensions. When I change the permalink structure, the message says I need to update my .htaccess ? Huh?
Can you help?

Also, how do I modify the content of the home page of the template.
Thank you.


Ken October 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Nevermind, got it working. I do have another question. I added the links widget and I’d like my categories to show there in the right sidebar…but when I look at the blog, the only things in my links are blogroll and a bunch of stuff about wordpress (themes, forum, documentation, development blog). How do I get rid of these and enter my service categories?


Don October 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm

To change the links that you want to show with the links widget, you go into the Links area in your WordPress Admin (see screenshot.)

If you want to show Categories in your sidebar, use the Categories Widget.


rahul July 15, 2011 at 9:42 am

Great post I lot to search something like that and i finally got it here.
Thank you very much 🙂


Daniel Watson January 16, 2012 at 4:15 am

Really great stuff. It will help me a lot.
Thanks for share.


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