Widget Visibility and You

Since the dawn of time, humankind has yearned for control. While we can’t give you more control over most of your life, we can give you more control over your widgets. And today, with the new widget visibility tool, you can configure your widgets to be shown or hidden only on certain pages.

Widgets are a way to add new content (like your Twitter stream, a tag cloud, or a link to your blog archives) in the sidebar, header, or footer of your site. To see the widgets you have available to you, log in to your WordPress.com dashboard and click on Appearance » Widgets. To add a widget, simply click on it and drag it up and over to the right of the widget screen, into the Default Sidebar, Header Area, or Footer Area section of your site. Then, to control visibility, expand the widget and click the Visibility button next to the Save button.

For example, if you wanted the Archives widget to only appear on category archives and error pages, choose “Show” from the first dropdown and then add two rules: “Page is 404 Error Page” and “Category is All Category Pages.”

You can also hide widgets based on the current page. For example, if you don’t want the Archives widget to appear on search results pages, choose “Hide” and “Page is Search results.”

Visibility is controlled by five aspects: page type, category, tag, date, and author, but each visibility rule is handled separately, so there isn’t a way, for example, to only display a widget on posts that are categorized as “Summer” and also tagged with “Picnic.”

The visibility panel is available today in every widget for every user on WordPress.com; visit Appearance » Widgets in your blog’s dashboard to take control. Or, to learn more about using widgets on your blog, check out our recent Introduction to Widgets series: Widgets 101, Widgets 201, and Widgets 301.


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Christopher Finke

36 Comments

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  1. primalnights

    Super helpful series!

  2. freespiritsunited

    Helpful as always.

  3. Professional Swimming Pools

    Another great improvement to your services

  4. phylor

    Great! I do”widgets,” but didn’t know about visibility — thanks!

  5. tenaciousbitch

    THANKS for enlightening the less than tekkie members of WP regarding the aforementioned tool. I had no clue as to what WIDGETS are and didn’t have time to look it up. :)
    ~TB

  6. Fish & Bicycles

    Undeniably nice in terms of larger screen interfaces (desktop/laptop/tablet).

    However, on mobile phone screens — in the mobile theme, most other multi-column themes, including responsive themes — the sidebars get buried all the way at the bottom, below the posts, where I would guess most visitors rarely see them and the widgets they contain.

    Proposed solution:
    In the mobile theme, add an item to the blue drop down menu at the top called “Sidebar” or “Widgets”, thereby creating a shortcut to view the sidebar content.

  7. Maia

    Good to know and seems easy to follow. Thank you! =)

  8. ◐ mode analogue

    ¶yay! i have been waiting for this since the dawn of time. thank yous!

  9. larselmquist

    Reblogged this on Op og Igang and commented:
    Lav dine hjemmeside mere interaktive med widgets

  10. Dave Bonta

    Thanks. I’ve used plugins to do this on a couple of .org sites, but the inclusion of such a feature here makes it all the more likely that I’ll choose WordPress.com for my next project.

  11. parabellumfoto

    Brilliant idea!

    Thank you!

  12. Diana Staresinic-Deane

    Yaaay! I love that I’ll now be able to focus the use of widgets on certain pages and make them feel less cluttered. :)

  13. crankycaregiver

    Awesome..super cool..gonna go play now!

  14. Sciencelens

    Brilliant new feature – have wanted something like this for a long time, but the implementation is even more elegant than I anticipated!

  15. andreabadgley

    At first I was really excited to see this because I would like to make my widgets visible on each blog entry page. I use Oulipo theme, and when I click on a blog post title and go to it’s specific post page, all that shows up on the right (where my widgets reside on my home page) are a What’s This? description of the post and the Meta data. Does the visibility feature allow for me to put widgets on my posts pages? Or is that a topic I need to contact support about?

  16. Tim Nicholson

    Will this be rolled into Jet Pack (or better yet WordPress Core) for self-hosted blogs? Pretty please?

  17. joshlevinson

    Please please please make this part of Jetpack!

  18. Chorwin

    Some of the theme by default have side bar, do this feature allow to hide the widget and make the default appear to be full page?

  19. Orit.Sha

    This really great !
    Many thanks for your efforts to keep WordPress.com so powerfull tool for us.

  20. @danielmurillom

    Thats great information!!!! Thank u so much ;-) . I moved onevof my blogs to wordpress.org only to have this feature ;-)

  21. Estación Tic

    !Genial, Fantastico¡

  22. Niejan

    The visibility feature is amazing.

  23. emmapalova

    I’ve always been puzzled how to show different widgets on different pages.
    Thank you for your finesse
    Emma Palova

  24. pcasciaro

    Strange I don’t have that option.
    I have the last wordpress version 3.5.1 but I don’t have the visibility option.
    Do you know why?

  25. The Islam Papers

    Nice feature! Seems to work except the widget visibility based on the condition “404 Page error” does not appear to work.

    • Christopher Finke

      It looks like your theme (Chateau) doesn’t include the widget areas on the 404 page, so the “404 error page” option won’t work for that theme.

  26. mycart2013

    I agree adding the widgets to my site is a must have. Thanks for posting.

  27. VAS Reading Clinic

    Widgets are a great option. I’m currently struggling to find the correct URL to place in the ‘image’ widget. Where can I find help with this? I can see a lot of uses for this widget if I could just get it to work. It’s a pity we can’t just access it from the media library. That would be a lot ‘friendlier’. Any hope of this happening?

  28. hanin

    Have you guys ever tired of releasing new features? This is some I never think could possibly done on free service. Thanks a lot.

  29. Tipsy Mind

    Thanks for the post, i find it very useful . :) Gonna go and try stuff now

  30. Jean Alaba

    Brilliant!

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