WordPress widgets let you add features to the widget-ready areas of your website, namely header, footer, sidebar.

In this list-icle, I have compiled 8 amazing WordPress widgets for your website. Some of these are useful for everyone, while others will be more suitable for business websites, blogs, etc.

Check out:


Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails

Let’s start out with a simple one that every WordPress blogger will love is Recent Posts with Thumbnails widget: easy and lightweight.

This plugin enhances the WordPress default ‘Recent Posts’ widget with thumbnails (and settings to set them to a fixed width or keep them responsive, blogger’s choice). You are allowed to change the name ‘Recent Posts’ to say something else (like “Freshly Blogged” as it does in the plugin screenshots), change number of posts displayed, select which categories to display posts from, change excerpt length, etc.

The widget is also RTL-friendly and will align the posts to the right on those languages. Oh, and it’s free too.


Google Maps Widget

Google Maps Widget is simple (are you noticing a theme here?) and fast, two requisites of every great plugin.

The widget shows a single-image Google Map for a location you set in the settings panel which expands into full map in a lightbox on clicking. You can add title, text above/below the map, change the pin or add a custom pin icon (use any image), use shortcodes to place the map inline, select from 3 map types, and more.

It’s nothing magical, but it’s clean, fast, and very efficient. Does exactly what it says on the tin.


YouTube Channel Gallery

This brilliant widget is a huge “don’t miss” for vloggers, or anyone with their own user channel playlist.

The widget adds an organized, clean interface to your widget area that displays a player and a selection of thumbnails for more videos in the playlist. The player itself is created from YouTube IFrame player API and works on HTML5, so people who are not using flash aren’t left out.
There are 7 layout options, and 2 placement options (sidebar and shortcodes). You can also use the plugin multiple times on the same page.

For everything it does, the widget is super-easy to add and use. It’s a huge plus for everyone.


Opening Hours

A very straightforward widget for all businesses that displays their ‘working’ hours and holidays to the patrons is Opening Hours. Needless to say, it’s especially useful for businesses.

The widget settings let you add regular weekly opening hours, holidays, and special openings (overwrite openings for regular days). You get to write your custom messages for Currently Open/Close/On-Holiday. Based on your settings, the widget highlights current day and displays your working hours and message for it.

It’s simple and pretty neat: does what it says. I love it for the code, which is fun to edit.


WP Twitter feeds

This simple, lightweight plugin does its job beautifully, i.e., adds a twitter feed through widget in your WordPress website.

You can choose to show Twitter profile image, border and theme on tweets. It supports multiple instances, so you are free to use the widget as many times as you want in the pages. It comes with color options and its own preset themes (light and dark). You can set which tweet aspects to display (@reply, time, avatar, etc.)

It’s super easy to use and configure.


YOP Poll

Whether you are doing research for professional purposes or just genuinely curious about which Avenger people love the most (I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of Hulk smashing), YOP Poll is one way to collect data from your sample audience/website visitors.

The polls (yes, you can display more than one poll at a time) can be scheduled, cloned, edited, and reset. The poll answers can be sorted via alphabet, number of votes, etc. On admin side, you can manage your previous polls and results through ‘View all Polls’ section. You can add custom fields, set voting permissions, manage logs and bans, and more.


Google for WordPress

This is the army of Google tools compiled in the form of modules, widgets and shortcodes and more into one plugin. Thanks, Massimo.

In the interests of this article, we will focus on the widgets. Each of the widgets/modules/shortcodes has to be activated individually (as per needs and as directed in the documentation).

This plugin packs the following widgets:

  • Author
  • Comments system
  • Community
  • Follow
  • Google+ Followers
  • Page
  • Embedded posts
  • Profile
  • Plus one
  • Share
  • Google calendar
  • Hangouts with starter button
  • Google Maps
  • Panoramio
  • Google Translate Tools
  • Embed YouTube Video/Playlist/Badge/Link/Button

It’s also free.
Seriously, though: Thanks, Massimo.


WP Tab Widget

“Popular”, “Recent”, “Comments”, and “Tags”: These are the four ways you can divide up your posts with WP Tab Widget.

It has in built pagination and caching system, so the output is fast. You control number of posts, the order of tabs, the way the show up (small/large/no thumbnails) and more.

The code and default interface is clean, and there is a lot of potential for styling through CSS.

Author info
Lucy Barret is a PSD to WordPress Developer with over 5 years of experience. She is currently employed at HireWPGeeks Ltd. and handling all major projects with her team of developers. You can even follow her company, HireWPGeeks on Facebook