WordPress is a great platform but normally, WordPress themes are not powerful enough to deliver all the functions and features that every user wants for his site. Luckily, there are third party WordPress plugins that can extend the capability of the native templates thus giving websites the unique and specialized features they need.
In this article, we are sharing with you some of the WordPress widget plugins that you can use to power up your site in many ways. These plugins are specifically designed to help you add and move around widget areas in any theme and provide you with specialized features.
Here, you will see premium as well as open-source plugins so you have the best of both worlds. You can always take the freeware solution if you don’t want to spend, but if you are a serious webmaster who want something with good support, and updates, you consider using the premium ones. It all depends on your needs and your determination on how important the plugin for you. Share us your thoughts and experiences using these WordPress widget plugins and others similar to them that you might have tried before.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). I recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing any product or service. This article is not a guideline, a recommendation or endorsement of specific products.
Sidebar & Widget Manager for WordPress
This WordPress widget plugin not only allow you to control what widget will be shown on what pages, posts, categories it also have a shortcode system that allows you to build up unique page layouts using widgets. Check out the videos and see for yourself how cool this plugins is.
Navigation Menu Widget
This is an advance widget that gives you total control over the output of your menus. Support multiwidget, resizeable page featured image, easy to customize and full features. Displays a list of menu as links. This widget is based on the WordPress function: wp_nav_menu()
Custom WordPress Widget Areas
The plugin lets you create an unlimited number of Sidebars (Custom Widget Areas), easily lets you configure them by adding widgets, and then place them directly inside the content of Pages and Posts by simply using Shortcodes. We have also added support for Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies. It recognizes your themes default sidebars and allows you to replace them, as well as allowing you to set individual sidebars for each Page, Post and Category.
Better Recent Posts Pro
Better Recent Posts Widget Pro provides a greatly enhanced recent posts widget. The default recent posts widget that comes with WordPress offers almost zero control over which posts are displayed, or how they are displayed.
Posts By Taxonomy Widget Pro
This plugin provides a very powerful widget that can be used to display a list of terms from any taxonomy, and also a list of recent posts for each term in the taxonomy. The widget is extremely well suited for directory websites that need to list “sections” and entries within those sections.
Advanced Text Widget Pro
This plugin provides flexible widget visibility conditions for every widget on your site, including core and third party widgets provided by other plugins.
Dropdown Menu Widget
This widget adds a beatiful vertical/horizontal CSS only dropdown menu of Pages, Categories or Custom navigation menus of your blog.
WP Category Post List Widget
This is one of my personal favorites and I use it on several sites to show various lists of posts. It has build in support for CSS templates and it makes it really powerful on websites where you use it in different spots and use cases.
Flexi Pages Widget
A highly configurable WordPress sidebar widget to list pages and sub-pages. User friendly widget control comes with various options.
Mini Mail Dashboard Widget
Send and receive e-mail messages on the administration panel and optionally receive SMS messages containing the sender, subject and (part of) the text when new messages or comments arrive.
MORE INFO – by Marcel Bokhorst (Free Plugin)
Custom Post Widget
The Custom Post Widget allows you to display the contents of a specific custom post in a widget. This allows you to use the WordPress WYSIWYG editor for preparing text for a widget area. It is pretty cool as the out of the box text widget is not very easy to use if you want to add images, links etc.
Extended Tags WordPress Widget
An advanced widget that gives you total control over the output of your tags. The Tags widget replaces the default WordPress Tag Cloud widget. This version gives total control over the output to the user by allowing the input of all the arguments typically seen in the wp_tag_cloud() function
Advanced Categories WordPress Widget
Advanced Categories Widget is an advance widget that gives you total control over the output of your categories. Support multiwidget, category image, easy to customize and full features. Displays a list of Categories as links. When a Category link is clicked, all the posts in that Category will display on a Category Page using the appropriate Category Template dictated by the Template Hierarchy rules.
Shortcode Exec PHP
This plugin lets you execute arbitrary, reusable PHP code in posts, pages, comments, widgets and RSS feeds using shortcodes. This is pretty cool and a good way to add custom scripts to your site, compared to editing the theme files.
MORE INFO – by Marcel Bokhorst (Free Plugin)
Sidebar widget to easy customize and display your subscribers buttons. All settings are available from Sidebar Widget Admin.
MORE INFO – by Kęstas Mindžiulis (Free Plugin)
Testimonial widget plugin allows you display testimonials in a widget on your WordPress blog. More than one widget can be displayed, each pulling from testimonial sets by using tags. Each displayed widget has its own identifier allowing for custom CSS styling.
WeatherSlider WP – jQuery anim. WordPress widget
This is a beautiful weather slider WordPress widget with animated weather effects and 48 weather types.
WP Recent Comments
Show the recent comments in your WordPress sidebar. You can limit the number of comments, set the maximum length of excerpts, filter out pingbacks/trackbacks. You can also enable or disable the avatars, resize and reposition them. Besides above, it supports WordPress Widget.
WordPress Widget Ninja
Widget Ninja is used to control widget visibility based on conditional tags. It eliminates the need for multiple sidebars because you can configure each widget to ie. be visible only on the front page or only in certain categories. With 23 conditional tags (8 can take additional parameters such as post or category ID’s) and 3 logical statements (or, and, not) you can configure a widget to (not) show upon literally any page! It doesn’t matter if it’s a single page, archive, search page or 404 – there’s a conditional tag for everything!
Authors Avatars List
With this plugin it is now easy to display lists of user avatars on your blog. It also allows to insert single avatars for blog users or any email address into a post or page.
StatDash – Statistics on Your WordPress Dashboard
StatDash displays vital statistics on your WordPress Dashboard, giving you at-a-glance access to figures from Google Analytics, FeedBurner, Twitter, and the Envato Marketplaces.
MORE INFO – by CodeCanyon (Premium Plugin)
Advanced Link Widget
An advance widget that gives you great control over the output of your links.
Ninety Ajax Login/Register Widget
Sidebar Login/Register plugin for WordPress does exactly what it says on the tin; Logins and Registrations with a touch of AJAX magic. Simple!
It also has a nice ‘logged in’ view, and a lost password form for those forgetful folk.
Its simple to get started – in most cases just activate the plugin, add the widget to your sidebar and go!
Easily add an ajax-enhanced login widget to your site’s sidebar. It lets users login, and then redirects them back to the page they logged in from rather than the backend, it also shows error messages.
Twitter Ultimate-Wordpress Plugin
Twitter Ultimate – A WordPress Plugin offer following features, realtime Twitter feed-live tweets, shortcodes which helps to embed directly into page or post and a lot more.
Fancy Text WordPress Widget
Using notes is quite popular in modern web design to catch the visitors attention. This WordPress widget plugin makes it easier than ever to add them.
WordPress Widget Bundle
WordPress Widget bundle is a combination of the 9 most used widgets/shortcodes for WordPress. Every widget is very easy to style because you can make custom views/templates for every widget. This bundle is essential for every WordPress website. Default WordPress has some of this widgets onboard, but we made a primium versions of these widgets with more options and ajax support were needed. All the widgets can also be placed with shortcodes. this way you can really use these widgets were you want, even if your theme isn’t widget ready.
This widget show your site authors with details description and avatar. Widget can be used multiple of times even in one sidebar area.
News Widget for WordPress
With this plugin you can display news from one or more RSS or Atom feeds. The news can be displayed with one of the 4 views I’ve included, or you can create your own view so you can customize how the news items are shown.
Tabs Widget for WordPress
This plugin creates a new WordPress widget to display a tabbed panel with different content types on your site. Tabs can rotate one after the other thus allowing for more exposure of the content: your posts are no longer hidden.
Popular Posts Bar Widget
Show what’s hot in your blog right now with this WordPress Widget, inspired by the fine folks at Engadget. Don’t confuse it with the ‘most popular posts’ plugins out there, all they do is extract the highest comment count of all-time, with Popular Posts Bar, you can show the trending posts by comments or views in say, the last 7 days.
MORE INFO – by CodeCanyon (Premium Plugin)
5SEC Content Scroller
This plugin allows you to add a scroller effect to content from your site, twitter / RSS feeds, custom text. See the demo!
Locations Map WP Plugin
Add location based content to your site with this plugin, easily manage and update several locations and include them in maps and more. Stores, fields, anything with a latitude and longitude and be entered and updates. Includes 3 widget and shortcodes!
Advanced Post List
Highly customizable plugin for designing a large variety of post lists to be shown using shortcodes e.g. in a widget. It will allow you to create lists with your own design for displaying Recent Posts, Popular Posts, Related Posts, Future Posts, etc. Including Custom Post Type & Taxonomy support.