WordPress Widgets Everywhere–or Not?

WordPress widgets are lovely little nuggets of content that display across all pages and posts. Sometimes, however, you want to control where they go. That’s where conditional widget plugins come in. Which is the best?

First, a video introduction to WordPress widgets by Dan at WebsiteDesigner.au. I love this video not because it has great production value, but because Dan’s Australian accent makes it fun for American ears.

If you don’t know what the fiddle I’m talking about, this video is for you. If you’re familiar with widgets, skip down!

The reigning queen of conditional widget plugins is called Widget Context. It’s user-friendly and effective. For the vast majority of WordPress users, Widget Context will be more than sufficient.

WordPress › Widget Context « WordPress Plugins

Dec 18, 2009 … Show widgets in context – only on certain posts, front page, … Widget Context allows you to specify widget visibility settings. …
But, Widget Context cannot control the display of widgets in specific categories as well as it claims. Wildcard URLs only work if your permalink structure is identical to theirs–and their structure is bad news for SEO. Therefore, other plugins are needed to fill the gaps.In walks Widget Logic.
WordPress › Widget Logic « WordPress Plugins

Mar 2, 2010 … Widget Logic lets you control on which pages widgets appear. It uses any of WP's conditional tags. It also adds a 'widget_content' filt …

Widget Logic is tiny and absurdly powerful, an innocent-looking ninja killer of a plugin.


But, to make it work, you must master a little PHP code in the form of WordPress Conditional Tags. If you can conquer them, however, you can fine tune Widget Logic to do almost anything. I’ve worked with it for so long that it cooked me breakfast once.


Here are some Conditional Tag resources that you may find handy when you’re getting started:

WordPress Conditional Tags: Learn How to Use Them in a Few Minutes

Let’s say you want your Recent Posts to appear on one specific page of your WordPress website. To accomplish that, you would create a special function and hook the Recent Posts into place. I know those two words-function and hook-are scary, but bear with me.
Conditional Tags « WordPress Codex

Languages: English • Français • 日本語 • Türkçe • Português do Brasil • 中文(简体) • (Add your language) The Conditional Tags can be used in your Template files to change what content is displayed and how that content is displayed on a particular page depending on what conditions that page matches.
There are a few other notable plugins like Display Widgets and Slayer’s Custom Widgets, each with their own quirks and perks. Few, however, manage to cleanly accomplish what Widget Context and Widget Logic provide.I won’t dive into full instructions here–it’s best to install the plugins, activate them, and give ’em a whirl. Unfortunately, you can’t use Widget Context and Widget Logic simultaneously in the same widget, but you can switch back and forth on a widget-to-widget basis.So, what did I miss? What’s your favorite widget plugin and why?