WordPress.com Widget Visibility Options

categories widget visibilityWhen was the last time you opened your Archives widget, Authors widget, Categories Widget, Pages widget or Tag Cloud Widget? Take a peek inside and explore the new possibilities the Visibility options provide.

Have you discovered the new Widget Visibility option?

Visibility options don’t determine what will or won’t display in the widget, they determine which pages in the blog the widget will or won’t display on. That means we bloggers can now display different widgets on different pages and/or different content in sidebars on different pages.

Pages widget visibility

Example: Suppose  the sidebar on the main blog page for posts is common to all the static pages.

You add all the widgets to the sidebar area in Appearance > Widgets, then you click the Visibility tab in each widget:

Click either Show or Hide if … Then click “select” and the dropdown displays: Category, Author, Tag, Date, Page.

categories widget visibilityTake a look at the possibilities when using the Categories widget.

Visibility

“The Visibility option allows you to choose when to show the entire category widget based on different factors. If you want the widget to only show for Dessert posts, set the visibility to “Show” if “category” is “Dessert” and click Save. Then the widget will stop showing on all other post pages, and only show if it is a dessert.”  — Categories Widget – Visibility

35 thoughts on “WordPress.com Widget Visibility Options

  1. Is this feature available for self hosted wordpress.org sites? And if so is there an activation process.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Sorry, a little off-topic but you seem to know everything about blogging on WP so I’m hoping you can help me out. I have a WordPress.com site so I know I cannot edit php files, etc. I want my site to be viewed in the language of the person reading it, wherever they may be in the world. Any suggestions?

  3. Wow! I think I will finally get to reorganize where things are visible, so my main page can be less cluttered. Thanks for the heads-up!

  4. Oh, wow, so that’s how that works. I only noticed it, but never played with it or researched what it would do. I love that we have more control over widget display now!

    BTW, thanks for all your wonderful weekend blogging posts. I’ve found some really good, helpful stuff through them, but I don’t think I’ve ever specifically commented on one of the posts to say so — I’m too busy clicking through and reading the posts. They’re always well-selected and timely. So, thanks!

    • BTW, I just realized there’s another great use for them: if a visitor somehow lands on a 404 error page (a page that doesn’t exist), you can make sure some navigational widgets appear instead of just the blank page — your categories widget, for example, or your top posts widget — all sorts of widgets. You could even create a widget that would only show on a 404 error page — a “report this link” widget, maybe, or a link to a site map page.

      The visibility option is available on all widgets, as far as I can tell, and you can mix and match in many different ways, like only have your widget show up on the blog’s main page, and never on single posts (and/or archive pages, static pages, etc.). Can you tell I’m excited about this?

      • Aha! You are already exploring possibilities. I can tell you are excited by the widget visibility options and so am I. The days of the identical mile long sidebars on every page in a blog are going to be long gone soon.

        It’s also good to hear you find worthy reads in what I feature in my Weekend Reads and Resources posts. I’ve been annoyed by the number of email requests I get from make money bloggers who want their posts to be featured. As if … I pay for no-ads upgrades on both blogs. It’s not easy to find blogging articles to recommend to your readers that aren’t focused on money making and aren’t on blogs plastered with advertising.

        • I am so loving this new feature. It is really cleaning up and focussing my blog’s pages. I no longer have the feeling of being crowded by widgets. I’ve customized so that single post pages look different from the main blog page; there are widgets that only appear on one or the other, but not both. I’ve done some other little tweaks with different types of pages, but one that I’m particularly pleased about is replacing the featured widget on one of the category pages. I know that a lot of people are landing on that page when doing a certain search, and yet the results on my blog would probably be disappointing, so I’ve replaced the usual feature widget with one with a link that might help them find what they’re looking for. (It’s on my “Doctor Who” category pages.)

          I may customize my featured widget further after I’ve given some thought to what might be useful elsewhere.

          I think this is one of the best additions that WP has made in ages — for my uses, anyway! I’m grateful that you posted about it, or who knows how long it would have taken me to realize what the “visibility” option was for!

        • Thanks so much for your feedback here. I think it’s a terrific feature too though I haven’t done anything with it except in my test blogs.

  5. Ohhhhh, so that’s what that is! I noticed it a while back and couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to do. Either I missed it, or WordPress didn’t announce this feature when they added it. Typical.

    • I discovered the widget visibility option a couple of weeks ago but didn’t have time to play with it in my test blogs until last week.

    • Hi there,
      WordPress.com continuously rolls-out new features and functions. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them.

  6. One of my little problems is, when I started two years ago my ‘best’ posts were graded by stars. I don’t think ‘Likes’ were around then. Nowadays, some people click on the stars but many more ‘Like’ or don’t like my posts. I can’t seem to change the way they are measured so my ‘best’ posts are all from a long time ago, before ‘Likes’ took off and newer posts get ignored. Not the end of the world I know but …

    • I hear you. I don’t use the rating stars or thumbs and never have. I think they were introduced in the summer of 2009. I have hundreds of posts that were published long before the advent of ratings and the “like” button that followed in summer of 2010.

    • I don’t think it’s available in this version for WordPress.org but I don’t know that for sure. Look for it in the future upgrade.

  7. Weird. I was just (about an hour ago) looking at a few widgets showing on my Contact Page then said to myself: “Why do I need those there?”.

    Thanks!

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