Making Edits in WordPress: Page, Post or Widget?

In this FAQ we looked at how WordPress website pages are broken into three major parts; the header, footer and content area.  This is important, because where you edit each of those parts may be in different spots in the WordPress administration.

In another FAQ we learn how to identify the name of the page.  Once you have the name of the page, go to Dashboard->Pages->All Pages and see if the page exists.  If it does, and contains the information you need to edit, yay!  You’re done.  If not, keep reading…

pageIn this FAQ we are going to look at the parts of the page to identify from where the content is coming. To the right is a screenshot of my blog page and I’ve blocked out and identified the areas.  I know this is a virtual page that was created by WordPress, meaning there isn’t really a Dashboard->Page for me to edit.  Instead all of the content areas are being pulled in from different spots.

Post or Widget?

I know this is a virtual page that was created by WordPress, meaning there isn’t really a Dashboard->Pages->All Pages for me to edit.  Instead all of the content areas are being pulled in from different spots.  How do I know that?  Well, first I know that the page changes when I add a new blog post – the most recent post appears without me needing to edit a page.  If it were a page, the content area would stay the same unless I went into Dashboard->Pages->All Pages to change it.

If I want to change the text or image in a post, then I obviously need to find that post and edit it.  (The name of the post is usually the same name that appears under Dashboard->Posts->All Posts).

If the area I want to change isn’t part of a post, and isn’t page content, then it is probably a widget or a menu.


As you can see from my example, I have two menu areas – one at the top and one at the bottom, and two widget areas – one in a sidebar and one in the footer.  How do I know the difference?  It isn’t as obvious as you may think because you can have menus in widgets!

Menus are controlled in the admin under Dashboard->Appearance->Menus.  By looking at the menu listed in the editor and comparing them to what I see on my site I can tell that the menus are being controlled there.  So, if I need to make changes to a menu, I will edit them in  Dashboard->Appearance->Menus.

I also checked in the Menu editing area for a menu called “Inspiration” because that left hand column in the Footer area looks like it could be a menu.  I don’t see a matching menu, however, so it must be a widget.

View your widget areas and widgets under Dashboard->Appearance->Widgets.  Each box on the right is a widget area and you should be able to match widget areas up to the areas you see on your site.


My site is pretty easy – I see a widget area for Sidebar – obviously that is the sidebar on my blog – and 4 widget areas for the Footer, which are the four columns in my footer.  Just to check I’m in the right spot I can open the widget area and match widgets to what I see on my blog:


They match!  So I know the content I need to edit is in this widget!


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Category: WordPress - Beginner
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Diane Ensey
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Diane Ensey

Programming Diva and CEO at Beyond Paper
For more than 10 years I've been making websites work for clients world-wide using WordPress, Google Maps, forms and custom applications. You can see my work portfolio and case studies at Beyond Paper.
Diane Ensey
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