: WordPress 4.8 now comes with an Image Widget, so you no longer need the plugin mentioned below.
The Image Widget by Modern Tribe is a simple yet versatile widget that has earned a place in our WordPress Toolkit. It’s primary function is to display an image in sidebars or widget areas but you can also use it to display banner ads, or as an ‘About me’ widget. With some out-of-the-box thinking you could probably even use it for more!
How to use the Image Widget
Using the Image Widget is really straightforward. First, make sure you install and activate the plugin. You’ll now find a new Image Widget in your Widgets screen in the WordPress admin. Drag it into the widget area where you want it to appear and the widget expands to show you the options.
See our guide on WordPress Widgets if you’re new to this feature.
Next, click the Add Image button to open the WordPress Add an Image overlay window. Upload a new image or choose one from your media library. Make sure to select the correct size and click Insert into Widget. Now fill in the other widget settings and click Save.
Title – Enter an optional title that displays above the image.
Image – You can change the image by clicking the link. The widget even shows you a preview of the image in actual size (which is why the image is cut off on the right in our example).
Caption – This optional caption appears under the image, and is useful for a short ‘About me’ excerpt.
Link – Enter a link here to make your image clickable, great for banner ads.
Width & Height – Here you can modify the image dimensions to fit your sidebar. The widget will even figure out the proportionate height or width for you!
Align – The image can be left, center and right aligned, or have no alignment at all.
Alternate Text – Optional text to be used as a replacement whenever the image cannot be displayed.
Why we recommend the Image Widget plugin
Displaying images in the sidebar is a simple thing that many WordPress users would like to do. Unfortunately there isn’t a way to do so easily with the standard WordPress widgets.
You can enter HTML into the default Text Widget (which isn’t difficult, but is still a drag), while other plugins require that you fumble around to figure out the URL of the image.
Thankfully Modern Tribe has stepped in and created an easy to use and extremely versatile plugin for all WordPress users. It’s well-coded, integrates with the WordPress image uploader and image library and super handy to have!
Verdict: The Image Widget is the easiest way to display images in your WordPress sidebar
If you are comfortable with HTML and can write the HTML code to display images in a Text Widget, you won’t need the Image Widget. However if you would rather not to dabble in code or simply prefer a visual interface to display an image in your sidebar, the Image Widget is the best solution that we’ve found. Hopefully future versions of WordPress will make it easier to display images in the sidebar but until then, we’re thankful to Modern Tribe for their plugin.
Download the Image Widget plugin and give it a spin. Leave a comment if you have questions, or to let us know if you know of another solution.
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