Widget Library: Descriptions of EmPress Theme Widgets


Widgets are small, pre-styled content blocks that perform specific functions. 

WordPress has a number of native widgets that are available on the platform, no matter what theme you are running. However, many themes—ours included!—create special widgets specific to a theme that provide extra functionality, and/or layout options. Widgets can be embedded into any widget-ready area. In our themes, that usually includes sidebars, footers, and interstitials. However, using the WordPress block editor, you can also install some widgets directly into blog post content, and/or page content.

As our library of EmPress widgets grows with each theme, the list below can serve as your guide and provide a visual on what each one does. All widgets are listed alphabetically, and we've made notations of which themes feature which widgets. In some cases, widgets may function slightly differently between themes—we've made notes on this where possible!

Note: In most cases, each EmPress widget will be labeled as Theme Name: Widget Name within your Theme Customizer (e.g. "Hayes: About Widget," or "Rania: Highlight Widget"). Below, we've eliminated the theme name before, to avoid confusion.



  • What it does: Displays an image, short bio, and two optional links.
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes, Pearl, Rania, and Presidio Themes. Each theme styles the widget a little differently, so one theme may feature the widget with a border and others with filled color backgrounds.
  • Where to add it: We love leading a sidebar with the About Widget, so you can let readers know more about who you are. The About widget can also be added to some theme interstitials to create a two-column design, with an image on the left and text on the right. Here are examples of both:


  • What it does: Displays a large featured post, with image featured on left, post title and summary on right. Also includes editable label feature, plus controls to determine where post feeds from, image orientation, post meta display, and excerpt length.
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes themes
  • Where to add it: The Featured Post Widget was built with interstitials in mind. You can use it mid way through a Home Page (like in this demo), or even lead a Home Page with it (like here). Here are examples of how the widget looks:


  • What it does: Displays the latest posts from a selected category or tag. Use the widget controls to customize how many posts you'd like to feature. Some themes offer additional controls over how many posts the widget should skip, as well as image orientation. Styling varies between themes—in some, the title displays beneath the featured image thumbnail, and in others, it appears as a hover effect. 
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes, Pearl, Rania, Presidio, Brevier, and Archer Themes. Note: in the Archer theme, the Featured Posts widget is for use in the Footer widget area only.
  • Where to add it: The Featured Posts widget looks great in both interstitials and sidebars! In interstitials, tiles appear inline/horizontally. In sidebars, the tiles will stack. Here are examples of each:


  • What it does: Displays an image with a link and an optional call to action, often set in a button box over or underneath the image. Creates edge-to-edge, full-width images when placed in interstitials.
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes, Pearl, Rania, and Presidio Themes
  • Where to add it: When added to an interstitial, the Highlight Widget will always span the full width of the browser (scroll down and look for the pink beach image, here). For this reason, in interstitials, it looks best with narrow, landscape oriented images. We recommend cropping your image so it isn't more than 700px in total height, so as not to take up too much room in the browser. In some themes, you can lead with the Highlight widget to create a large introductory feature (like here). It also looks good in footer areas (like at the bottom, here). In sidebars, the Highlight Widget becomes a simple image widget, with buttons. You can customize your Highlight images to be any height you desire. View examples of it below:


  • What it does: Provides space to upload images and link to products with small captions, as well as link to another page (Shop or not) beneath the widget.
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes, Pearl, Rania, and Presidio Themes
  • Where to add it and how to use: The Shop Widget was specifically designed for Interstitials. The functionality of the widget came about after our customers requested a widget which would not require them to use only affiliate products/affiliate widgets (e.g. LTK's Shop the Post widget, or others). With this in mind, you can use the Shop Widget to upload product thumbnails, or images of any type. Link each image to an affiliate link, or any other link of your choosing. The Shop Widget can be added to sidebars, but we typically don't recommend adding more than 2 or 3 products, as the feature will start to get long/tall. Important: we always recommend using a program like Canva or Photoshop to make sure the images you upload to Shop Widget are exactly the same size. This will prevent your captions looking misaligned. See examples of how the Shop Widget looks below:
  • NOTE: The Shop widget native to our themes is NOT the same as our Shop the Post plugin. To learn more about the Shop the Post plugin, please click here.


  • What it does: Provides widget to upload Instagram images, Pinterest images, or any other images into a feed, which displays edge-to-edge in a browser window. Use the widget to control where each image links, and add in a title and linkable call to action.
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes and Pearl Themes. 
  • Where to add it and how to use: The Social Feed widget was designed with interstitials in mind. Add it to an interstitial, then upload your favorite Instagram images (often already saved on your phone or Desktop!). You can link to individual images, or anywhere else you choose. Alternatively, Social Feed provides another layout option for featuring products, or products alongside previously published content. See the examples below:


  • What it does: Automatically syncs with the social media links in your navigational menu and displays them in the sidebar or other chosen feature area, giving you a secondary instance of social media follow call to actions. In the Hayes theme, the widget also gives you the option to show icon only, with no platform name.
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes, Pearl, Rania, and Presidio Themes. Note: In older versions of Pearl, Rania, and Presidio, this widget is referred to as the Social Widget.
  • Where to add it: The Social Links widget can be added to any theme sidebar. In several themes, it may also be added to the footer. In Hayes, Pearl, and Rania, it can be added to an interstitial, the icons/labels will format inline/horizontally. Here are examples of the Social Links Widget in action.


  • What it does: Styles a MailChimp form for embedding on your site, to match theme styles.
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes, Pearl, Rania, and Presidio Themes. 
  • Where to add it: The Subscription widget can be added in any sidebar. In Rania and Hayes, it may be added to interstitials. In Presidio, Pearl, Rania, and Hayes, it may be added to a footer area. For information on how to set up your Subscription widget with MailChimp, please refer to this Help Desk article.


  • What it does: A super flexible widget, providing space to upload one or multiple images into sidebars, interstitials, and footer areas, with a button laid over the image.
  • Available in: Barton, Hayes, Pearl, Rania, Presidio, Miramar and Brevier Themes. Note: In Miramar, Topics functions directly within the Interstitial tab.
  • Where to add it: The Topics widget can be added to any sidebar, interstitial, and most footer areas. Try using a single instance of it for a call to action, or a series of them to feature related types of content (e.g. a list of categories, calls to social platforms, etc.). View some of the many ways we've customized Topics in our demos, below:


Custom HTML Widget: Allows for embed of custom HTML into any sidebar, interstitial, or footer area. Use these to embed shortcodes, like those from affiliate networks. Use this widget to add the Smash Balloon Instagram widget to any interstitial!

Image Widget: Use to insert an image into a sidebar, interstitial, or footer area. However, because our native EmPress widgets offer so many image embed capabilities, we recommend using those instead—we've spent more time styling those specifically for each theme!

Search Widget: Use to embed a search bar in any sidebar, footer, or interstitial area. In most themes, the sidebar should be styled to match the theme's default styles.

Text Widget: Use to insert small blocks of text, or WordPress shortcodes. Text Widgets often look best in sidebars or footer areas. Many customers use them to create a list of links (with favorite shops, or blog rolls). You can also use it to feature small messages, such as disclaimers, a welcome message, contact information, etc. They may also be used to embed LTK or ShopStyle widget shortcodes.


Instagram Widget: Many EmPress users may have the WP Instagram Widget plugin installed from a legacy version of our themes. If installed, you will see a widget titled "Instagram" in your available widget library. If you are encountering issues with your Instagram widget, please read this article. Themes purchased after mid-September 2019 will likely not have this widget installed/available in their library.