The traditional use of widgets in WordPress is to set it and forget it. After placing and configuring a widget, it stays in the widgetized area until manually removed. Many plugins have extended widgets to add visibility settings that are based on the page or post where the widget appears. But what if you could also control widgets based on time and date?
The new Widget Visibility Time Scheduler plugin actually allows you to schedule the display of widgets down to the minute. The plugin, created by WordPress developer Martin Stehle, adds time-based visibility settings to each widget’s configuration options.
Widget Visibility Time Scheduler was designed to work seamlessly with Jetpack’s Widget Visibility module, which allows you to limit widget display to certain pages. There is no conflict if your site is Jetpack-enabled and you can even use the two visibility options in combination with one another.
The plugin is perfect for seasonal widgets, temporary sales/promotions, events, live chat buttons, and any other time/date-dependent content. One feature that might be useful to add is an indefinite option for the end time of the widget display. That would enable users to schedule future widgets and leave them in place indefinitely. Additionally, an option to set the widget display based on the day of the week could offer more flexibility.
After testing the plugin, I can confirm that it works as advertised. If you try the plugin and you want to remove it at a later point in time, you’ll need to uncheck the widget visibility time scheduler box in each widget before you remove that plugin. This will ensure that none of its data remains in the database after you remove the plugin.
Widget Visibility Time Scheduler is a handy addition to any site using WordPress as a CMS, an e-commerce platform, or even a blog. In combination with the Jetpack module, it offers full control over when and where your widgets are displayed. This is one you may want to favorite for the next time you need to use it. The plugin is available for download from WordPress.org.