Monster Widget: A Useful WordPress Theme Testing Tool

Activating and deactivating widgets can become quite tedious when testing WordPress themes. Monster Widget is a handy plugin, created by the folks at Automattic. It adds all of the default WordPress widgets to a “monster” widget that you can deploy as one collective instance.

Monster Widget
Monster Widget

Once the widget is added to your sidebar, you’ll see all of the following standard core widgets on the frontend:

  • Archives List and Dropdown
  • Calendar
  • Categories List and Drowpdown
  • Pages
  • Meta
  • Recent Comments
  • Recent Posts
  • RSS
  • Search
  • Text (with images and text)
  • Tag Cloud
  • Nav Menu
  • Blogroll

If you’re creating a WordPress theme for public distribution or for a client, the Monster Widget will give you an instant picture of how different kinds of widgets will display in your theme.

Once you’re done testing, you can easily remove all of the widgets in one click. The plugin was not created for production use but can save you quite a bit of time (at least a couple dozen clicks) during theme development and testing. Download the Monster Widget plugin from


6 responses to “Monster Widget: A Useful WordPress Theme Testing Tool”

  1. Clever idea.
    I can see that adding all 13 widgets would be a tad tedious – adding one instead of 13 makes perfect sense.

    I’m just thinking what other monster widgets would be useful.

  2. Keep in mind that the view you get with MW might not be the true one, as it dismisses the dynamic_sidebar_params filter. If you are using that filter, you’d better drop the widgets one by one.

  3. Doesn’t the latest version of WordPress allow for previewing widgets? Seems to me this would be all that’s really needed. Every new plugin opens the door for new incompatibilities.


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