Quick Tip: WordPress Saves Your Widgets

Have you ever thought about switching your WordPress theme but then hesitated, wondering what might happen to your widgets? Although it may not be obvious, the good news is that WordPress remembers where you previously had your widgets and saves the settings. If you decide to revert back to your previous theme, WordPress will put your widgets back where they were.


As you can see in the screenshot, WordPress will even remind you of its widget saving capabilities when you switch to a new theme.

Back in the old days, if you switched your theme and then reverted it, you’d have to set all your widgets again, one by one. This could be quite a time consuming process if you had several widgetized areas loaded up with multiple widgets. In some cases this discouraged site owners from experimenting with different themes. That’s why widget saving is one of my favorite features of WordPress. Every time I see this feature reminder, I get a small thrill and I know I can rest easy when changing my theme.

WordPress has actually been saving your widgets since version 3.3 was released in December of 2011. It was a small feature but it makes a big difference when you’re testing new themes.

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  1. Can’t imagine a world where WP does not save your widgets! :)


  2. Great, this is a small but really useful feature, especially is someone likes to test new themes … like me.


  3. As I recall Sarah in the old system WordPress put all your widgets, that didn’t have an equivalent widget area, into a sort of holding area”
    The good thing was you didn’t lose the content of the widget you just had to place it in the new widget area.

    The new system looks fabulous and will encourage people to play with new themes.


  4. Good to know, but where does it keep them? My Dashboard is not showing me the contents of a widget but just the position in the sidebar. Where in the database does it store them. At the moment I’m going through “options” trying to find the contents (in a SQL dump) but I’d swear a third of my database is bloated with old “WordPress News” entries. I wish someone would write a plugin to clear them out!


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