Ever did you hesitate to add a widget to your self-hosted WordPress site using plugins because it might harm your site or make a mess that cannot be reverted easily?
However, using a WordPress widgets plugin has many disadvantages compared to using standalone widgets on WordPress sites.
- Consume your resources: When running a self-hosted WordPress site, one concern is managing and accessing server resources such as storage and CPU. One downside of using WordPress widget plugins is that they use server resources in one way or another. For instance, if you install an Amazon product reviews WordPress plugin for your niche affiliate site, it will store all the content of reviews, including images (those might not have been optimized) on your site. The more reviews you save, the more server resources are consumed, even though the review plugin is not highly used.
- Conflicts with other plugins: Another reason to consider no plugin WordPress widgets is to reduce the conflicts with other essential plugins on your site. You will probably have to add multiple widgets to your WordPress site, such as a countdown timer, chat widget, and social feed widget. The more plugins you use for those widgets, the more possibility to have conflicts with other plugins over time.
- Impacts on the loading speed: Most third-party WordPress widget plugins mainly render external scripts and use different architectures to build widgets. Due to these reasons, plugins add more HTTPS requests, fill the WordPress site database with more data, and slow down the site’s front end. Even though you can use site speed optimization plugins such as WP-Rocket and Perfmatters, it can be a bit technical over time when you have embedded more WordPress widgets through plugins.
Also, the use of third-party HTML widgets instead of plugins has several benefits. Here are some:
- Improve performance: You can use a script manager such as Google Tag Manager and Cloudflare’s Zaraz to load the widget scripts asynchronously and control the script loading sequence/priority for your site. Hence, manage the site’s loading performance compared with plugin alternatives.
- Widget Management: Many widget sites let you manage widgets (ex: organize widgets under projects, add collaborators, share widgets via link) and turn on or off the appearance of widgets on your site from under one dashboard.
- Integrate widgets with other site builders: Use your HTML widgets beyond WordPress. Ex: using countdown top bar widget on WordPress and checkout pages (ex: ThriveCart)
And other reasons to use third-party widgets on WordPress are that there are no plugin alternatives/solutions, and available plugins are ineffective. For instance, it’s better off using a third-party live chat provider to manage chats on a dedicated dashboard than a live chat WordPress plugin.
So, what are the best Wordpress widgets to use without plugins that work as well (or better) compared to Wordpress widget plugins?
In our recent articles on best Blogger widgets and Google Sites add ones, we shared lists of top widgets to use on those platforms. In this article, you will discover the best WordPress widgets and how to embed them on widget areas such as the sidebar, footer, and inside posts & pages using the most effective ways, features, and demos of WordPress widgets.
Table of Contents
How to add HTML Widgets to WordPress
Before exploring top HTML widgets for WordPress, you should learn how to embed widgets in a WordPress site.
HTML code of widgets
An example HTML widget code:
<script src="https://static.elfsight.com/platform/platform.js" data-use-service-core defer></script>
In our example of the above screenshot, the part with
See the example below:
Place the HTML code with a div tag where you want to display the widget. This embedding method is also known as inline widget installation.
Here’s how the webpage looks after installing the widgets shown in the above screenshot:
In specific cases, such as website popup widgets, you can place the
div code at the end of the body tag (ex:
</body>) on your WordPress site to load the popup. You can use a plugin like Insert Header and Footer to add custom codes to sitewide of a WordPress site.
Embedding third-party HTML widgets on WordPress
You can install HTML widgets on WordPress in many places. Here are the most popular ways in brief:
On widget areas
Widget areas of a WordPress depend on the WordPress theme. Many themes include sidebars, footers, and even header widget areas.
Go to the Widget area, click on the ‘+‘ plus icon under the widget area, and search “Custom HTML” block, as shown in the screenshot below.
Now you will see an HTML box. Copy and paste the HTML embed code of the WordPress widget on the box.
Click on the “Preview” button to view the embedded widget live.
Note: It’s recommended to use the custom CSS of the widget editor instead of editing the HTML code of the embed code.
On posts and pages
Search the “Custom HTML” block on the Gutenberg editor.
Copy and paste the embed code on the field and click the ‘Preview‘ button to view the embedded widget on the editor.
Tips to consider when embedding widgets on WordPress
- Use a script manager: Third-party script management services such as Google Tag Manager and Cloudflare’s Zaraz help minimize external third-party widgets’ impact on the site’s overall performance.
- Concern about page loading speed: Resize and compress large images using a tool like ShortPixel Image compressor, use next-gen image formats such as WebP and AVIF, and use website fonts (ex: inherited fonts).
- Keep user experience in mind: UX is a big part of any professional website design. Even small things like relevant readable fonts & complimentary colors in widgets, visitor targeting, device settings (ex: hiding photo sliders in mobile devices), and widget placement (ex: hiding popup widgets on converted subscribers or website users who closed the popup) matter eventually.
Form widgets can come in different forms. Contact forms, customized forms, and feedback forms are some of them. These WordPress form widgets allow you to collect data from website users.
A contact form widget on your WordPress site allows website users to contact you by submitting the form.
Here are some HTML contact form widget creators:
- Google Forms
- Powr’s Contact Form
- CommonNinja’s Contact Form
- Elfsight’s Contact Form
Use the contact widget builder below to create a Contact widget for WordPress.
There are numerous widgets to use in many circumstances. Booking, Calculation, Feedback, Onboarding, questionnaire, RSVP, Report, Petition, Payment, Evaluation, Consent, Assessment, Appointment, Agreement, and Business forms are some of them.
To create a custom form widget for your WordPress, you should have a robust form-building tool that provides an efficient form builder with multiple data type support, integrations, and features such as conditional fields and calculators.
Here are some custom form widget builders for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s AI Form Builder
- Powr’s Form Builder
- Hoversignal’s Forms App
Use the following custom form widget builder to create a custom form widget for WordPress.
Quizzes, Polls, and Survey widgets are feedback forms that enable you to get customer feedback in engaging ways.
- Powr’s Poll widget
- Hoversignal’s Quizzes
According to many studies like this one from Spiegel Research Center, online reviews impact sales generation. One statistic is that the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than that of a product with no reviews.
There are many review platforms to collect reviews on a business or product.
- Google Business Profile – Also known as Google Reviews. Google shows reviews on Google search result pages and Maps on businesses and locations.
- Amazon Customer Reviews – Displayed on every product page on Amazon.
- Facebook Page Ratings and Reviews – Also known as Facebook Recommendations.
- Yelp Reviews – Reviews about local businesses.
- Other review platforms: TrustPilot, G2, Capterra, OpenTable, Instagram, Booking.com, BBB, eBay, Google Play, and Apple App Store
All-in-One Review widgets
All-in-One review widgets aggregate reviews from multiple platforms and displays all of them on one widget.
Here are some All-in-One review widgets for WordPress:
Use the following review widget builder to create an All-in-One reviews widget for WordPress.
Testimonial widgets let you embed editable customer reviews on your WordPress site. These widgets are helpful if you collect reviews directly, such as emails.
Here are several testimonials widgets to use on your WordPress site without plugins:
- Elfsight’s Testimonials widget
- Powr’s Multi-Slider App
- Fouita’s Editable Reviews widget
- Testimonials Slider widgets with codes on Codepen
Use the following testimonials widget builder to create a custom testimonials widget for WordPress.
Google Reviews widgets let you embed reviews from Google Business Profile on your site. If your WordPress site is about a local business or place with a Google Business profile created, you can utilize WordPress Google Business review widgets to rent credibility from Google reviews to boost conversions.
Here are a few Google Review widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Google Reviews Widget
- CommonNinja’s Google Reviews plugin
- TagEmbed’s Google Reviews
- EmbedSocial’s Google Reviews
- TaggBox’s Google Reviews widget
Use the following Google Reviews widget builder to create a Google Business Reviews widget (slider, carousel, or grid) for WordPress.
If you are an Amazon product seller, eCommerce site owner, niche affiliate website owner, or product creator, you can utilize reviews on Amazon on your WordPress site to boost conversions by highlighting customer testimonials.
Here are several Amazon Review widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Amazon Reviews Widget
- CommonNinja’s Amazon Reviews
- Widgio Amazon Reviews plugin
Use the following Amazon Reviews widget builder to create an Amazon product Reviews widget (slider, carousel, or grid) for WordPress.
With close to 3 billion monthly active users (MAU) and tools for local businesses to reach more customers and grow their network, one cannot ignore the significance of Facebook Reviews.
Here are several Facebook Review widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight Facebook Review Widget
- JustReview Facebook Reviews widget
- WiserNotify Facebook Reviews
- TagEmbed Facebook Reviews
- TaggBox Facebook Reviews widget
Use the following Facebook Reviews widget builder to create a Facebook Reviews widget (slider, carousel, or grid) for WordPress.
One of the first things you should implement, as a site owner (and business owner), is collecting visitor data, especially the email addresses of your visitors.
Because most of the first-time visitors (~95%) to your site will never return.
When you have built a targeted email list of people interested in your offers and articles, you can drive those people to your latest posts. This will help your site in numerous ways, such as increasing the number of returning visitors and average time on the page.
Also, building an email list provides many opportunities for you to make money, such as promoting offers and selling email clicks, apart from the ability to drive traffic to your WordPress site through periodic newsletters.
Here are a few third-party email capture widget creators:
Popup widgets display an HTML widget box on top of your website content. Popup widgets are usually used on user abandonment of a web page.
Popup email collectors and banner widgets
These widgets collect user information, such as email addresses, and get more clicks.
Here are a few best popup widget creators:
- Elfsight’s Popup Widget
- Powr’s Popup plugin
- CommonNinja Coupon Popup
- Brizy Popup Builder
Use the website popup creator below to embed a free popup widget on your WordPress website.
Age Verification Widgets
These are another popup widget type that allows you to add an age-gate to your WordPress site. These are essential WordPress widgets to use, especially if your site’s content undergoes any of the following niches:
- Adult content
- Video streaming & online gaming
- Online movie streaming
The age verification widget lets website admins filter the right audience to grant access to a particular piece of content and gate content from underaged visitors to not only get the right visitors to offers but also to adhere to local laws and regulations.
Here are a few best age verification widgets for WordPress:
Use the age verification popup widget creator below to add a free age gate widget on your WordPress website.
The spinning wheel is a gamified popup widget that allows users to try their luck and win prizes you specify. Spinning wheel widgets are top WordPress widgets for Woocommerce sites to increase sales by giving away coupon codes while collecting email addresses.
Here are a few top spinning wheel widgets for WordPress:
Announcement widgets let you deliver essential messages in unique widgets. These widgets, also known as what’s new widgets, are mainly used to showcase product updates.
Here are several announcement widgets for WordPress:
Social Feeds widgets allow you to display social posts on different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube on your Google Sites website.
Social Media Aggregator widget
Social Media Aggregators lets you embed social feeds from multiple social media platforms using one widget only. If your business is active on various social media networks, all-in-one social media feed widgets would be complimentary widgets to use.
Here are a few best social media aggregator widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight All-in-one Social Feed Widget
- CommonNinja’s Social Media & RSS Feed Widget
- Powr Social Feed App
- EmbedSocial Social Media Aggregator
Use the following All-in-one social feed widget builder to create a mixed social feed widget for WordPress.
Instagram Feed Widget
Instagram feed widgets allow you to embed feeds from an Instagram account or feeds based on hashtag (#).
Here are a few Instagram widget creators:
- Elfsight Instagram Feed widget
- CommonNinja Instagram Feed
- SociableKIT Instagram Feed
- TagEmbed Instagram Feed
Use the following Instagram widget builder to create an Instagram feed widget for WordPress.
TikTok Feed widgets
TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 1.6 billion global monthly users. Its Chinese version, Douyin, has over 750 million daily active users and is one of the most popular apps in the country. TikTok Feed widgets allow you to embed posts on TikTok based on profiles and hashtags.
Here are a few TikTok widget creators:
Use the following TikTok widget builder to create a TikTok feed widget for WordPress.
Facebook Feed widgets
You can embed posts from Facebook pages and public groups on your WordPress website using a Facebook feed widget.
Here are some services that let you create them:
- Elfsight Facebook Feed widget
- CommonNinja Facebook Feed
- Powr’s Facebook Feed app
- SnapWidget’s Facebook Feed
- TagEmbed Facebook Feed
Use the following Facebook widget builder to create a Facebook feed widget for WordPress.
X Feed widgets
X feed widgets let you embed posts from a specific profile or hashtag on X.com (formerly known as Twitter).
Here are a few X feed widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight Twitter Feed widget
- Powr Twitter Feed app
- CommonNinja Twitter feed widget
- TagEmbed Twitter widget
Use the following X widget builder to create an X feed widget for WordPress.
These WordPress widgets are used to improve conversion rates and ROI on marketing campaigns. Some popular eCommerce widgets for WordPress are pricing tables, countdown timers, comparison tables, coupon popups, pricing sliders, and payment buttons.
Numerous case studies like this have shown that using countdown timers to add urgency can have positive results by boosting conversion rates.
Here are several best countdown widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Countdown Timer
- CommonNinja’s Countdown Bar
- Powr’s Countdown Timer
- Widg’s Countdown Timer
Use the widget builder below to create a countdown widget for WordPress:
Pricing table widgets are used to showcase prices and feature comparison plans of services and products.
Here are pricing table makers for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Pricing Tables
- CommonNinja’s Pricing Tables
- Powr’s Pricing Tables
- Fouita’s Pricing Sections
- Widg’s Pricing Table
Use the following widget builder to create a pricing table for WordPress:
Comparison table widgets are used in WordPress sites, particularly in niche affiliate sites, to compare products to highlight special features and USPs (Unique Selling Points) and provide reviewers’ scores.
Here are several product comparison tables for WordPress:
Social Proof Notifications
Notification widgets are used to utilize conversions such as purchases, newsletter subscriptions, appointments, donations, and reviews on your landing pages to boost conversions by using them as social proof.
Here are some social proof widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Sales Notification widget
- Social Proofy
- Fouita’s Notification Popups
Use the widget builder below to create a notification widget for WordPress:
Banner widgets are another necessary WordPress eCommerce widget type used in a website to promote a product or service.
You can use banner widgets in your sidebar (as a sticky widget), header & footer, and even inside blog content to maximize clicks. Furthermore, you can use link management software such as ClickMagick to track clicks and rotate URLs.
Here are a few banner widgets for WordPress:
Use the banner widget creator below to design an HTML banner for WordPress:
Social Media Utilization Widgets
Social media utilization widgets include social sharing buttons, content lockers, and follow icons.
These widgets help you utilize social media networks to grow traffic to your site and influence social media platforms.
Social Share Widgets
Social share widgets are among the most popular social media widgets for growing a business. They assist website owners in driving free referral traffic from social networks by allowing visitors to share the link to a page on their social accounts.
Here are a few social share widgets for WordPress to use without plugins:
Use the following social sharing button builder to create a social share widget for WordPress.
Social Media Follow Icons
These WordPress widgets let you highlight links to all your social media profiles or fan pages on your site to follow.
Here are a few services to use to create social media follow widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight Social Media Icons
- Powr Social Media Icons
- CommonNinja’s Social Media Links
Chat widget helps provide customer service, convert people into leads, and convince on-the-fence visitors to become clients in real-time. Case in point, 79% of companies say that implementing live chat has positively impacted sales, revenue, and brand loyalty.
There are three live chat widget types:
- Social Live Chat widgets: These widgets use social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, and Viber as the medium for conversations.
- Business Live Chat messengers: These are custom live chat software developed by companies that provide functionalities such as Chat Bots, Product Tours, Event Tracking, and In-app messages.
- Group chat widgets: These live chat widgets create environments to chat among website users. Some services allow anonymous chatting while making it possible to require a user profile to chat to reduce spam.
All-in-One Social Live Chat Widgets
These WordPress chat widgets integrate with multiple messaging services allowing you to provide more than one option for users.
Here are some All-in-One live chat widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s All-in-One Chat Widget
- WidgetSquad’s All-In-One Chat Widget
- Sleekflow’s Live Chat
- NovoChat’s Multi-Channel Widget
Use the live chat widget builder below to add a chat widget for WordPress:
WhatsApp Chat Widgets
According to statistics, over 2.7 billion people worldwide2 use WhatsApp every month (the number of WhatsApp users is projected to reach 3.14 billion by 20253), and WhatsApp Business has over 200+ million users who drive $900+ million in revenues4 yearly. You can use WhatsApp widgets on your WordPress site to serve potential customers via WhatsApp messaging.
Here are a few WhatsApp widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s WhatsApp Chat widget
- CommonNinja’s WhatsApp Chat
- Widg’s WhatsApp Chat
- DelightChat’s WhatsApp Chat Button
Use the WhatsApp widget builder below to add a WhatsApp Chat widget for WordPress:
Telegram Chat Widgets
Using a Telegram Chat widget on your website, you can directly provide live support to over 700 million monthly active users.
Here are a few Telegram Chat widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight Telegram Chat
- CommonNinja’s Telegram Chat
- Widg.io’s Telegram Chat
- MyAlice’s Telegram Chat Widget
- SocialProofy’s Telegram Chat
Use the widget builder below to create a Telegram live chat widget:
Here are several options if you are looking for a live chat provider for your WordPress blog. Note that these services allow users to send messages anonymously and provide additional features such as email autoresponder, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Product Tours, Event Tracking, and In-app messages.
These WordPress widgets allow you to add content to your site in various ways. For example, an Accordion widget enables the creation of a frequently asked question section.
WordPress Slider widgets let you create image & video sliders to feature multiple offers simultaneously and capture attention with compelling images and videos.
Here are a few slider widgets for WordPress:
Use the builder below to create a Slider widget for WordPress:
A maps widget on a WordPress site lets you pin your business locations and assist customers with routes to your business locations.
Here are several best Google Maps widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight Google Maps Widget
- Powr Maps Plugin (supports both Google Maps and OpenStreetMap mapping services)
- Snazzy Maps
- CommonNinja’s Google Maps Widget
Use the widget builder below to create a map widget for WordPress:
These WordPress widgets make it possible to embed files in different formats such as PDF, Docx, PPT, and Xlsx and make them viewable.
Here are free file viewer widgets for WordPress:
Use the following file viewer widget creator to add file embed widgets to your WordPress site:
FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions are commonly used by many businesses (small to enterprise-level) in prominent parts of the site (mainly on the pricing page and pages where a decision is made) to eliminate obstacles on clients’ way to purchase, help clients understand the business better, and reduce the support service time and cost.
Here are a few FAQ accordions for WordPress:
- Elfsight Accordion FAQ Widget
- Powr FAQ plugin
- CommonNinja FAQ Maker plugin
- Widg’s FAQ widget
- Fouita’s FAQ Sections widget
Create a FAQ widget for your WordPress site using the widget builder below:
Business hours widgets are used to showcase the availability to website users. These are useful for all sorts of businesses with local and international audiences.
Here are a few Business Hours widgets for WordPress:
Create a Business Hours widget for WordPress using the widget builder below:
These WordPress widgets provide ways to utilize images to enhance your site.
Photo Gallery widgets are used to create image grids, carousels, and sliders.
Here are a few Image Gallery widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Photo Gallery widget
- Powr’s Photo Gallery
- CommonNinja’s Image Gallery
- Fouita’s Image Gallery
- Widg’s Photo Gallery
Use the following photo gallery widget builder to create an image gallery widget for WordPress:
Before/After Image Slider
Before and After Image Slider widgets are used to emphasize the then and now look using images. These image WordPress widgets are used to highlight finished works, particularly in the construction and beauty & fashion industries, and in comparison of products in e-commerce.
Here are a few before & after image slider widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Before and After Slider
- CommonNinja’s Before & After Slider
- Fouita’s Before/After Slider
- Widg’s Before and After Image Slider
Use the following widget builder to create a Before and After Image Slider for WordPress:
Logo showcase widgets emphasize a business’s authority by highlighting brands they have worked with or served.
Here are several logo showcase widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Logo Showcase widget
- CommonNinja’s Logo Slider
- Fouita’s Logo Showcase widget
- Widg’s Logo Showcase
Create a logo showcase widget for WordPress websites using the following widget builder:
These WordPress widgets are used to add functionalities to enhance user experience.
Event widgets allow you to list events on your WordPress, including details related to it such as schedule, location, ticket prices, how to register, etc.,
Here are a few event widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight’s Event Calendar widget
- Powr’s Events widgets, such as Event Gallery, Event Slider, Event Registration form, and Appointments
- CommonNinja’s Events widgets, such as Event Calendar, Agenda, Event Flip Cards, RSVP form, and Event Lists
- Event Calendar App
Create an event calendar widget for WordPress with details using the following widget builder:
Back to Link/Top widgets
These widgets are used to add a button that directs to a particular section on the page or the top of the page. The most popular button type is back-to-top buttons which are used in lengthier web pages.
Here are a few Back to Link/Top widgets for WordPress:
- Elfsight Back to Top Buttons
- Powr Scroll to Top Plugin
- CommonNinja’s Back To Top Button Widget
- Widg’s Back-to-Top Plugin
- HTML Back to Top widgets on CodePen
Create a back-to-top or link widget for WordPress websites using the following widget builder:
Gamification widgets are used to expedite the growth of traffic, leads, and even sales by gamifying certain aspects of marketing campaigns. Due to some elements of gamification, such as referring others to your business, gamification widgets can reduce CPL (Cost Per Lead) and improve ROI on your marketing campaigns.
Holding giveaways, contests, or refer-a-friend loyalty programs can rapidly boost your business’s growth. To hold a giveaway on WordPress, you can use third-party giveaway platforms.
Here are some services:
Bracket widgets are used to showcase tournament brackets with images, voting, and predictions. Many bracket makers provide additional HTML widgets for WordPress, such as points table.
Here are several tourney bracket makers for WordPress:
- CommonNinja’s Brackets Maker
- Edit’s Online Tournament Bracket maker
- Challonge’s Tournament Bracket Generator
Video & Audio
Video and Audio widgets are popular WordPress widgets that allow you to utilize video and audio content on your site in various ways.
YouTube Gallery Widgets
Being the second most popular search engine behind Google and the most popular video platform for consumers, YouTube is a valuable social media platform content creators can use to drive traffic and boost sales.
YouTube feed widgets allow you to embed a YouTube channel, a playlist, or a set of videos on your site, letting website visitors watch your videos and subscribe to your channel right from your site.
Here are some YouTube feed widget creators:
- Elfsight YouTube Gallery
- CommonNinja YouTube Feeds
- Powr YouTube Gallery App
- TagEmbed YouTube widget
- Fouita’s YouTube Gallery
Create a YouTube Gallery widget for WordPress using the widget builder below:
Radio Player Widgets
A radio player widget facilitates adding online streaming radio channels to your website and lets users turn on available channels and listen to the radio from your site. These widgets are helpful if your website covers mainstream topics such as news, sports, businesses, etc.,
Here are several radio player widgets for WordPress:
Use the widget builder below to create an online streaming radio widget for WordPress:
Audio Player Widgets
Audio player widget is another widely used WordPress widget, especially by musicians and podcasters. An audio player widget can diversify content on your website by adding a music playlist, meditation & ambience audio tracks, and creating an audiobook.
Here are a few audio player widgets for WordPress:
Use the audio player widget creator below to add an audio widget to your WordPress:
Background Audio Player
Background audio player widgets let you add background audio tracks to your website. Users can fine-tune the volume and turn on or off the background sound when needed.
Here are a few background music players for WordPress:
Use the widget builder below to add a background audio player to your WordPress website:
Final Words on Best WordPress Widgets without Plugins
At a certain point, you will have no choice but to use a widget to accomplish specific tasks on your WordPress site. Be it related to displaying information, collecting data, or adding website accessibilities.
Even though you can use plugins to add widgets to WordPress, there are certain benefits of using third-party widget creators and embedding widgets on WordPress using HTML.
In this article, you discovered 40+ essential HTML widgets for WordPress. So, what has been missed from the list?