Widgets help you to add more content and elements to your web pages by dragging them into a sidebar position. This makes it very easy for beginners to create different layouts throughout their website. Widgets allow you to add a title to give your visitors a way to see what the widget is, but it also gives you the ability to know what the widget is from your widget admin area.
The problem is that there will be times when you don’t want the title to show on the front of your website. In fact, I know there are many WordPress users who are not aware they have options to hide titles. So, on that note, I will take you through a couple of methods that will easily hide widget titles.
WordPress Does not Let You Hide Widget Titles
There things about WordPress I like and some things that out-right frustrate me with the mentality of the core developers. Hiding widget titles is one because you would think this should be part of WordPress. It boggles my mind why certain things are not built into WordPress, hiding a widget title is one.
I have personally made requests to the dev team the reasons why this should be part of WordPress, but their answer is always no! You would think common sense dictates that having this simple option added to widgets is a no-brainer.
Why Would You Want to Hide a Title?
Before I continue on, you might be curious as to why you would want to hide a widget title? The most common reason is something I’ve encountered too many times, which are sliders. But let’s look at a list of reasons why you would hide a widget title:
- Using widgets to display a slider — you don’t want the title to show.
- Displaying a banner image
- Displaying a video
- You might use a widget that simply does not look great when a title is showing
- You’re using a widget that has your own content and a custom title that you style for it.
There are other reasons I can list, but you get the picture of why having the ability to hide a widget title is a nice option to have.
Leaving the Widget Title Field Blank
I’ve seen websites suggest leaving the widget title field on a widget empty. This is a simple fast way of preventing the title from being displayed on the front of your website. But is this really practical?
The answer to that is no because when you are in the widget admin area, how are you supposed to know what the widget is? The only way you can find out is to open the widget. So the trick is to hide the title on your website while keeping it visible in the dashboard widget area.
This example shows several “Image” widgets in the Banner sidebar position, but if you need to edit one, how do you know what widget to open?
So, what is the solution then?
- Leave the field blank? Not practical!
- Use Custom CSS Code to Hide? Not practical!
- Plugins to Hide Widget Titles? Not ideal, but better than the previous two choices.
Let’s go through a couple of plugin options…
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Plugins to Hide Widget Titles
I mentioned that this is method is not ideal, but it is better than leaving a field blank or adding custom CSS to hide a title. I’m not a fan of installing too many plugins, so this is why I say it’s not ideal, but for the average user, it’s the recommended method.
I used to use this myself, and the plugin author is someone I am familiar with. Stephan Cronin did a very good job of this one, but it appears that it has not been kept up-to-date. Right now the WordPress notice is that this plugin has not been updated for the last 3 versions of WordPress.
This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.
I would recommend installing it on a test site first and see how it goes.
The Remove Widget Titles plugin will hide widget titles by typing an exclamation mark at the beginning of your title. This keeps your title visible in the back-end but hides it on the front-end.
Widget Options is a plugin that I use for Rough Pixels. It’s comprehensive with a ton of options and tools, but the only big issue I have with it is that it’s too much. The bonus with this plugin though is that not only can you show or hide widgets on select pages, you also get a setting to hide widget titles!
I won’t go into the other options it offers you, but it does have the ability to hide widget titles.
Unfortunately, you do not have a lot of options available to you. It still drives me crazy wondering what is the matter with the core development team over at WordPress. This should be a core feature to simply add a checkbox on every widget for hiding titles on widgets.
If you have any other methods to hide widget titles, I would love to hear about them in the comments below.