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.

amr shortcode any widget


Insert a widget or multiple widgets or a entire widget area (sidebar) into a page using a shortcode.

Set up your widget first in a normal sidebar. Check it works.
THEN Drag your chosen widgets to the sidebar called “widgets for shortcode”.

Add the do_widget shortcode to the page where you would like the widget to appear (or the do_widget_area)

To use in the block editor, add a shortcode block, then type in (including the square brackets [do_widget widgetname] or copy the do_widget tip from the widget in the ‘Widgets for Shortcodes’ sidebar.

Please see detailed info on shortcodes and parameters under the installation tab (depending what the plugin directory developers have most recently done, this may be under the FAQ, or at the very least under the readme.)

Using a widget more than once?

Reference a specific widget instance from the do_widget shortcode, or the chosen sidebar from the do_widget_area shortcode. Eg: [do_widget id=widget-n]

For example: You could use the query posts widget in the page to create a archive within a page, or the rss widget to list feed content from other sites. For more details see

The plugins default action is that it will magically find the settings for your themes sidebar and use the sidebar html to control the widgets output. In most cases this means the widget will be styled as per the rest of your theme. If that does not look good, parameters exist to try override this behaviour.

EG: in twenty-fourteen theme widget text ends up being white on white! widget_classes=none fixes that. Eg: [do_widget widget_classes=none yourwidget]

Changed your theme and worried about losing the sidebar settings ?

No problem, the plugin will save and restore the widgets_for_shortcode settings. On display it will then pick up the new themes sidebar settings.


PLEASE get your widgets working in a sidebar BEFORE activating this plugin, and please read and and/or see the settings page. To see a list of your widgets in their sidebars, add ?do_widget_debug to the page with the do_widget shortcode.


  • meta widgets in a page
  • setting up widgets in the "widgets for shortcode" sidebar in the widgets page. The widget's user interface (UI) is used to provide a UI for the do_widget shortcode.
  • click on the widget in the widgets page to see the shortcode prompts


  1. Test your chosen widget in a normal sidebar or widget area first.
  2. Then activate this plugin
  3. Go to Appearance > widgets and find the ” widgets for shortcode” sidebar or widget area
  4. Drag your chosen widget from your normal sidebar to the shortcodes sidebar. Save.
  5. Now go to a page and enter a do_widget shortcode The shortcode any widget settings page has some helpful (hopefully) examples and links.
  • [do_widget widgetname] eg: [do_widget calendar]
  • [do_widget “widget name”]. eg: [do_widget “tag cloud”]
  • [do_widget id=widgetid] . eg: [do_widget id=tag-cloud-3]

  • [do_widget_area] (will use the “widgets in shortcodes” widget area / sidebar

  • [do_widget_area sidebarid] or [do_widget_area widget_area=sidebarid] for another sidebar or widget area – eg: to maximise likelihood of getting your theme’s widget css to apply.

[do_widget …] Parameters:

  • nameofwidget or name=”nameofwidget” This is NOT the title of the widget. THis is the name that you see in the widgets menu page even when unassigned to a sidebar. For existing users , you can also use just the name of the widget without name=. It must be the first parameter then. You can only do this with the name, not the id.
  • id=wordpress assigned id of widget. Examples: id=meta-3, id=tag-cloud-9 etc
  • title=false to hide the widgets title OR to override your themes first sidebar html settings for widget titles, use title=htmltag where htmltag is one of h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,header,strong,em.
  • wrap=htmltag where htmltag is one of div,p,main,aside,section. This will override your themes first sidebar widget wrapping html.
  • widget_classes=none This will remove the class “widget” from the wrapping html and the class “widget_title” from the title html. This may be enough to remove any unwanted css caused by your theme.
  • class=yourclassname By default the plugin will add a class of amr-widget to the wrapping html. You can use this to add any special css. Add css either by editing your themes stylesheet if it is a custom theme, or using something like the wordpress custom css plugin.
  • sidebar=”sidebarname” will default to widgets_for_shortcode sidebar. Only use if you want to re-use a widget already being used in another sidebar. THis is theme dependent and WILL break if you change themes. Safer to use the widget_id.

[do_widget_area …] Parameters:

  • widget_area=yourwidgetarea defaults to ‘widgets_for_shortcodes’ if nothing entered
  • widget_area_class=none /* option to remove theme styling by removing the widget_area class from the sidebar html */
  • widget_classes=none /* option to remove the widget class from the widget wrappinghtml
  • class=yourclassname default is amr_widget_area. This will affect the widget area NOT the individual widgets. At the moment can only remove the widget classes, not replace them when using do_widget_area.

Advanced users WARNING: using do_widget_area with a widget area other than the shortcode one means that if you changes themes and the new theme has different sidebars, then this shortcode with a named widget area will not work.

See the settings page for links to help your create the shortcodes in a page.

The plugin has been tested with most standard widgets (rss feeds, tag cloud, pages, meta, search, and of course my own plugins widgets – upcoming events list, calendar and user lists.

If you use a widget more than once for different reasons, you may need to use the widget id to isolate which widget instance and it’s settings to use. ie: [do_widget id=categories-6] . If you just use the name, it will display all widgets in the shortcode sidebar with that name (all instances).

If you liked this plugin, you might also like my other plugins:

  • – a ics compliant events plugin fully integrated with wordpress, so it will work with many other plugins (seo, maps, social)
  • – a suite of plugins to help with membership sites. Major plugin is amr users


PLEASE get your widgets working in a sidebar BEFORE activating this plugin, and PLEASE read the installation instructions (?is the plugin directory showing them!?) and the settings page before asking any questions.

Widget help, the widget is doing this, when it should do that

Please get the widget working first in a normal sidebar without this plugin and ask for support on the widgets forum it is does not work in a normal sidebar.

How to identify widget

To identify your widget in the shortcode, use the NAME or the ID. Please note that in wp 5.8 if you are not using the Classic Widgets plugin, the widgets page may show the incorrect widget id.

The name is the generic NAME like “tag cloud”.

The id is how wordpress identifies the instance of the widget. The id is visible at the bottom of the widget settings box.

Styling, your theme, css, overriding

Yes anything could happen wrt the appearance.(There are tens of 1000s of themes and widgets. Multiply out the possible combinations. Add in css specifity, inheritance and cascading rules. Consider you are moving the widget out of the sidebar where the the theme and widget plugin expect it to be. ) The effects are very dependent on how your theme has specified the css that may apply to widgets and sidebars/widget areas.

It may work beautifully and have the content looking like it belongs with your theme.

This plugin tries to help encourage that ‘belonging’ look. If it fails then it offers ways to switch the html and/or the classes being generated.

* you may have undesired effects applying that do not work in the main content area
* You may have desired effects not applying because the css is specific to a themes sidebar and does not apply to the html in a page.

The plugin can help a bit – Via the plugin you can do the following to affect styling:

  • Remove the general wordpress ‘widget’ class from the widgets wrapping html and the ‘widget_title’ from the title html. ([do_widget widgetname widget_classes=none]

  • Change the ‘wrap’ html and the title html with parameters wrap=div title=h3. See the settings page.

  • Apply an existing class in your theme. Use [do_widget widgetname class=yourclass].

  • Use the additional class ‘amr-widget’ provided to specify alternate css in your themes stylesheet or with something like wordpress custom css.

One of the new features is as a default setting is that the plugin will try have your current themes first sidebar styling apply to the widgets inserted into a page via the shortcode.

Many folks requested this, insisting that absolutely this is what should be happening and why didn’t it? Well..This could be great – Imagine: a plugin that can pick up the theme styling and change it as your theme changes.

The success of this depends very much on how your theme specifies it’s css. Does it always use classes ? – more css will apply. Does it lock the css down by sidebar-id: that css will not apply.

It also depends on what the original widget plugin does with css and js. It may have done something thinking that the widget will always be inside a sidebar and not anticipated being in a page. This the shortcde-any-widget plugin has no control over.

For example: An unwanted effect could be white text on a white background as in the twenty fourteen theme.

If you have an undesired styling effect with the default settings:

You need to learn the joys of the ‘inspect element’ tools in various browsers or browser web developer, firebug add-ons, so you can see what css is applying to what html. Then you can either change some of the html or override or change the css.

Options if you don’t like the default result:

Use the ‘amr-widget’ class that has been added to the widget wrapping html to override any css.

.amr-widget [
color: #000000;

Tap into a class you already have in your theme:

[do_widget class=yourclass]

Change the html that the shortcode-any-widget plugin will use.

eg: don’t like the h3.widget-title styling ? change the title html to h2 in the shotcode parameters

[do_widget title=h2]

eg: don’t like the ‘aside’ wrapping html styling? change the wrapping html:

[do_widget wrap=div]

If you only using widget, maybe inserting the whole sidebar or widgertarea would give an interesting effect. Sidebar background css may apply.



June 24, 2022
Hi, unfortunately in my case this plugin leads to a broken customizer. If i try to start the wp customizer it gets stuck in the loading screen. After deactivating/removing the plugin everything works just fine. KR Chris
May 19, 2021
This tool works flawlessly. I was wondering about this kind of solution for a long. Thanks for creating this. I'll prepare a tutorial on it.
Read all 105 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“amr shortcode any widget” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“amr shortcode any widget” has been translated into 8 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “amr shortcode any widget” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.


Version 4.0

  • Tested on 5.8, NOTE you may need the Classic Widgets plugin as the new widgets page messes with the widget ids. Please see
  • Added text to show shortcode with widget name and highlight that without the classic widgets, the widget id may be incorrect. Eg: it’ say meta-6, when it should be meta-1. Number difference is not always the same. You could also look at the widget settings in the database for the widget id.

Version 3.9

  • Tiny tweak for php 8 compatibility in amr-utilities.php
  • Tested on 5.7.2

Version 3.8

  • Tried to find what might have caused ‘x’ characters generated after activation on an older site. However could not get the message to occur on other sites. It may be related to an admin notice re sidebar upgrade for older sites, in which case once done, should never happen again.
  • Tested on 5.7.2

Version 3.7

  • Found a mixed line ending. Updated.
  • Tested on 5.3.1RC1

Version 3.6

  • Basically forcing an update in the hope that the third party php7compatibility checker sort itself out. It’s complaining about mixed line endings, but they’re not.
  • Added indonesian translation provided by Jordan Silaen.

Version 3.5

  • Adds info showing you on which pages, posts etc you are using a do_widget or do_widget_area shortcode, just in case you forget.

Version 3.4

  • Retested on wordpres 4.7 and 4.8 alpha and forcing update because of plugin directory needs trigger temporarily to show the installation instructions

Version 3.3

  • Retested on wordpres 4.5 and 4.5.1-alpha
  • Re-instated the saving of widgets in the shortcode sidebar on theme switch and the reloading of these saved widgets when theme is reactivated (Was commented out for awhile back in 2014, but appears to be working well and very useful when you changing a theme but maybe forgotten about this page that has widget on it – yeah that could be bad !

Version 3.2

  • tweaked some error messages and handle situation better where there are no widgets or possibly empty sidebars.

Version 3.1

  • added code for the widget-id to appear in the widget settings window.
  • removed lots of the ‘debug’ as it will hopefully no longer be needed.
  • most error messages will now be returned in the shortcode, not echoed at top of page.
  • the do_widget_debug lists less, but hopefully more usefully a list of the do_widget and do_widget_area options based on your sidebars and the widgets in them.

Version 3

  • added code to not output anything if in admin (eg: in edit/save mode) in case something has forced application of content filters when saving (and not all widget stuff is active, so errors are output.
  • prefixed unprefixed function names to avoid conflicts

Version 2.9

  • in debug help, the link to the installation page help was not properly setup. Fixed.

Version 2.8

  • Tested on 4.3.1
  • No real functional change.
  • Tweaked debug info to look a little prettier. Also some error messages will not show unless you haev requested debug (?do_widiet_debug) to try to avoid the message that some genesis theme users are experiencing. I have not been able to recreate this with the genesis theme myself – it might be a plugin that they are using.

Version 2.6

  • Tested on 4.2
  • Removed from admin settings area the use of add_query_arg (unnecessary)
  • Added esc_url to widget id ‘debug’ oage just in case (it is only accessed by logged in admin, but lets be safe and keep everyone happy if the see the add_query_arg and remove_query_arg

Version 2.5

  • Tested on 4.1.1, Linked to the settings help page from the plugin action menu.
  • Changed the readme a bit to try further aid understanding and reduce support issues
  • Updated some screenshots.

Version 2.4

  • Tested on 4.1, Cleaned up the readme, Lang file for info page – most texts.

Version 2.3

  • Fixed some widget area class options that were not working.
  • Added a widget area debug option to make it easier to find how your theme has stored it’s widget area / sidebar ids. They are not always easy to find.
  • Tested on 3.9.1
  • Updated readme

Version 2.2

  • Attempt to add more styling control.
  • Add widget_classes=none to reverse out widget type class. NOte to totally override wordpress widget
  • Add widget_area_class=none

Version 2.1

  • Bug Fix – last sidebar registered by theme was being overwritten by the attempt to copy the themes sidebar arguments so that cleverly (hopefully) the shortcode widgets would pick up the same styling. Fixed now. Now it really does pickup the first sidebars styling – with devasting consquence in twenty-fourteen theme – yes white text on white background is not fun to read. But on other themes it works a treat.

Version 2

  • Shortcode widget id changed so that wordpress will save the shortcode settings per theme.
  • Added Code to auto upgrade, but just in case please check your widgets page. Look at the inactive widgets if the widgets are not in your widgets for shortcodes sidebar.
  • Logic added on theme switching to save shortcode widget settings and restore them after the theme switch, so you can play with themes and not have to set up your widgets again. WP kept putting them into an ‘inactive sidebar’.
  • Added, as requested by a few of you, the ability to add a class and control the html around the widget without having to enter html around the shortcode has been added. See the settings page for instructions.
  • Added the ability to specify what html should be used for the title and the widget wrap, so that you can more easily either match your theme or get away from your thesmes widget styling.
  • Added ability to insert a whole widget area into the page. The default will be the “widgets for shortcode” sidebar/widget area. You can specify others. Note Specifying other widget areas may be theme dependent, ie: switch and you’ll lose that page.
  • Added classes amr-widget and amr-widget-area so one can target the widgets in the page to adjust css.

Version 1.8

  • Whoops – had renamed the main file and forgot to delete it from the svn. Forcing a version number change to ensure files get cleaned up for everyone

Version 1.7

  • Change: Changed so that debugs and debug prompt will only show to a logged in administrator.

Version 1.6

  • Add: added a settings page to help people out (not really settings)
  • Fix: changed a clashing function name

Version 1.5

  • Fixed: a small bug which caused a warning if you had not saved the widgets in your shortcode sidebar

Version 1.4

  • Updated readme – made very detailed steps and added some screen shots.
  • Tested on wp 3.3.1 and fixed some notices when bad parameters entered.

Version 1.3

  • Added debug link and retested. Added readme.


  • Changed dummy shortcode sidebar so it appears after the theme sidebars to avoid taking over their widgets (this happened in numbered sidebars) PLEASE note if you have upgraded, you may appear to have “lost” your widgets due to this sidebar change. You have not – they will be in your “inactive widgets” – please drag them to the new sidebar. You may also find that you have 2 versions of the plugin, with slightly different folder names. This will allow you to go back to the previous one to check what you had there if you need to. Deactivate the old one and activate the new one. Move your widgets back in. Test then Delete the old one. In one theme it also appeared that somehow due to this change, one of the sidebar widgets “moved” down to another sidebar. I think that this may have had something to do with the fact that sidebars can be numbered or named, so please check all your sidebars before continuing. As always make sure thath you know how to restore from a backup before doing any upgrades of any kind.
  • Tested in 2.9.2, can still use either the widget name “Categories” or id=categories-6. Note widget must have been created in the dummy shortcode sidebar.


  • Allow for lowercase use of widget names for the those challenged by attention to detail!
  • Cleaned up debug mode to make it easier for people to identify which instance of a widget they are using. Add &do_widget_debug to url string.


  • Launch of the plugin