How to hide widget titles in WordPress

This is probably one of the most annoying things about WordPress and how the core developers just don’t seem to listen to what people want and ask for. I’ve written a list of blog articles relating to the many things that I (and many others) wish was part of the WordPress core. It’s one thing to complain about what is missing, but it’s another to come up with a solution to solve the problems — which is what I will be doing with a series of “How To” tutorials.

So on that note, let’s start with Widget Titles and what is wrong with them…

When I first started with WordPress, I discovered a simple feature is missing that just does not make sense why this is not part of the core. But have you noticed that you cannot disable a widget title? To do this, we have two choices:

  1. Don’t type a title in your widget title field
  2. Or, use a plugin (more on this in a moment)

Why Would you Want to Hide a Widget Title?

There are times you may want to hide/disable a widget title, so let’s talk about this and then come up with a solution to benefit you and to save you the frustration and headaches based on my own experiences.

You Want to Style Your Own Title

You cannot really do this with most widgets, but with a text widget you can. Why would you want to do this if there is already a title field for the widget? Well, when a theme is created, there is a predefined widget style built in your theme; the title is one particular problem. With predefined styling for your widget title, the title will be wrapped usually in a Heading Tag like an H1, H2, H3, etc. This will be up to the theme developer on what they decide to use. But you may not want to use the one they set for the title, you may want to do your own, perhaps using some custom HTML or CSS classes.

You are Using a Slider or Banner Image

This is probably the most common reason, but who wants to have a widget title showing when you have an amazing slider, banner image, or something else that looks bad with a title? This is what I discovered when I make my demo websites, I don’t want widget titles mucking up the showcase presentation of images. Let’s use my Senses WordPress theme as an example by showing the banner without a widget title:

senses banner widget title hidden

Now, lets show the banner with a widget title active. I highlighted the title so you can see it, otherwise it was hidden on the dark background area of the banner container:

senses banner widget title

Which one looks better?

There are times when a theme has sidebar positions for other types of content elements, such as breadcrumb navigation. My themes have a sidebar for breadcrumbs to let the end-user decide what kind of breadcrumb plugin they want to use. Normally these kinds of plugins will come with the option of using shortcodes or they may have a widget.  So again, who wants a widget title showing for breadcrumbs?

What Have Most People Been Doing?

This is why it doesn’t make sense not to have a core feature where each widget as a simple checkbox to disable the widget title on the front-end of your site. But for some crazy reason, the core developers feel this is not needed and if so, then you can use a plugin. I don’t know about you, but who wants to fill up their website with a million plugins that you seem to need for even the most simple thing?

So what have people been doing? Believe it or not, many leave the widget title field empty. Sure, this works, but if you are running a large website with lots of widgets, it’s hard to know what each widget is when you see several in a sidebar position have no title when you are in the dashboard of your site. You could have 10 widgets in the same sidebar position, all without titles. How are you supposed to know which widget to edit if you needed to modify one?

The Best Solution that I Found

As much as it would be best to have this feature part of the core of WordPress, we are left with the second option….using a plugin! Yes, I know, you hate having to keep adding plugins for this and that, but we will hold off on the frustration and come up with a solution that I use when I create my theme demo websites.

There are probably a few plugins that can do this (I think), but the one plugin that in my opinion is the best, is called “Remove Widget Titles” by Stephen Cronin. This guy is a lifesaver because of his plugin. It’s quick to install and quick and easy to use. If you want to get the details about this amazing plugin, click the button below!

Remove Widget Titles

We can even setup the plugin right away if you want to follow this quick tutorial?

Let’s Get Our Plugin

  1. Go to Plugins >> Add New
  2. In the search field, type in Remove Widget Titles and look for it to show up.
    remove widget titles plugin
  3. Click “Install Now” and then “Activate” it

When you want to hide a widget title, you simply add an exclamation mark right in front of the title you type out. This will hide the title on the front-end of your website, while giving you a title in the back-end so you know what each widget is.

hide widget title field

If you want to know what people think about this plugin, at the time of writing this article, it currently has a perfect 5-stars rating!

remove widget titles rating

Now you know that you have a solution that you can use any time that you want to hide your widget title(s).

 

 

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