WordPress and the Undraggable Widgets

April 4th, 2011
WordPress, WordPress Troubleshooting

If you’re a new WordPress users, or perhaps even a veteran, you may have noticed an inability to work with your widgets at Appearance -> Widgets in your Dashboard. This is fortunately not common, but it can lead to a ton of confusion and many hours of frustrating attempts to fix it.

First, make sure that your browser has JavaScript enabled. This is usually the most common cause of the issue, and fortunately the easiest to fix.

If your browser does have JavaScript enabled, use an FTP or SFTP client to access your server and a plain text editor to edit your wp-config.php file. Once the file is open, add define('CONCATENATE_SCRIPTS', false); below the define('DB_HOST' line and save the file.

In most cases, one of the two methods will work for you. If you’re still having trouble, stop by the WordPress Support Forums for further assistance.




  1. Karen Appleby (6 comments.) says:

    Tried this fix and it did nothing. I’m running WP 3.1 with Weaver 1.5.4 theme. I’m not able to drag widgets to the sidebars. Not sure if the theme has anything to do with it.

    Been working on this one thing for over a month now and no solutions.


    • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

      It most certainly could be your theme functions interfering. Try switching to Twenty Ten temporarily.

      If that resolves the issue, then you know that your theme was definitely the cause.

  2. Karen Appleby (6 comments.) says:

    I have used the twenty-ten and am still unable to drag & drop widget items to the sidebars or footer areas. It does, however, allow me to put a widget in the side bar by clicking on the add button in the available widget area and selecting a position in the drop down menu of the widget. I guess my question really is: are all of the widgets in all themes supposed to be drag & drop or do they vary by theme and/or author of the theme.

    Thanks for your previous answer. I hesitate to change it to the twenty-ten because I have to reset all of my current widgets all over again, they are not retained when changing between themes.


    • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

      Yes, all widgets should be drag-and-drop.

      Pretty much the only other thing that I could recommend at this point would be to try another browser.

      If that doesn’t work, stop by as I’m sure they might have a few more ideas.

      • Rob says:

        If you go to Widgets and then Screen Options you can turn the Accessibilty Mode on or off. This changes from the Drag and Drop mode to the Add mode.

        • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

          Thanks, I had forgotten about that bit!

        • Karen (6 comments.) says:

          Thanks for pointing that out, it is now drag & drop, I’m so happy, mu-ah!! I will let everyone I know that my problem is fixed, they were perplexed as well.


      • Karen (6 comments.) says:

        As for checking out the forums on wordpress all of my searches only resulted in items that were 3+ years or older and I also put questions on the forums and they remain unanswered.

        Do you have anything in your bag of tricks that will help me wrap text around an amazon in-post ad? What I’m trying to do is utilize the wordpress amazon associates plugin. It gives me a nice image of the book I’m reviewing but it will not allow me to type text alongside the image ad, it will only start the text at the bottom of the post leaving a huge blank spot on the right side of the image.

        Just wondering,


        • gestroud says:

          IF the image is visible in your post screen, and IF you’re using the Rich Text/Visual Editor to edit your posts, you can click on the book’s image. An icon will appear in the image’s upper right corner. Click on the icon. A new screen will appear which will allow you to make changes to the images alignment, size and other attributes. Just choose to have the image align to the left.

          • Karen (6 comments.) says:

            I did try this and it seemed to work like a charm but the plugin I’m using is the WordPress Amazon Associates which does not show me the image in the visual editor. I have a question to them about this issue.

            Thanks for your answer, more and more things are coming to light with my new experience on wordpress.


  3. Juliemarg (2 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the tip – I am one of those who has spent hours and hours trying to figure out probs like why the widget won’t drag. At some pooint I’m going to have to go to CSS school.

  4. Tom Coburn (67 comments.) says:

    I’ve been to CSS school, and there are many concepts of CSS I don’t understand, especially when it comes to dragging and dropping support. I wish there was still a theme (besides itheme by mangoOrange) that still had drag and drop sidebar items. A theme isn’t a decent theme without draggable sidebar items. I do know, there is a way to implement drag and drop functionality without using even 1 line of javascript! I saw a demo of it at cssplay. I’m surprised WP hasn’t implemented a CSS only implementation, I know there’s several demos how to do it at cssplay

    • Tom Coburn (67 comments.) says:

      oh, and there’s nothing wrong with itheme from MangoOrange, its just that theme is outdated and I’ve been looking for that style of theme with draggable sidebar items, that also supports WP 3.0 functions that doesn’t include depreciated functions..

  5. James says:


    You are also using a version of Weaver that is not compatible with your current WP version. Weaver has had a lot of updates, and you might want to head over to the Weaver site and look into updating.

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