I'm taking a Udemy class to learn how to make Wordpress plugins and themes. The video I'm on is having me override the default search widget with a custom one via searchform.php. From what I've gathered, this file should automatically be loaded with the rest of the theme as long as I have followed these steps:


/* Some other code */
include ( get_theme_file_path('/includes/widgets.php') );
add_action("widgets_init", 'ju_widgets');


function ju_widgets() {
        'name'          => __('My First Theme Sidebar', 'udemy'),
        'id'            => 'ju_sidebar',
        'description'   => __('Sidebar for the theme Udemy', 'udemy'),
        'before_widget' => '<div id="%1$s" class="widget clearfix %2$s">',
        'after_widget'  => '</div>',
        'before_title'  => '<h4>',
        'after_title'   => '</h4>',


<div class="sidebar nobottommargin col_last">
    <div class="sidebar-widgets-wrap">
            if (is_active_sidebar('ju_sidebar')) {


<?php $unique_id = esc_attr( uniqid( 'search-form-' ) ); ?>

<form role="search" method="get" class="search-form"
      action="<?php echo esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ); ?>">
    <div class="input-group">
        <input type="search" id="<?php echo $unique_id; ?>"
               class="form-control" name="s"
               value="<?php the_search_query(); ?>"
               placeholder="<?php _e( 'Search', 'udemy' ); ?>"/>
        <span class="input-group-btn">
            <button type="submit" class="btn btn-danger"><i class="icon-search"></i></button>


<!-- some theme html -->

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

<!-- other theme html -->

No matter what I change in the searchform.php file, it doesn't replace the default search widget.

  • searchform.php is rendered via get_search_form if the widget doesn't use get_search_form and instead has its own separate search-form it wouldn't work. How old is the course you're studying & does it take into account that widgets have recently been replaced by gutenberg blocks?
    – admcfajn
    Nov 8 '21 at 22:31
  • Gutenberg blocks are further in the course. I guess the guy didn't bother to take out this lesson. Unless this course redeems its self between now and the end i'm giving it a 1 star. What a waste of a whole day trying to figure out what I did wrong. Except it wasn't me in the first place. From what I gathered so far the teacher is an idiot. This is coming from a seasoned Laravel dev, so I think I have a "cred" to judge him at this point. Thanks for the help
    – Daemonleak
    Nov 8 '21 at 23:20
  • Happy to help, welcome to WordPress.StackExchange
    – admcfajn
    Nov 9 '21 at 2:17

This way of working with widgets is outdated and I should be using Gutenberg blocks. Moral of the story, be careful when buying courses from Udemy, they may just be useless.

  • Well more out-of-date than useless. You should probably pass that on as feedback to Udemy.
    – Rup
    Nov 9 '21 at 9:45
  • True, I'll shoot him a message and see what he says.
    – Daemonleak
    Nov 9 '21 at 20:57

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