Widget vs Widget Area
It's important to understand the difference between a widget and a widget area. Please see the below information to help understand the difference between the two.
Widget - A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a unique function. Avada includes several custom widgets such as the Avada Twitter widget, Avada Social Links, or the Avada Recent Work widget. In addition, there are several default widgets that WordPress includes such as Recent Posts or Recent Comments. Widgets will always go inside a widget area.
Widget Areas - A Widget Area is a container that holds widgets. Widgets must go inside a widget area to be able to display on the site. Avada includes 2 pre-made widget areas (footer columns, sliding bar columns) and also allows you to create custom Widget Areas which can be applied to the 5 widget-ready areas of the theme. It’s a great way to customize your site.