Young winger Tom Johnstone scored a spectacular try for Wakefield in the final moments of the first half to send them in at the break 18-6 down.
Rhys Hanbury opened the scoring after five minutes, Stefan Marsh crossed twice and Jack Owens also touched down, the visitors’ fourth try being converted by Lloyd White.
White increased Widnes’ lead early in the second half and, with Wakefield down to 12 men after Matt Ryan had been sin-binned for delaying a quick tap restart, Marsh completed his hat-trick after 58 minutes, White improving both.
Ryan scored Wildcats’ second try, from Jacob Miller’s pass, moments after returning from the bin.
Dean Collis cut the gap further from Richard Owen’s pass and Miller’s third goal made it 30-18 with eight minutes left
Widnes finished the game with 12 men after Phelps was sin-binned for a similar offence to Ryan.
Wakefield skipper Danny Kirmond lasted just 36 seconds, before going off with concussion.
It was Wildcats’ 12th successive Super League defeat, but the first time in nine league games they have kept their opponents to less than 40 points.