Are You Wise to WordPress Widgets?

WordPress Widgets

WordPress widgets have been available through many versions of the WordPress software, and for many years. Even though they’re a well-established feature, casual bloggers who enjoy writing more than digging into WordPress’s features may not give widgets enough attention to keep up with their capabilities. They may even be unaware of the true versatility of the seemingly lowly text widget. Here, DesignSpinners a WordPress Website Design Los Angeles company describe widgets, illustrate what they can do, and point you to resources for more information and for professional expertise. You will also explore the underappreciated text widget.

The Who, Why, and What of Widgets

Together, widgets and widget areas are a way devised by WordPress developers to share design capability with WordPress bloggers who have administrative control of their blog, but who don’t know how to write PHP program code. A widget area is a part of a WordPress page into which a blog administrator can place widgets. The original widget area was the sidebar, but today, WordPress theme developers can place a widget area in the header, footer, or elsewhere on a page template.

The Codex page for WordPress’s Widgets Subpanel describes all of the widgets that come bundled with the WordPress software. I’ll sketch these widgets, because the easiest way to show you the power of widgets is to give examples of what they can do.

WordPress Widgets

  • The Archives widget displays links to all of a blog’s posts, grouped by month.
  • The Calendar widget displays a calendar with links to the posts for each day of the current month.
  • The Categories widget displays links to posts grouped by their assigned category.
  • The Links widget displays a list of links, usually outbound, such as a blog roll.
  • The Meta widget displays links to items such as the login page, the blog administration page, the RSS syndication feeds for the blog’s posts and comments, and WordPress.org.
  • The Pages widget displays a link to each of the blog’s pages (as opposed to its posts).
  • The Recent Comments widget displays snippets and links for the blog’s most recent comments.
  • The Recent Posts widget displays titles and links for the blog’s most recent posts.
  • The RSS widget displays an RSS feed chosen by the blog’s administrator.
  • The Search widget displays a text box and a submit button for use in searching the blog.
  • The Tag Cloud widget displays the tags most often assigned to the blog’s posts.
  • The Text widget displays whatever the blog administrator can make it display, using text, HTML, JavaScript, and other sorts of scripts.

For information in greater depth, one place to start is the WordPress Widgets page in the WordPress Codex. That page contains links to some twenty other pages on topics relating to widgets. For professional WordPress website design Los Angeles can turn to my expert staff at DesignSpinners.

The Too Little-Appreciated Text Widget

If you’re a casual WordPress user, you can easily take the name “text widget” too literally, as if text widgets were just for entering and displaying plain text. They do that too, but in the hands of someone who knows how to write program code, text widgets have the versatility of a Swiss Army knife. They can handle HTML, XHTML, JavaScript, and the code used for embedding multimedia content from social media websites. With the help of certain WordPress plug-ins, you can even enable text widgets to run the sort of PHP code on which WordPress itself is based. For information in greater depth, you can start with what the WordPress Codex has to say about using text widgets. But for WordPress website design Los Angeles bloggers can also call on the professionals at DesignSpinners.

Joanna S. Tyler

Tahir Ismail has designed Peacepark.us to allow guest bloggers to post their unique, interesting and informative content for peace park readers. He does blogging himself and contributes to several blogs including peacepark.us

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