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What are WordPress Widgets, and why do they concern you ?




Originally developed by Automattic for the WordPress blogging software, Widgets are WordPress Plugins or add-ons to your WordPress blog sidebar. Starting from WordPress version 2.2, they are automatically supported and no longer need to have a separate plugin installed and activated, as was required for WordPress installations before Version 2.2. So how can these ‘Widgets’ help you ?
WordPress Widgets allow the easy addition of design elements, gadgets, content, images, and more to your WordPress sidebar to personalize your blog without knowing HTML, PHP, or any code. Many WordPress Plugins now come with a Widget version to allow easy addition to the sidebar. So, you can have a widget (a small UI in the Widgets section of the WordPress Admin section) that allows you to easily add some simple text to the sidebar, or a calendar, or listing of recent comments / posts, or an archive, or a category cloud, or easily add some JavaScript code, or RSS feed from other blogs or a Sitemap, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Sometimes you add a beautiful theme to your WordPress, but when you go to add some widgets to your theme, you find that you cannot Widgets. This is fairly simple to explain, a theme needs to be widget-supportive in order for you to use widgets. In such a case, you need to make a tradeoff between having widgets or retaining the theme. Typically, when you download a theme from elsewhere to use on your blog, the creator of the theme would already have mentioned whether the theme supports widgets.
Some details on how to create widgets, how to make you theme capable of supporting widgets, and numerous other stuff is all available on this WordPress Codex page (link). Now you must want to find out where you can get your hands on some useful widgets, well, here is the location ( link). You can find Widgets for many different categories such as management / admin, stats, comments, media (video / audio / photos), links, and other categories over here, and you can always find more widgets by searching through Google.
Where are these Widgets available in the Admin Interface ? You need to login into the wp-admin interface, then go to Design -> Widgets, and then select the specific sidebar and the widgets you want to add over there. It is fairly simple, and once you have done it, there should be no problems using Widgets on a regular basis.




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