Ah… widgets! These teeny weeny yet extremely powerful pieces of code that allow you to practically manage your blog easier than if you were playing scrabble – simply lift piece off your palette and drop them on the desired position on your sidebars, and everything else just flows in place. Click “save changes”, and wallah! Your sidebar is generated automagically for you.
Perfect. I’m sure pre-school teachers would really appreciate it if they could line up their kids the widget style. 😉 I simply love them! erm… I mean the widgets, not the bunch of noisy pre-school kids.
Here are five great reasons for you to get started with widgets!
1. Its not that tough to configure afterall!
Don’t let all the technicalities of configuring drag and drop stuff stop you. Wigetizing your WordPress sidebar is pretty easy. Download the plugin, configure 2 files, upload them all, and you are ready to go. There is a great FAQ page to guide you through the process.
2. Configuring things using your browser makes it so easy.
Yeah, you don’t have to deal with all the HTML code any more! Drag, drop, configure and save changes. You’re done. No more need to search for the right code to copy, right position to paste, right file to upload and things like that. I know, some of you like these things (I’d secretly admit to that too – tweaking HTML code keeps me awake all night!), but no, definitely not when you start to get more websites up. If drag and drop can do the same, its time for me to let go.
3. The configurations and settings are stored in your WordPress database, not your theme files
One brilliant thing I love about widgets is that most of the configurations and settings of these things are stored in the WordPress database. This means that when you use the same theme on another blog, you will not accidentally use the same StatCounter code and mess up all your statistics by accident. Ever had that happening to you before?
4. Like it or not, the newer themes are widgetized
At least, that is what Matt said in the FAQ page.
… We’re making this plugin available now to see how the WordPress community likes it and to give people a chance to write widgets. If all goes well, this feature will be integrated into the standard WordPress distribution and any themes that don’t support widgets will, if you believe our crystal ball, become very unpopular very fast.
We’re sorry if that seems threatening. It hurt us more than it hurt you.
This will probably mean that there will be more standard Plugins today that will migrate to widgets as we go along. If you want to keep your Plugin functionality, you need to welcome the widget. Don’t like it? Go dig the code yourself. 😛
5. The functionality is endless
Thinking from a technical standpoint, widget technology is wonderful. Think out a little! You don’t have to stick widgets to sidebars. You can define a “dynamic_sidebar” practically anywhere on the page – how do you like configuring your blog header and footer, widget style? Don’t like a graphic? Drag it out. Like the search bar in the header, drag it in.
Of course, there are WordPress themes already doing that, you say… but themes are supposed to be “look and feel”, and besides, its a whole bunch of code, most of the time, which I haven’t taken time to figure out yet. Widget technology will help themes to stay really lean, and strictly to the look and feel.
Are you WordPress wigetized yet?