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Sunday, 24 March 2013

What are Wordpress Widgets?

Definition of wordpress widgets

wordpress widgets
Wordpress widgets are plug-able items that enhance the features of a site. One can think of wordpress widget as a cassette that needs to be inserted into an available slot so that it performs it's functions accordingly. Here slot refers to the the widgetized areas that are available according to the nature of the wordpress theme being used.

Different themes have different widget areas , for instance a theme might support a widget in the header section, or a sidebar of the theme or maybe in the footer area of the theme. Most commonly, themes contain widget slots for the sidebars but wordpress provides with flexibility to custom integrate a widget slot anywhere in the theme, having said that, a bit of advanced knowledge is required to accomplish the required outcome.

You might want to Learn: How to Create a Custom Widget area in Wordpress Theme

Default Wordpress Widgets

Wordpress comes with a number of default widgets such as "Search Widget" that adds an extra feature for people to search the site for the topics that they are looking for. The search box will be rendered on a particular position of the the theme corresponding to the widget slot it has been inserted into from wordpress admin back-end. For example if the "Search Widget" has been placed in the right sidebar widget slot, then the search box will be rendered on the right sidebar of the theme. Similarly, every other widget will follow up with the same phenomenon.

A list of wordpress widgets include:

  • Categories
  • Calendar 
  • Meta Information 
  • Recent Posts Widget
  • RSS Feeds 
  • Text or HTML Widget
  • Site's Pages Widget
  • Recent Comments
  • Custom Menu

Other than default ones, extra widgets can be added by installing several plugins. For example a social buttons plugin will generate a widget which will render social buttons on the page. There are more than 3 thousand wordpress widget plugins that can be found on wordpress official site. One can imagine how useful and easy it is to just integrate widgets in a wordpress site with alot of flexibility , that is exactly what makes wordpress number one content management system around the world.

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