Adding Widgets to Your Template

Most templates offer the option of adding pre-made widgets to your site.  These may be things like: Flickr, so you can show off your pictures, Search, so people can search through your posts to find exactly what they want, or Twitter, which puts your most recent tweets on your blog. The options for displaying widgets are template-dependent; some templates offer 'widgetized areas' on the Sidebar (left or right), some may have them in the footer area. Also, as you saw in a previous lesson, widgets can be added directly to a block in the main body of a post or page. 

You should also keep in mind that a widget that is added to a sidebar will not be visible on page that is set to full width and therefore does not have a sidebar.

Widgetize!

To start widgeting, switch back to the twenty nineteen theme.

On the left navigation hover over and click the arrow on "Appearance," then click "Widgets." A disturbing number of pre-programmed widgets pop up for you to add. As you will notice, the only widgetized area for this theme is the footer. [footnote]there may be more depending on your template[/footnote] This is the only place you can add widgets. Drag the rss feed widget to the footer, find an rss feed such as the one referenced below, and provide whatever additional information that you think that appropriate such as title, date, etc. You have added your first Widget. When you preview your site the rss feed should appear as well.  BTW, if you are confused about RSS feeds, the one below loads articles from the New York Times Personal Tech section and you are welcome to use it. 

http://rss.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/nyt/PersonalTech.xml

If you don't see the widget you want, no worries, there are plugins for that. Visit plugins, click add plugin and search for the google maps widget. This widget will require you to get a free API key from Google, which is probably not worth the trouble for this lesson, but it does add a widget.

So far I have found two free plugins from different ends of the cultural spectrum that work well as widgets.  Bible Verse of the Day is a plugin with a widget that generates bible quotes. From the other extreme, a plugin named Joke of the Day Advanced, by Andy Corman, just made me laugh, and also works well as a widget, after a very short setup process.  With a bit of effort, you too can find another good functional widget 🙂

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