10 Cool Things You Can Do with Widgets

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Slides from presentation given at WordCamp Albuquerque on September 17, 2011.

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10 Cool Things You Can Do with Widgets

  1. 1. ten coolTHINGS YOU CANDO WITH widgets a ben byrne joint
  2. 2. INTRODUCTIONSWho am I? Who are you? Why are we here?
  3. 3. ABOUT ME 10+ years professional web experienceeverything from strategy to PHP worked with several CMSes firm has contributed plugins
  4. 4. YOU?
  5. 5. WIDGETS 101What they are and where they go
  6. 6. WIDGETS 101•wordpress.org says widgets are “things you use to personalize your site”•self-contained blocks of content/functionality•placed into dynamic sidebars*•may be highly configurable (or not) * need not actually be sidebars
  7. 7. COOL WIDGETSWORDPRESS COMES WITH
  8. 8. 1. CUSTOM MENUS• new with wordpress 3• great for sectional navigation• make WordPress a legitimate CMS
  9. 9. 2. RSS FEED• Leverage RSS: use other people’s content!• Lots of things are RSS, such as a Google News feed of a keyword• Keeps site current, fresh and useful
  10. 10. 3. ARBITRARY TEXT• As simple as can be• Often overlooked solution• Ultimate flexibility
  11. 11. COOL WIDGETSYOU CAN INSTALL
  12. 12. 4. ADSENSE ADS• Make money off your site!• Easy to set up• Example: Easy AdSense Pro
  13. 13. 5. POLLS• Engage your audience while you learn about them• Used by major sites (CNN, Slashdot.org, ESPN, etc)• Several plugins support polling users, such as UPM Polls and WP-Polls
  14. 14. 6. FOSTER DIALOGUE• Provide an avenue other than post comments for users to express themselves• Even realtime chat!• Plugins such as Shoutbox, FCChat
  15. 15. 7. HIGHLIGHT RELATED CONTENT• Avoid “dead ends” and increase page views• Can be done manually but that’s inconvenient• Example plugin: IGIT Related Posts
  16. 16. 8. BRING CONTENT IN• RSS is just the beginning• Flickr photos• Google Maps• YouTube channel• ...you name it!
  17. 17. ADVANCED WIDGETRYOkay, so that’s not a word. But it should be.
  18. 18. 9. ROLL YOUR OWN• If you can theme in functions.php, you can write a widget• Use the codex• Escape boundaries• Whatever you need
  19. 19. 10. GET FLEXIBLE• Whether in a true sidebar or not, widgets needn’t be everywhere.• Widget Context plugin is your friend!
  20. 20. WRAP-UPQuestions? Other examples?
  21. 21. CONNECT Ben Byrne ben@byrnecreative.combbyrne@newsignature.com facebook.com/drywall Twitter: @drywall

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