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Backstage at the Blog: W is for Widget

April 26, 2014

W © A Scenic Route-croppedI don’t think I’ve ever met a widget I didn’t like. These amazing mini applications do everything from display my mounting word count to help visitors find other members of my blogging community.

Where does one find these cute little buggers?

In the Appearance category! Just click the menu and the page loads to show the ‘Available Widgets’ on the left side of the screen. To activate a widget, simply drag it from the ‘Available’ column into one of the columns on the right side. And don’t worry about using them up. The ‘Available Widgets’ column always repopulates itself. I don’t know how it does that, maybe the widgets throw a party when I’m away…

Not This Kind of Widget!

Not This Kind of Widget!

Inside A Widget's Brain

A Peek Inside a Widget. Code courtesy of Critique Circle.

Anyway, each widget can be opened with the triangle on the right, where it will display all the knobs and wires boxes and menus inside.

I like a busy sidebar. Image and text widgets display everything from the disposition of my Muse to my myriad WIPs and their various stages of incompletion. Even my hard-won A to Z badge has earned a place on my sidebar. I also have the requisite Follow Blog widget, and the My Community widget is a favorite of mine as it displays the avatars of all my blogging friends. I even have a calendar of my latest blog offenses posts.

This kind of Widget!

This kind of Widget!

I know some bloggers find a crowded sidebar to be distracting, and I get that, but for now, having my badges next to my words inspires me to more confident blogging. Besides, they’re colorful!

Do you like to put lots of badges in your sidebar? Or do you prefer the sleek, minimalist look?Lady Robot



(Here’s your link back to the A to Z Challenge Sign Up list.)

Robot images courtesy of Cécile Graat @ stock.xchng

  1. April 26, 2014 9:10 am

    You’ve seen my sidebars – I like images and widgets as well!

    • April 26, 2014 11:03 am

      I remember when I first visited your website and was floored by the impressive array of badges and images! I wanted to have that many someday. 🙂

  2. April 26, 2014 9:11 am

    You have the most awesome widgets! Even though I use WordPress too (and I assume I have all the same widgets available to me), I don’t know how to do half of the ones you have. I especially love the progress ones. I also notice that I come up in the Community widget as a quilt piece. I need to fix that.

    • April 26, 2014 11:05 am

      It took me a while to figure out the widgets, but little by little I got them up there. I like that it’s easy to change them around once in a while, to reflect whatever I happen to be working on.

  3. April 26, 2014 11:18 am

    OK. I love widgets on other folks’ blogs and I use lots of them myself. I’ve always wanted to ask you where you found the wonderful glass button widgets you use for progress reports. (I created a couple in Photoshop, but I’ve never been happy with the results.) But, if you tell me your secret please remember imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

    • April 26, 2014 3:04 pm

      I get the secret code at Critique Circle, where they have a tool chest for all kinds of fun things like that. It’s free to join there, and I suspect some people join solely for that reason!

      I’m thinking it might be fun to include some of these tidbits in my regular blogging schedule. Something like the Weekly Widget … 😉

  4. susan permalink
    April 26, 2014 11:58 am

    I do use widgets. But frankly I’m lazy and can’t always take the time to add more. Oh right, this is my author blog which I put together at the spur of the moment. My real blog does show my badges on the sidebar

    • April 26, 2014 3:06 pm

      I know how widgets can take up time. 🙂 They’re just so irresistible!

  5. April 26, 2014 2:02 pm

    I love a good widget. Goodreads has some cool ones, as well as Nanowrimo. I wish I knew more about coding them.

    • April 26, 2014 3:08 pm

      I’ve been stumped by many a widget too. There’s one with a changing book cover that I would love to add, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how it works.
      There’s a learning curve on these, for sure.

  6. April 28, 2014 6:19 am

    W? How did you get to W already. I love the topic and the widgets. I’ve been out of internet reach for a while and now I have to go back to A and read the posts I missed. Thanks for my morning entertainment.

    • April 28, 2014 7:11 pm

      You’re welcome, Kristina! I’m glad you like the posts.
      This challenge has been a whirlwind, and I ask myself the same thing–how the heck did I post all these letters already?

  7. Loni Townsend permalink
    April 29, 2014 11:44 am

    I’m a minimalist myself. I have dozens of inactive widgets, that I’ve installed and then decided later that I didn’t like. I find myself glossing over busy screens, and I hardly ever take the time to look at the colorful badges. But I’ve always preferred simplicity. 🙂

    • April 29, 2014 7:50 pm

      I’m torn actually. I love seeing all my blogging buddies lined up along the margin, but at the same time I do love a clean layout. Fortunately, widgets are easy to reactivate if I decide to give the clean look a try. 🙂


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