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Which WordPress Widgets Would You Want?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the new WordPress Widgets on WordPress.com which allow the user to customize and accessorize their sidebar on Widget enabled WordPress Themes. It got me wondering about which WordPress Widgets would I want to have in my sidebar, and when the time comes, very soon, which elements within my blog I’d like to have Widget control over.

The idea of the WordPress Widgets is to allow the user to either add or rearrange different elements on their WordPress Theme without interacting with the actual template files or code. An awesome feature, this opens up a huge range of possibilities for the WordPress blogger, and for the WordPress Theme designer. It’s the start of a new era for Rubic Cube puzzle piece web page designs.

So which WordPress Widgets would you want? I’ll show you my list, if you show me yours.

I want to accessorize my sidebar with:

  • Related Posts
  • Flickr Images/Galleries
  • Category-related post random highlights
  • Random thought or tip of the day
  • Tag List/Cloud/Map

I want to accessorize my blog’s layout and design with:

  • Pages, search, and categories in the blog header
  • Graphics in the header
  • Text in the header
  • Anything that can go in the sidebar be able to be put into the footer
  • Choice of graphics to separate posts on multi-post views
  • Ability to set excerpts on multi-post views, assignable by type, such as front page, search results, tag results, and categories

I’m sure there is more, but that’s off the top of my head. So what’s off the top of your head? Which elements in a WordPress Theme would you like to have control over, taking advantage of the slicko new WordPress Widget sidebar accessories technique?


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

49 Comments

  1. Posted March 13, 2006 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Definately graphics in the header and flickr galleries.

  2. Posted March 13, 2006 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Widget for Asides. Flickr too, of course.

  3. Posted March 14, 2006 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    A site viewer for the user (user can choose which template he can see the blog – from the templates that the blog owner has pre-selected).

  4. Posted March 14, 2006 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    To allow the reader to control the Theme and design? Hmmm.

  5. Posted March 14, 2006 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Do people really want to do that? I can’t imagine a big hue and cry over not being able to decide how the site looks.

  6. Posted March 14, 2006 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if “people want to do that”, i.e. control the look of the website they are viewing. I know that “people want to do that” who tink around with web page designs. So it’s a need for the blogger to want to offer this to their readers rather than a need that readers want.

    Personally, I enjoy seeing what people come up with in web page designs. I certainly don’t want the “thrill” of control over another person’s website. I got enough things to worry about. ;-)

    Not that there is anything wrong with this. There are a lot of website designers who offer multiple choice web designs (switchable) on their websites to showcase their talents, and a lot of youngsters who love the gimmick. But a gimmick is a gimmick and only works when gimmicks work, certainly not all the time.

    =============

    I also came up with another thought about these WordPress Widgets. What about allowing customization through Widgets of our feeds? Huh? Sound like an interesting idea? I’d love to choose to include a copyright notice, the length of the excerpt, if the excerpt is used, whether or not categories or tags are included, and other little details.

    Can you tell that I’m reveling in the thought of total and complete control over my WordPress.com blog!

  7. Posted March 14, 2006 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    A cocomment blog box widget: http://www.cocomment.com/boxconfig

  8. Posted March 14, 2006 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I’d also like a widget that allows displaying of an RSS feed (would work with del.icio.us or any of its clones, LastFM, etc)

  9. Posted March 14, 2006 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    The WordPress Widgets on WordPress.com currently allow you to add feeds to your sidebar. My suggestion was to allow customization of the feed itself.

  10. Posted March 30, 2006 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I’d drop the lot in exchange for functioning Technorati Tagging and a WordPress (.org) import on WP.com

  11. Posted March 30, 2006 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    How about a mp3 player ala myspace?

  12. Posted March 31, 2006 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    How about the ability to have a theme chooser? I want to implement the theme switch capability but it’s not one of the built-in widgets currently implemented. Maybe I’ll have to look at this closer and see if I can do it.

  13. Posted March 31, 2006 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    In addition to the WordPress Administration Presentation Panel? I think the issue for the Widgets is for the user is to customize the sidebar. Are you talking about a widget feature to allow the visitor to choose the Theme they are viewing?

  14. Posted April 2, 2006 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Any chances of integrating my Google Reader feeds or starred items into the side bar? Can I do it already or should wait for the next wave of widgets?

  15. Posted April 2, 2006 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I like sitemeter stats.
    A widget that allows us to enter our sitemeter ID would let you control the java, and give us access to the in depth sitemeter stats that I use.
    WP.com Blog Stats is nice, but provides no depth…

  16. Posted April 2, 2006 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Proto: More Widget Wonders will be coming out, I’m sure of it. For now, just about any feed can be incorporated into your RSS Widget. See Customizing RSS Feed Links for WordPress.com and WordPress Sidebar Widgets.

    Steamdragon: That’s a great idea!

  17. Posted April 2, 2006 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    a poll widget. For daily poll.

  18. Posted April 3, 2006 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I’d like a Pandora (http://www.pandora.com/) box with my customized stations.

  19. Posted April 13, 2006 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    1. a PetFinder widget!
    too many homeless pets get pts for lack of loving homes.
    we need to show them to people.
    PetFinder has a javascript thingy to display your petfinder site’s pets, but it’s got a cgi thingy in it; doesn’t work properly.

    2. a google video widget, to display a video.google.com rss feed (the sidebar of results in vide.google.com)ie, the sidebar displays from the video.google.com in a wordpress.com site:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9148835273609878690&q=%22chow+play%22&pl=true

    3. a ‘live’ comments widget
    *4. rss feeds should look good in all the themes first. Rss feeds look mangled in my theme.
    this is really important. All wordpress themes should have a professional appearance.

  20. Posted April 13, 2006 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    5. a wordpress ‘print’ widget which people may press:
    Displays A Printable Version Of Your WordPress Weblog Post.
    ie Drew Vogel’s wp print converted to widget
    http://www.drewvogel.com/index.php/about/plugins/

  21. Posted April 25, 2006 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I’d like to offer another vote for Asides.

  22. Posted June 14, 2006 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I’d like to see an easy way to add RSS feeds.

    Len

  23. Posted June 14, 2006 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Add feeds? To your content or within the sidebar? If you want to add them to the sidebar, there is already a WordPress Widget for that. See Playing with WordPress.com New Sidebar Widgets. I have them in my sidebar right now. It’s super easy.

  24. Posted June 17, 2006 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    This prob isnt what you mean but i wondered if its possible.. I would like to be able to sleect which pages different widgets get shown on so that I havent different sidebars for different pages without all the fifflind with code :)

  25. Donna
    Posted September 15, 2006 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I’d really like to see a Creative Commons widget, since WordPress.com users can’t just cut and paste the auto-generated CC HTML directly into their blog templates, like you can on Blogger.

    And I agree with you that a quote/thought/tip of the day widget would be great.

  26. Posted September 15, 2006 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m just curious, but why would you need a widget for a Creative Commons icon and link? I have one in my sidebar links. It’s not a difficult thing to do. It’s no different from any other links. What would make it special for a widget?

    Copy and paste HTML usually includes javascript and badly formed tags. A link and a graphic is really simple.

  27. Posted November 15, 2006 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    I want widgets that would show daily pictures from RSS sources. Also it would be nice to have chat or IM widgets.

  28. Posted January 13, 2007 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Not that there is anything wrong with this. There are a lot of website designers who offer multiple choice web designs (switchable) on their websites to showcase their talents, and a lot of youngsters who love the gimmick. But a gimmick is a gimmick and only works when gimmicks work, certainly not all the time.

    In the Mambo and Joomla content management systems (Joomla originating from Mambo’s codebase), there is a module called Template Switcher, which does exactly what it sounds like. It’s included in every Mambo/Joomla install, and enabled by default. Now, for those who want it,

  29. Posted February 5, 2007 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    If you allowed html like iframes in the text widget, people could easily add third party widgets to their blogs. Or better yet create a simple once click API to do this like TypePad and Blogger.

    http://www.sixapart.com/typepad/widgets/developers/widget-api.html

    http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=53219&topic=8933

  30. ali301
    Posted March 8, 2007 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    thanks a lot

  31. Tony
    Posted May 4, 2007 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I strenuously second Danno’s motion!

    I’m going up the way trying to figure out an easy way to have different sidebars on different user-created pages via MANAGE>PAGES in the dashboard.

  32. Posted June 14, 2007 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    i really need such a theme chooser like I’ve found on demo page of wpthemesplugin

    http://demo.wpthemesplugin.com/

    visitor can change the themes used from a dropdown list

  33. Posted June 14, 2007 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Theme switchers are available as WordPress Plugins not Widgets.

  34. Posted June 14, 2007 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    thanks lorelle, I’ve found one :)

  35. Barbara
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    1. Twitter Widget
    2. Google Video Widget
    3. Random Picture Widget

  36. Posted January 15, 2008 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised I’ve not been able to find a HTML/Java widget similar to the one at Blogger.com. If anyone knows of one a reply here would be welcome

  37. Posted January 15, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    @ xlcr:

    Since I don’t know specifically what you are searching for, as a text Widget will put text and HTML and even Javascript into the sidebar of a Widget-enabled WordPress Theme on a self-hosted site, and you can edit the WordPress theme to put whatever code you want into your Theme’s template files – just not sure what you are looking for.

  38. Posted January 16, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the reply. I’m using Prosumer for this blog, which is widget enabled. I understand that text widgets should handle html but when I use html and drag the widget to the sidebar nothing appears on my self hosted site. Same code works fine in Blogger html widget. This is my first blog using WordPress so I might be doing something wrong. Probably am.

  39. Posted January 16, 2008 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    @ xlcr:

    I assume “Prosumer” is a WordPress Theme. Therefore, I recommend you contact the Theme designer and ask them about this issue. You could be doing something wrong with the code, but they will be the ones to help you. If not, try the WordPress Support Forum.

  40. Posted January 16, 2008 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for that – will do.

  41. trixie
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Widgets for Shelfari, eSnips and An Inconvenient Truth.

  42. Redazione
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    this kind of widget: a per-category block with the latest post-per-category (selected by admin) and above the latest title-post before. The latest post need his icon with a syntesis of the text (n chars + “More…” link).

    Dunno if this already exist, but I am searching it and coul be very usefull for me. Let me know about…

  43. hapedad
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    How about a subscribe widget that allows me to have posts sent to an email address or better yet, as a text message to my phone….

  44. Posted July 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Well, to be honest, I’d love a mp3 player, for Lord’s sake, and a shoutbox ;__; I’m tired of searching and searching. All mp3 players and shoutboxes are done with flash and javascript which wordpress.com strips, both in posts and sidebars widgets.

  45. Posted July 29, 2008 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    @ Selene18 “The Spicy” Darkside & Zuster:

    You can embed MP3s into your blog post, so why bother with putting them in the sidebar? A player is a player and most people have players built into their computer’s operating system, so why bother hosting one?

    As for shoutboxes, many can’t stand them and call them clutter. They are often disconnected and used by abusers and spammers.

    However, if the demand is high enough, then they will often come through. Create a grass roots demand for WordPress.com members to ask for this in the WordPress.com forums and you might get your wish.

  46. Posted September 27, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    The most irritating aspect of switching over to a new theme is, when activated, your widgets – installed over a long period of trial and error – are gone. Why can’t they give the options right at the start to say ‘this new theme is ONLY with two columns with ONE/TWO side bars or something like that ?

    There are many like me who are no geeks but at the same time understand a thing or two, whose blogs are visited by tens [not hundreds]?

    http://badaga.wordpress.com

  47. Posted August 8, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    SHOUTBOX! SHOUTBOX! SHOUTBOX!

  48. Posted July 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I want to use the “Writing tip of the Day” widget, but WordPress won’t accept it because it’s in Java script. My web page, I paid to be able to customise it, you’d think you could add something as simple as that. I may have to swap back to Blogger where I have more control.

    • Posted July 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Being able to use JavaScript has nothing to do with “control” on your site. It is a security issue. Anything that interferes with the underlying code impacts millions of people on WordPress.com as we are all interconnected through the use of WordPress MS, the Multi-site version of WordPress that runs all this. Impressive!!!

      Whatever you wish to use with JavaScript can be done in plain HTML. Do remember that all of us, paid to customize or not, are on a free web hosting service (the hosting is free) and must obey the same WordPress.com Terms of Service. I’m sorry you didn’t read it when you signed up – it’s funny and an easy read.

      I’ve found that automatic scripts aren’t as fun nor helpful to your readers than your words. Why not use the future post feature and do your own tips of the day posts and set them to release one a day or every other day for months on end. I love making WordPress work for me. :D


9 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Here’s a nice wish list from Lorelle.  I’m sure we’ll get to all of them.  Rome wasn’t built in a day. [...]

  2. [...] I’ve been playing around with the new WordPress Widget plugin (that was released yesterday)… Desperately wanting to make one before a ‘widget gold rush’, I was reading about “Which WordPress Widgets Would You Want?” on Lorelle’s blog… a Tag List/Cloud/Map is mentioned, so I remembered that Matt Kingston had a WP plugin called Weighted Categories. [...]

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