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  What are WordPress Widgets and Can You Use Them?  
 

Even if you are new to blogging, it’s likely you have seen some of the WordPress widgets in action on other people’s blogs. Things like autoresponder sign ups, calendars, “like buttons,” and much more are all part of the WordPress widgets that you can add to your blog to make it more appealing to visitors, and to help you as the site administrator. There are plenty of tools you can access.

Most bloggers do not have the technical knowledge or skills to make their blog do those neat little things like the widgets we already spoke about. That’s where WordPress widgets come into play. You find a widget that will do what it is you are seeking to do, then you install the widget, activate it, and follow the steps to customize for your blog.

To eliminate confusion between widgets and plugins let’s have a look. There is very little difference except from where you find them in your admin panel. You can think of a widget as a drag and drop plugin. They are very appealing to bloggers because you do not have to have any technical skills to use them, and there is no need to program them. Just drag and arrange your widgets just how you want to make your blog look exactly how you want it to. However, the widget must be placed in the sidebar, which makes it a little different than the plugin.

To use widgets the theme you are using must be widget ready, although with most new templates this is no longer a concern. There are hundreds of themes to choose from that are all widget ready.

Looking for ready to install and use widgets – you may be surprised to find that there are nearly 100 pages of these widgets found at http://WordPress.org/extend/plugins/tags/widget. Just upload and place in your plugin directory and you are ready to go.

You can install as many widgets or plugins as you like. There is no maximum. However, keep in mind that too many widgets or plugins can cause your site to load slow and that can be frustrating for visitors who may hit the back button and go elsewhere.

Best word of advice is to install widgets and plugins you are going to use. If you find you aren’t using a particular widget or plugin then simply uninstall it for now until you need it again. Installing and uninstalling is a breeze.






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