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Introduction to Blog Widgets

What Are Blog Widgets and What Are They Used For?

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Blog widgets enable bloggers to add cool features, useful functions, and more to their blogs in an easy way. By definition, a blog widget is a type of web widget created to be used with blogging applications like WordPress, Tumblr, TypePad, and more. Bloggers who use the Google Blogger application also have access to a variety of widgets, which Google calls gadgets. Regardless of the name used, the reason bloggers use widgets is the same: to make their blogs better and ultimately, more successful.

What is a Blog Widget?

In simplest terms, a blog widget is like a mini software application created using portable code, which can be installed and executed in multiple software programs or applications. For example, the Amazon Associates widgets enable bloggers to add mini Amazon stores or lists of recommended products to their blogs by simply copying some code and pasting it into their blog templates.

In many blogging applications, blog widgets can be added, moved, or deleted very easily. For example, you might be able to drag and drop widgets to different locations on your blog or delete a widget entirely with a single mouse click. Furthermore, many blog widgets are highly customizable. Depending on your blogging application, it might even be easy to modify the code used to create the widget and truly customize the widget's appearance and functionality for your blog.

Types of Blog Widgets

Widgets can be created by the application provider. For example, WordPress themes are typically widget-ready, which means they come with popular widgets pre-installed, so you can pick and choose which you'd like to use on your blog. These widgets most frequently appear in blog sidebars or footers.

Widgets can also be created by third parties who want to add new features or functionality to blogs. For example, there are many third-party blog widgets that you can install on your blog to add cool features such as a countdown clock, games, puzzles, slideshows, and more.

How Blog Widgets Can Improve Your Blog

Blog widgets can turn a simple blog into an engaging website offering tons of features, information, and entertainment with just a one-time set up by the blogger. In other words, they enhance the user experience on your blog, keep people engaged, can boost visits and page views, and can even help you earn some money! What's not to like?

Consider the examples below which list ways some widgets that are typically included in WordPress themes can help your blog:

  • Categories: Make it easy for people to view older blog posts on topics of interest to them by including a widget that provides links to all of your post categories. This can increase engagement and page views.
  • Archives: You can also make it easy for people to view your old blog posts by date with an archives widget.
  • Popular Posts: Highlight your most popular posts in your blog sidebar with a widget that displays links to your best content. It's another great way to boost page views.
  • Recent Comments: Display links to recent comments on your blog posts. It's a great way to encourage more people to join the conversation.
  • Text: You can put just about anything you want in a text widget. For example, highlight awards you've won, links to your Twitter and Facebook profiles, ads, a link to subscribe to your blog's feed or newsletter, and so on.

In terms of popular third-party blog widgets, Twitter widgets, the LinkWithin related posts widget is a great example.

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