23 Responses

  1. Ian Stewart
    Ian Stewart Published |

    One thing that’s fairly common in Drupal themes is widget-izing the header. Makes it easy to add banner ads or images.

  2. Andrew
    Andrew Published |

    I have previously used widgets for each key section, i.e. header, post content, footer, etc, but I wonder whether widgets are really the best way to make this modular?

    I am not convinced that widgets are sufficiently flexible to get to the real meat of it, like moving around content within each post template.

  3. erica stjohn
    erica stjohn Published |

    I like having the top, bottom and sides widitized. Ok, that might sound crazy.. but as for the top I have one theme which could use widgets on the top and it would work much better – for that site. It doesn’t work for all the sites I use


    has sections at the top – Latest Post, Latest Comments and Popular. Now if those were changable being widgets and not handcoded…

    and same at the bottom. I would like to see a theme that uses a large functional footer with 3 widgets at the bottom (much like that example had at the top)

    Of course, naturally I like the right side widets.. left may be good too if it fit the theme..

    What would be neat in Visionary would be if I could add widgets between the feature and the excerpt blocks on like the home page. The XHTML section there is already awesome as it is. I like being able to customize that section like I did in


    but to take it a step further and have a choice of using the XHTML entry as it is – or adding 1 or 2 widgets.. or 1 widget of XHTML and one pre defined widget?

    I really really hope I have overwhelmed or bored you with all my 2cents on each of these posts.. I guess I need to slow down lol

  4. erica stjohn
    erica stjohn Published |

    Oh, and I LOVE being able to use different widgets on different widgets displaying on different pages. That is one of the things I love so much about your themes! (Visionary specifically). It makes all the difference in the world for me!

  5. mkjones
    mkjones Published |

    I’d stay away from the header and stick to sidebar(s) and the footer.

  6. JamesSpratt.org
    JamesSpratt.org Published |

    All of it. Seriously. The whole page should be widgetable. And AJAX-encrusted-move-aroundable-and-resizeable. That would be my ideal.

  7. J Mehmett
    J Mehmett Published |

    In my site I modify my theme to have widgets in anywhere I see its appropriate to add widgets. Below is a list of my favorite widget areas, but I don’t use all of these areas at once (on the same theme):

    1. Sidebar(s) – Whether its single sidebar or multi-sidebar.
    2. Fat footer.
    3. Below the header and above the rest of the content.
    4. Parts of the header (If the logo is floated left, I’d add right floated widget. And if logo is floated right, left floated widget).
    5. At the end of page.php and single.php just above teh comments area.
    6. Lower parts of index.php or home.php

    I know all those areas cannot be applied on one theme. But, I can use them on different themes.

  8. erica stjohn
    erica stjohn Published |

    Thanks Justin 🙂 I appreciate your comment! I worry sometimes.. yes, I do have many opinions and I don’t always hold back.. and it leaves me wondering if I just need to learn to hush more LOL!

    I do appreciate you work on the themes.. and more than anything the fact you appreciate the input from people using them. It makes you stand out as a theme creator!

    I do like the different widgets for different pages. Unfortunately, on my newest site I have not added enough content (or time yet) to play and change the widgets on each page. I still need to work on that because I do have ideas for different sections.. it is just taking me a while to get there. It is an excellent idea to have.. makes each section different and enticing. I wish more people used that as well.

  9. dinu
    dinu Published |

    most of the themes just put a header image and waste that really important space , ( wait !! even I am doing the same )

    wdgetizing header area will be a good idea … I want to put the most popular posts there 🙂

  10. cubus
    cubus Published |

    I often use Wordpress as a simple CMS to maintain smaller websites (5-10 pages + news articles / …).

    One thing I’m going to use widgets for myself is to customize the homepage of the website. The problem I’m facing there now is that I’ve to add too much static textboxes to the index.php template. And that the client isn’t able to change the content of them…

    Widgetizing these homepage content boxes would be a solution, but even then, I can only offer this to clients who are technically “savy” and know how to handle the widget section of a theme. (They will also need access to this part of the wordpress admin…)

    Besides that (maybe not really on topic) is that for the moment I lack the options to disable / enable certain widgets on specific pages. There are plugins who achieve this, but I think it should be default wordpress widget functionality.

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  13. Sat
    Sat Published |

    Hey Justin,

    Well I’ve read your manifesto, and custom fields articles, and feel like I know you a little bit! This quest for knowledge is from the beginning of the WordPress trail, and I’m looking for answers everywhere. To be honest, my head is spinning with jargon that has little meaning still.

    As a general question, what direction should I go if I want to really grasp wordpress.

    For instance, in reading the codex I find I still don’t understand how to creat new pages without posts on my site.

    Thanks for your moment, and welcome back to the US. I know from experience it’s a strange feeling returning here from a very different country after a year away.;)

  14. Alex Klimm
    Alex Klimm Published |

    Hey Justin,

    i don´t have an idea of new places for widgets, but i am looking for some idea for creating a social media newsroom on my blog, something like a press section. So this would be another fix site with widgets for social bookmarking, google news summarys, friendfeed-room and so on. how can I do this? I don´t want to change the page-template for all fix sites on my blog… thanks for your answer.

  15. Wayne Luke
    Wayne Luke Published |

    I always wondered why Wordpress themes didn’t have more widgetized areas. Advanced Drupal themes can come with a dozen or more regions where you can add blocks/widgets to completely customize your site. I have seen some Drupal themes with over 20 regions for this.

    Some areas for widget consideration:
    – mid-content on a CMS style to insert content after a featured article
    – one or more footer regions. I did see a Wordpress theme that had three widgetized columns in the footer.
    – Above the main content.
    – Below the comments.
    – Between the content of a page and the comments.

  16. Celilx44
    Celilx44 Published |

    I have previously used widgets for each key section, i.e. header, post content, footer, etc, but I wonder whether widgets are really the best way to make this modular?
    I am now your blog’ s follower thanks for this post.

  17. San Diego Web Designer
    San Diego Web Designer Published |

    I agree with many of you: widgets for top, bottom and both sides.

    But even more important I’d find a widget which enables you to sort your posts, pages and categories, and show and hide the ones you don’t want in the menu and nav bar.

    I always install the same 4 plug-ins for these very basic functions, and it would be cool if it would be already build in the widgets.

  18. San Diego Web Design
    San Diego Web Design Published |

    I agree with Erica above. I like the ability to have a different widget on different pages and also the ability to have different page layouts for different categories and pages. This would help to make the site more customized and not just the same page layout repeated everytime.

    Thanks for the posts and all the great repsonses.

  19. Brad C DMD
    Brad C DMD Published |

    Enjoy the article, trying to find a way to add a text widget areas above my posts for a daily thought. if you check out my website http://www.notjustaboringdentist.com, the area labeled Daily thought is a widget I added onto the main index page by validating it in the function area and inserting it where I wnated it into the page. The only thing I can;t seem to figure out how to do is separate it from the top post- if you look, you see it bleeds right into it. I tried altering the CSS, but I obviously don;t know what i am doing there. I created a new section under index and basically copied and pasted code from the sidebar area and changed the wording, but as you can see, no luck in cretaing that gray line. Any ideas?

  20. Sam
    Sam Published |

    Hi there.
    Just found this post.
    Finally out from under a rock.
    I use widgets in the sidebar much more than anything else.


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