Justin Tadlock

If you were a WordPress theme developer: Widget areas

A few months ago, I wrote about how we could widgetize different areas of our site. Today, I want to ask everyone what areas should be widgetized.

This is the third post in my If you were a WordPress theme developer series, in which I’m asking users to give their feedback on how themes should work. We’ve already talked about page templates and 404 templates. So, add your input on those posts as well.

What are widgets?

Well, if you don’t know what widgets are, you’re either new to WordPress or haven’t came out from under your rock in some time. The WordPress Codex has a good explanation of widgets.

Basically, widgets let you dress up your blog with cool add-ons straight from your WordPress dashboard, which gives the average user a lot more control over what’s shown on his or her blog.

Typical themes will have a certain amount of widget sections, which lets you add widgets.

In most themes, you can only add widgets to your sidebar. Some themes have even branched out and added a footer widget section.

One of the best implementations of an advanced widget system is Ian Stewart’s Thematic theme. Even though it is a bit more advanced, it doesn’t add a lot of complexity for users. It actually makes it much easier to customize your blog. I would definitely recommend giving it a go.

What sections of a theme should be widgetized?

I want to branch out a bit more from the standard sidebar-only widget areas. As users, you might have a better idea about what would work great for you.

If you developed your own theme, what areas of the theme would have a widget section? Don’t let current and past trends hinder your imagination.