Justin Tadlock

Anybody want to test a new widget?

This widget has now been officially released. Go to the Query Posts plugin page for more information and to download.

A few days ago, I mentioned that I’d be releasing a beta version of a new widget. Now, I’m looking for people to test it out and provide insightful feedback on what they think about it.

This widget is pretty powerful in terms of what it can do. I’m not even sure if there are any widgets that attempt to do what this one does. Right now, it’s experimental. I’m hoping that by getting some solid feedback on it I’ll be able to refine it and officially release it.

What does this plugin/widget do?

The plugin creates a new widget called Query Posts. Basically, it allows you to grab posts and display them according to most of the query_posts() arguments. Right now, the widget has more than 30 various settings.

You can display posts according to category, tag, author, custom field, time, and loads of other arguments. Seriously. Just take a look at the screenshot (click image for larger view):

Query Posts WordPress Widget

Why create this widget?

I recently held a survey at Theme Hybrid to get a feel for what type of themes everyone wanted. On this survey, I asked a question about what areas should be widgetized. One of the choices was “I want all templates completely widgetized.” This was an answer I jokingly added because creating a theme that is completely widgetized is not really a viable option.

That choice pulled the second-highest number of votes.

If I were to create a completely widgetized theme, there’d have to be widgets that handled displaying post content. This is the first step in seeing how that might work.

While I am entertaining this idea as an experiment, I don’t believe themes should be widgetized like that. It takes away from the creativity of the theme designer in many aspects, but I won’t get into that now.

There are other practical applications for using this widget. Maybe something like adding asides to a sidebar or widgetizing a page template to allow for custom pages (for those of you unaware, the Hybrid theme has this page template).

Get the widget

Before downloading this and testing it out, please note that you should have a basic understanding of how query_posts() works.

I hope you have fun with this widget. Break it. Get annoyed with it. Report back to me with suggestions and feedback, please.

This is not an official version and is not for use on a live site. It is a test version. If you put it on a live site and it breaks your blog, then that’s on you. I doubt it’ll break your blog though.