Jan 23, 2008

What Widgets For Blogs and Web Sites

Web Widgets For Current Information - Instant Services...
Image From Stock.xchng by lusi

Lately I have been embedding web widgets, a small web based application of html/javascript codes, into this blog, and some of my social sites, such as my profile in myspace, and in mylot. Widgets can be of different forms, from small button types (e.g. Digg It, or del.icio.us, and blog directories images, etc), sizable advertisements (e.g. Google Adsense) to the more visually attractive larger banners and boxes. Widgets can display all sorts of current information - weather forecasts, world news, technology news, specific web site topics, web site statistics, world times, etc. Generally they display services or items of a global nature, or specific information within blogs, web sites, and profiles pages of social sites, forums, and other web based avenues.

Many widgets are customizable, in terms of colors, sizes, borders, titles, and even display recent thumbnails of recent signed up member visitors such as in mybloglog and blogcatalog widgets (as in this blog). Hence widgets can add a feeling of user- interactivity (or maybe worthiness for me) for blog owners, by displaying useful information, such as visitor numbers, countries, and by offering useful informational services to visitors. Some news sites, have a"rolling" type flash based widget, with current news posts rolling down or across - all in one spot. This saves the reader to navigate through the page or site, - so it's effective in this respect.

I know I have had more visitors to this blog (using Google Analytics) from my mypace profile, due to the effectiveness of widgets - they display the updated blog posts, with pictures and a subscription rss feed button. Feedburner, the enhancement for blogger based blogs, allows you to add such banner type widgets and rss buttons to inform visitors of the associated blog content. It's a good avenue to promote a blog or website. Increasingly becoming common are Youtube Video widgets, that are appearing in many blogs. Again, a focused method to attract and retain readers, as are the new widget based elements for the blogger layout template.

To get a widget, you copy the code from the relevant site, e.g. feedburner, youtube, or widgetbox, etc, and then place it in your blog or site. Though there might be only specific sections within social sites or blog platforms (e.g. html boxes, or element boxes), which might add a little difficulty in terms of exact placement. It's probably a good idea not too add too many widgets, because it will increase the download time for a site. Also I found, some widget codes can be quite long, and hence it's a good idea to create a table, then place the codes inside, particularly if adjacent widgets are to be implemented. This well help keep the codes isolated from other html codes that are present, and perhaps make them more visually presentable...


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