The wonderful world of widgets

As I delve deeper into this strange new world of blogging, I find more and more things I’d like to be able to do…but don’t know how to do.  I keep asking myself How did they get an e-book, newsletter and all those great pictures on their blog?

One of the answers I’ve found is:  Widgets

So here is my attempt at diving in to the wonderful world of widgets.

I found the following links to learn more about text widgets:

The Image Widget seemed far more straightforward than the Text Widget (but maybe my brain decided to stop working after visiting so may sites :) ).  I found two sites that helped me figure out how to add an image to my sidebar using the Image Widget:

So…what was the result of all of this?  A) an awareness of how much more reading and practicing I need to do to even begin to take full advantage of the Text Widget and B) a basic example that you’ll find at the top of my sidebar (My Personal Mantra), that used both the Image Widget and Text Widget.

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6 Responses to The wonderful world of widgets

  1. One thing which adds to the confusion is that there is a difference between wordpress.com and having wordpress software on your own host. The image widget is not there by default when you use wordpress on your own host. Of course you can add a plugin if you prefer to add a image widget http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/image-widget/. at WordPress.com you can’t add plugins, nor other themes than those provided.

    There are other differences and some things are the same. WordPress.com has rules against what you can link to /advertise on their blogs. When you host wordpress on your own host, you can do what you want.

    WordPress 101 for Boomers is instructions for the self-hosted wordpress, not the free .com, although many of the posts will be useful. Lorelle does great with wordpress.com. I had a friend with a flower blog on wordpress.com. Discussing various flowers, etc. End of each post linked to her florist shop. One day her site was frozen, she could add not more pages, etc. She was told to take off those links as they violated policy for the free blogs.

    Enjoy your blogging journey!

  2. Heidi: Thank you so much for your informative reply. My post was actually an assignment for a social media course I’ve begun and I wasn’t expecting to hear from “the real world” (smile)…but am so glad I have! I am such a newbie to blogging and WordPress (5 days and counting) that I wasn’t even aware that there was more than one WordPress option. You must have cringed when you read my post, as I went back and forth between self-hosted blogs using WordPress.org software and the free WordPress.com site that we’re using in our class…without realizing there was a difference (lol). I (and my classmates), appreciate the time you took to correct the misinformation I posted. Thank you again…and thank you as well for giving me an idea for another post for my class: the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org! Now that you’ve opened my eyes to it…I’m curious to know more.

    With gratitude,
    Peacefulmind307

    • No cringing. I’ve read tutorials from both, No problems with both. But important to understand there are a few differences. And most newbies don’t even know there is a self-hosted option.

      On Facebook today one friend was advising all business owners to get a wordpress.com blog to go with their business instead of relying on their facebook fan page. And to connect that blog to their business site. In this case self-hosted is best.

      One of the cool things about wordpress, if you allow that option, is it informs you when others link to your site in a post with a pingback. Some spam bots abuse it.

      The free .com site is a great way to get started learning. And WordPress has made many things so much easier. Should have seen it 6 years ago.

      You are doing fine. :)

      • Thanks Heidi. My classmates and I appreicate the time you’ve taken to respond and give further information from the “real world”. I did take a stab at explaining some basic differences between the self-hosted and the free (Bad news…good news…leads to this post http://wp.me/p2PRBU-1M), but the additional info you provided as a response to this post has been helpful. Greatly appreciated!

  3. I’m so thrilled that your social media class is having you use WordPress.com. There is a ton of learning to be had here not only on social media but web publishing – and you got some social on this already! Good for you!

    Yes, there is some difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, but you can learn just about all you need with WordPress.com. The commercial issue is one that raises its head occasionally. For Heidi’s example of the flower blogger, if the majority of content was about the flowers with very little about her business, in other words, more original content than self promotion, it wouldn’t have been an issue with what she put in a couple of text or image widgets. When the site’s intention is to promote another commercial site, or commercial intent on its own, it crosses the line.

    I promote my own books though my text widgets, as well as classes and workshops, but that doesn’t negate several thousand articles that have nothing to do with that. It’s a matter of perspective and proportion.

    Still, as you have learned, while people tend to dismiss blogs it is s door to a community and having your say that goes beyond other social media platforms. It helps you to write out your thoughts, ideas, and share your expertise with others. It allows you to share more than just words and pictures but all forms of media.

    Good luck with your class and with your blogging. You’re off to a great start.

    • Lorelle: Thank you so much for responding. Yes, it is quite exciting to “get some social” on my posts already. And I greatly appreciate the information you’ve provided in your comment. Hearing from someone who uses WordPress.com to promote their books, classes and workshops is exciting. And…not to sound like I’m brown-nosing (smile) but when I clicked on your name to see who the comment came from, I recognized you from the research I’ve been doing. Came around full-circle (smile).

      I did take a stab at trying to explain some basic differences between self-hosted and free .com (Bad news…good news…leads to this post http://wp.me/p2PRBU-1M). If there is anything you’d like to add from your real-world experience perspective, my classmates and I would love to hear from you.

      Thanks again for responding – very, much appreciated.

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