I’ve been spending the past few days reading up on and experimenting with WordPress Widgets. It’s a great way to accessorise your WP installation without having to mess with the theme files.
Installing WordPress Widgets is a simple and straightforward process. Be sure to read the README file that will guide you through it. Once you have the WordPress Widgets plugin installed, you should then read the documentation on how to widgetise your theme. You could also explore the WordPress Widgets blog for more widgetry goodness.
I absolutely love the simplicity of customising your sidebar via widgets. I’ve managed to replicate my old sidebar layout almost exactly using widgets. Of course, I needed to experiment in widget writing, so I created my first widget called HTNet Meta. It’s almost exactly like the default Meta widget bundled with WordPress Widgets, but without the cruft of linking the URLs to my site’s entries and comments RSS files.
After widgetising Tuned, I must say I’m quite happy with the results (not that there’s anyone else who’s interested in my theme anyway). The only widget I’m not totally happy about is the RSS widget that I’m using right now. Perhaps I should create one that integrates the functionality of feedList, my preferred feed display plugin.