Update: This is the November 19, 2009 edited version of WordPress Widget Wizardry originally published September 17, 2006 by the same author.
What is a Widget?
In the everyday world the terms like gadget or gizmo are used to indicate helpful small devices, things or tools. In the computer world widget is used generically for a plugin that can be placed in your blog’s sidebar to conveniently customize, and quickly increase blog functionality, without requiring you to acquire any knowledge of html and how to edit a web page. See: What is a widget?
At the top of the page you will locate the Available Widgets. Once you have located a widget that you would like to use you simply click and drag and drop it into the Sidebar box on the right hand side. Place it in a position of your own choosing and, click Close and Save to activate the widget.
Widget Configuration Required
Some widgets do require configuration. Clicking the arrow icon on the top right hand corner will reveal that particular widget’s options. After you provide the required information to configure these options you click Save and Close on the bottom left hand corner hand corner of the widget to activate it.
No Widget Configuration Required
Many widgets DO NOT require configuration to become activated and new widgets are being added frequently.
Note 1: The whole Blogroll Links created will be displayed in alphabetical order in accord with the Categories you assigned to the links when you added them to your Blogroll in the admin area and have placed the Links widget in your sidebar box. It will not display until you have entered at least one link.
Note 2: The forgoing can likewise be said about the Categories widget. Your categories will not display until you have placed the widget in your sidebar box and have assigned at least one category to one post.
You simply click and drag and drop these widgets from the Available widgets and position them where you choose in the Sidebar box, click Close and Save and the widgets will be activated.
Text Widgets – can contain text, html code and small images of the your choice. See: Text Widgets