WordPress

Ultimate WordPress Widget Configuration Plugin

In my opinion, one of the best things WordPress ever did was build widget support into the core. Widgets have been the saving grace for those that don’t like to mess with code but want to enhance their blog. However, there is still a lot that could be done to improve the way widgets work within WordPress. Where there are shortcomings in the core, there are usually plugins which step up and fill the gap. One such plugin is called Slayer’s Custom Widgets.

The following screenshots and descriptions are based on an unreleased version of this plugin.

While WordPress provides a way for users to enable/disable widgets, display which sidebar they appear in, and drag and drop functionality, WordPress does not provide a way for end users to configure where a particular widget is displayed beyond the sidebar. That is where this plugin really comes in handy. After installing and enabling the plugin, a new navigation menu will show up near the header of the WordPress administration area. This will take you to the plugins configuration page.

Once there, you should see a list of widgets that are currently active on your blog.

Clicking on one of the active widgets will take you to a page that gives you all sorts of options with regards to displaying the widget. For instance, you can have a widget be displayed on all posts but not pages. Or, you can have a widget be displayed on author pages but not category pages. Thanks to Slayer’s enhanced version, (1.2) you’ll be able to configure a widget to only display on certain template pages such as the singlepost page or the 404 page.

What does all of this granularity mean? It means that the sidebar in WordPress no longer has to display a static configuration of widgets on every single public page within WordPress. A great example of what you can do with this plugin would be to configure a slew of widgets to display only on the home page but when a visitor views a post on the singlepost page, the sidebar turns into widgets for related posts, tags, recent comments on that specific article, buttons to share the post, etc.

Every so often, a plugin comes along that makes me really excited. This happens to be one of them. The reason being is that for the longest time, I have harped on the fact that Widgets were being under utilized. I often describe how users of Joomla can assign modules to appear on specific pages or content types. Now, with this plugin, you can do the same thing in WordPress. When you have this level of granularity in configuring where specific widgets are displayed, it adds an entirely new level of fun and creativity to using WordPress. Not only that, but if this type of Widget configuration ever makes it into the core, Widgets for WordPress will see a major push in development.

Can you think of an example or two of why having this level of widget configuration would come in handy? Let me know in the comments.

Author: jeffc

10 thoughts on “Ultimate WordPress Widget Configuration Plugin

  1. All I can say is thanks!
    I messed with widget logic plug in all friggen day…what a nightmear…!
    When my client pays me, you are the first plugin donation I make!

  2. Just thought I would chime in here to let you know that we developed a similar plugin a few months ago and released it bug free after extensive testing. It provides a few more bells a whistles than the one described above.

    Here’s everything you can do with the Widget Locationizer:

    1. Assign widget to display via TAGS
    2. Assign widget to display via CATEGORIES
    3. Assign widget to display via POST/PAGE ID
    4. Assign widget to display EVERYWHERE
    5. Assign widget to display EVERYWHERE EXCEPT X, Y, Z, ETC.
    6. Assign NOFOLLOW OR DOFOLLOW

    Thus it provides you the ability to provide fresh interesting sidebar content and more relevant ads that can improve CTR and increase sales.

    If you’re interested you can find it here: http://tomuse.com/wordpress/widget-locationizer

    We are currently working on an extended version with much more flexibility that will be released any day now!

  3. I too was very excited by the potential of Slayer’s custom widgets – which i got from wordpress site. But 2 problems – with larger amounts of widgets it seems to have some issues – like ALL the widgets disappear. Both from widgets and Slayers admin. Second now that WP 2.7 is out even if you did getting it working, not compatible at all yet – throws big nasty error. WP so needs something like this – i anxiously await a more stable version.

  4. Widgets add functionality specifically to your blog’s sidebar, and so they can only be used in the sidebar.

    Plugins add functionality to WordPress in general, and are not constrained only to the sidebar. Therefore a plugin can affect any part of WordPress.

  5. damn it! we hit a rock which has the size of an iceberg! We fixed 3 bugs:

    1) the Authors section wasn’t updated if a new author was added
    2) only 10 posts were shown in the Posts section
    3) only 10 pages were shown in the Pages section

    now we have to figure out a way to make categories and tags(which are added after the plugin is activated) appear

    I deleted the release post to avoid confusion in case fixing the issue will take a longer period of time. As the plugin is 100% ready it will be released.

  6. Well…the official release post is up on my blog, but the download link isn’t because some last minute bugs were discovered and they need fixing(which will be done in the morning)

  7. I love the granularity this plugin provides. I use the Mandigo theme, which allows you to turn off widgets on content pages. But being able to put related posts & categories on a content page would be ideal. Looking forward to 2.7.

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