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WordPress® All-in-One For Dummies® by Michael Torbert, Andrea Rennick, Kevin Palmer, Cory Miller, Lisa Sabin-Wilson

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Creating New Widget Areas

Many themes are widget-ready, meaning that you can insert widgets into them easily. Widgets allow you to add functionality to your sidebar without having to use code. Some common widget functionalities include displaying recent posts, displaying recent comments, adding a search box for searching content on a site, and adding static text. Even widget-ready themes have their limitations, however. You may find that the theme you chose doesn't have widget-ready areas in all the places you want them. However, you can make your own.

Registering your widget

To add a widget-ready area to the WordPress Dashboard Widget interface, you must first register the widget in your theme's functions.php file by adding the following code:

register_sidebar( array (
'name' => __( 'Widget Name'),
'id' => 'widget-name',
'description' => __( 'The primary widget area'),
'before_widget' => '<li id="%1$s" class="widget-container %2$s">',
'after_widget' => "</li>",
'before_title' => '<h3 class="widget-title">',
'after_title' => '</h3>',
) );

Within that code, you see seven different arrays. An array is a set of values that tells WordPress how you would like your widgets handled and displayed:

  • name : This name is unique to the widget and is displayed on the Widgets page in the Dashboard. It is helpful if you register several different widgetized areas on your site.
  • id: This is the unique ID given to the Widget
  • description: This is a text description of the Widget. The text that ...

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