How do they work?

The provider of the widget creates the code so it is completely self contained. It can be added to a website where it will work immediately, without the user needing any knowledge of how. This enables those building their own website to extra functionality very quickly.

What Types are available?

There are so many available that it would be impossible to provide an exhaustive list. But the following should give you an idea of the types you can find.

Graphics – Used to create banners, unusual fonts and animated images or text

Gadgets – Such as hit counters, weather forecasts, calendars and maps.

Entertainment – You could stream TV listings, daily quotes, interesting facts or even games

Social – Add links to your social bookmarking or networking pages such as Facebook or Twitter

Audio Visual – Why not stream your YouTube videos directly to your pages or even your music playlists.

There are vast libraries with every gadget imaginable. To see for yourself simply type “Widget” into any search engines and you’ll find pages of companies who provide them, usually for free.

How do you add them?

This very much depends on how your website is built. If your site is created by a website designer, and you don’t have access to add content yourself, then you will need them to add it for you. However if you’ve built your own website then you should be able to easily add them. You will need access to the code that operates your pages. If you have a site built on flash platform then you may be limited to where you can place your widget. Some website builders get around this by providing widgets already built in, but this can limit the choices of what you can use. If your website is built in HTML, the backbone of most professional websites then you will be able to add any widget to your site. This can be done by simply copying the code provided and placing it within the code of your page. This may sound daunting if you are unfamiliar with computer code, but there is an easy way to make sure the code in placed exactly where it needs to be.

If your website has an editor that allows you to type and add images directly onto your page then you can use it to mark where to place the code. In the position you want the widget to appear type a string of easily identifiable characters such as xxxxxxxxx. Then switch to the code view of the page, there will usually be a button that says Source or Show HTML. Look for the string of identifiable characters and simply replace them with the code. Once you’ve saved your page you should see your new widget come to life.

Source by Emma Watkins