Jargon Buster – Widgets

Widgets???..... Aren’t they those plastic thingemygigs you get in the bottom of a can of bitter to make it froth up when you pour it into a glass so you can pretend you’re in a pub and drinking real draught bitter??
Similar name – but no… when you are referring to a widget within the world of website builders, it’s a completely different thingemygig altogether. Get yourself a nice pint of frothy beer and I’ll explain it for you!

Widgets… or Gadgets as they are also know are pieces of complete code which can be placed onto your website pages to perform specific functions. They allow you to add extra functions and customisations to your website without you needing to learn the whole language of code. Even better, widgets are commonly available free of charge.

What kind of functions are we talking about though?

With so many widgets available, it would be almost impossible to list them all. But some of the more common functions include: Graphics – such as animated banners or adverts. Gadgets - such as “how to find us maps”, hit counters and even weather forecasts. Entertainment – such as live TV listings, Internet Radio and Games. Social Functions with links to social bookmarking or network pages including Twitter and  Facebook. Audio Visual – where you can show your own YouTube videos directly from your web pages etc., etc., etc.

There are huge libraries available online with every gadget imaginable. Google has a whole section of free widgets, gadgets and functions available. Just type "Widget" or “Web Gadget” into any search bar and you'll see pages and pages of them, and they’re usually free. HOWEVER - It can be very easy to get carried away with such an enormous choice of functions and gadgets and you could end up with a website that looks like a Blackpool Amusement Arcade. Try to use restraint here and go for sensible and relevant functions, which will add genuine advantages to your website rather than something fun just for the heck of it which could detract from the real message your site is trying to deliver.

How do you go about adding them to your pages?

Your Reason8 website page editor makes it extremely simple to add widgets and gadgets with a button on your Editor Icon Bar called “Show HTML”. This button transforms your page view from “editor view” to show all the HTML code, which goes into creating the content on your webpage. When you click this button you will be faced with a terrifying page full of confusing code but don’t panic! There is a simple trick to help you paste your widget code exactly where it needs to go. 

Once you've copied your widget code, click on Step 3 and click to “Edit” the page on which you want your widget to appear. While you're still in the editor view, tab down to a clean line (P) and type “XXXXXXXCODEXXXXXX”. Set any alignment you want: left, right or centre. Now, click your “Show HTML” button and scroll through the code until you find <p>XXXXXXXCODEXXXXXX</p> or <p style="text-align: left/right/center"> XXXXXXXCODEXXXXXX</p> if you’ve set any alignment. Highlight the “XXXXXXXCODEXXXXXX” and paste your widget code in its place, making sure it sits exactly between the close and open brackets of the <p> and </p>. Be careful not to remove any of the brackets as they are important!

Now save your page, et voila! Your new widget should come to life. 

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