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Creating web widgets

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Monday April 9, 2007 )

Creating your own web widget isn’t hard to do using one of the many free widget services available – in fact, it can take as little as a minute! So what are web widgets and why use them?

Web widget is just a term for a syndicated content application drawing data from another site that can be embedded in a web page for display. When information is updated by the content provider, that update is reflected on all the sites using the widget.

If you run a blog or content site you can offer other webmasters a widget that will display the latest posts, articles, news and stories from your site. I’ve been doing this for quite a few years now with my article feed. It’s a very simple application that I update occasionally that delivers a full article on the sites that embed a snippet of code I provide (see end of post for link to the script).

Even if you don’t have a content oriented site, you can create widgets to deliver tips relating to the products and services you sell; and that can help draw people to your site when embedded on other sites.

As widgets have evolved and become more complex, the overhead associated with delivering the content has also increased. If you have a popular, intricate widget, it can bog down your server somewhat – and some hosts simply don’t allow for locally hosted widgets to deliver information to other sites through live syndication.

A plethora of widget providers have sprung up in recent years that will not only host your widget, but provide all the tools to create one.

It’s really easy to do – here’s one I created at WidgetBox that draws the headlines from this blog – it’s called a “blidget” and took all of about about 60 seconds to make.

If you click on the “get widget button; it presents a menu for grabbing the code to embed the widget on your site or blog. If you don’t want to create a widget, there’s a huge gallery of creations at Widgetbox that you can embed on your site free of charge that provide added fun, information and functionality for your site visitors.

Related:

Free script for viral marketing through content syndication



 

 
2 comments for Creating web widgets
  1. Hey there. Was reading your blog and noticed the subject of web widgets. I’m in no way trying to sell you anything but wanted you to be aware of a new Web Widget being offered by Box.net. It’s pretty cool stuff if you want to check it out, I’ve set up a free 1 GB account so you can play with the widget. http://www.box.net/early. Enjoy.

    Comment by Valerie — April 12, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

  2. Whoops, thought I had already replied – thanks Valerie!

    Everyone, I just posted a new item on web widgets here:

    http://www.tamingthebeast.net/blog/web-development/more-web-widgets-0407.htm

    Feel free to add your favorite widgets useful to other webmasters in that post thread :).

    Comment by Michael Bloch — April 24, 2007 @ 4:27 am

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