What is a Widget?
By Top10 Staff
In short, a widget is a piece of code that is added to a website to enhance it, performing a specific function on the page.
A wide range of widgets are available for use on social marketing sites, web pages and blogs. They can be for entertainment only, or have a more useful function. Widgets can give viewers a weather forecast, a horoscope, figure out gas mileage, or perform some other task. They usually take up a small amount of space on the page and do not interfere with the main focus of the site.
There’s lots to gain by creating a widget for your website
For internet marketing purposes, widgets open up a whole new way to reach a market. Some social networking users add a widget on their page to show support for a person, candidate or proposed law. It’s like wearing a button on a piece of clothing, but instead wearing it online. It’s a great way to spread awareness and make your voice heard.
Not all widgets add value to your site. Watch this video outlining why.
Companies can also use widgets as part of their branding. Adding a widget for a company on a financial blog, for example, might give stock quotes. A travel site might have an airfare widget. A celebrity gossip site may have a hairstyle guide. Let’s say that the promoting company’s information is on the widget with a link back to their page. Anyone who visits the original blog, has a good chance of also visiting the widget provider’s page. Widgets can therefore help drive traffic in a predictable way.
Adding a widget to a page on the World Wide Web may encourage people to stay on the page longer. The financial blog may not be updated on a daily basis, but the stock quotes are updated live so there is more reason to return to the blog site. This will also boost the blog in terms of SEO.
If the widget is a fun game or novelty item like a fortune teller, it might motivate users to return to that page on a regular basis just to play the game or to see their fortune. It may sound a little tricky at first, but it is just another way to put a brand on the front burner. The results have been tallied, and widgets are a shrewd way to get web hits for many companies.
However, bear in mind that widgets can slow your website down. As this interesting and informative video from Google will show you, the user experience must come first.
Widgets don’t have to be just for an online web page. Desktop widgets like a calculator, weather forecast, calendar or sports scores are good for when people need to get a quick update, but don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for a page. With a simple click of the mouse, the information is close at hand. Language translators, sticky notes, currency converters and other handy information, can make life easier by being right on the desktop whenever they are needed. There is no need to look for bookmarked pages or get sidetracked with a search engine to find what is needed. The information is always there and the widgets update automatically when they are clicked for the latest scoop.
In recent years, widgets have begun to evolve. Most smart phone apps, or applications, are actually widgets. They offer quick ways to use search engines, play games or get movie information. There are literally millions to choose from. Whether a person wants to get updates on their social media or find out what their bank balance is, there is an app for just about anything.
There are a vast assortment of widgets available for blogs and websites. Before adding a widget to a website, it is important to make sure that a reputable company has created the widget. It would be disastrous to use code which turned out to contain malware or viruses. The worst possible thing a blogger or site can do is to add something harmful onto their site. Not only does that potentially damage the site itself, but it ruins your own reputation and credibility.
Take care to find the perfect widget. Then sit back and watch your traffic grow.
Want to read about more features? Check out this comparison of features.