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What are Widgets

Updated on August 30, 2017

What You Should Know About Widgets

Selling online makes this important to know. What exactly is a widget?

They crop up on web sites, in blogs and even here on lenses (just check out the right hand column) but what exactly are they and how can you use them to advantage. This question puzzled me for ages and I refused to even look at how to use them until my experience with marketing online taught me that any tool is a good one if it helps make sales.

They can come in all types and sizes and whatever you sell you are bound to need to know all about them. Companies are now using them for their affiliates and encouraging their use. In this lens some of the ways they can help with marketing will be examined.

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Making Use of Them For Advertising Purposes

It can turn a simple web page into a money maker.

"A web widget is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation. They are derived from the idea of code reuse. Other terms used to describe web widgets include: gadget, badge, module, webjit, capsule, snippet, mini and flake."(cited Wikipedia). While this is an overall description it is probably too general to cotton onto the benefits of such.

Broken down into straight talk a widget is something usually created by a third party, such as a sales company or one employing affiliates who do the marketing for them. They can also be styled to suit a web page in design and space. Being encoded script they are 'live' and enable the 3rd party. be that the company itself, to display and update their information at any time without the involvement of the web master. This is great for refreshing products that either change in price or are replaced by something else. That means a huge saving of time for both and customers are never shown the wrong thing.

While a tick is not the normal type of widget display it serves the purpose as many would be tempted to click on it to see what it is about. That means that the badges are usually attractive and have something of interest displayed to tempt a reader to click on it. They can also be text ads, as those used by search engines to put ads on people's websites for which they get paid when others click on them.

This is in contrast to banner ads which are static and cannot be altered without being removed from a web page and replaced. This often happens in affiliate marketing and absorbs a great deal of time. If a Company stops marketing their products the affiliate then has to work over his/her site removing all banners, and so on. The widgets are simply closed down.

It Can Lead You to Another Interesting Site

Used by Squidoo

Check out the top of your lens and you will see a line of widgets which can take you to Stumble Upon, Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Digg, and so on. Once you arrive at these sites you can then publish information about your own. The bio picture of yourself is also a widget that takes people to your information page.

To show you the benefit of their power here are some widgets from a marketing site that I am involved with. This Company has thousands of products that take pages and pages of datafeed to dispplay. So they have come up with a shortened version of several that lead to specific items that a customer might be interested in. Take a look.

This site has widgets from general stores that take you right into their shops so you can peruse, with pictures, the products and get a full description as well. These stores bend over backwards to ensure good quality and customer satisfaction because they depend on sales from across the USA and often from International trade. They don't want to let people down because they are in the business of making things work.

It is a prime example of text widgets and banners and the benefits of one over the other.

Desktop widgets

Anyone Can make a Widget

Here's how

If you have an image and a site you can make that image live to your site with some simple code. The latest widget I created is this one for getting members to Squidoo. Its just a banner hyper linked to my referral code supplied to me by Squidoo. Take a look;

I'm a Squidoo lensmaster, and I'm inviting you to join me. Find and share recommendations online by building a lens. Click the widget below to get started.

You can come up with one of your own by either making a banner or getting an existing one. Right click to save the image and open it in Photoshop or its equivalent and add your own text.. Then upload it to your web site's web shell images box and put in the code to display it.

Do You Use Widgets? - Or did you know anything much about them?

Is this your first brush with a widget?

Widgets for Vista

Still images from Dreamstime - click here

© 2009 norma-holt

Do You Have An Experience to Share Using Widgets? - Or just leave a comment will do

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    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      7 years ago

      This is going into Margo's Ultimate Squidoo Library, How to Squidoo Branch

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      good info on this one, thanks

    • Davidfstillwagon profile image


      8 years ago

      Good information I really didn't know that much about widgets! 5* and fav'd. it

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Thanks for the advice! 5* and fav!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      8 years ago

      I'm exactly the same as Lizzy.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      8 years ago

      I need to come back to this lens when I have more time. I would like to put a widget at the bottom of my lenses promoting Squidoo. I've seen them on a lot of lenses but I didn't know how to make or get one.



    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      Greetings Norma, this was very informational. I am really new to all this computer stuff so I had an idea of what a widget was but nothing beyond that. I think may have to reread this a few times though to really get a grip on how to use them. :)

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      thank you for posting this resource. 5*****

    • LoKackl profile image


      8 years ago

      So practical. So informative! Your what are widgets could be called "everything you always wanted to know about widgets but were afraid to ask!" 5*/fav Thanks!

    • ZenandChic profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens on widgets!

    • Laniann profile image


      8 years ago

      You did a good job of explaining what a widget is. I didn't know that a widget could fall into so many categories. 5*


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