Create Your Own WordPress Widgets on the Fly – Widget Builder Plugin


The Widget Builder is a brand new plugin that lets you create your own WordPress widgets through a post editor type interface.

Essentially, you have the same control to put whatever you would put in a post into a widget.

The Widget Builder in Action

Once installed and activated, there are no settings to play with. Simply create a new widget by going to the newly created Widget Builder link under your Appearance section. Once on the Widget Builder page, you can add a new widget by clicking “Add New Widget” at the top. You can also edit your already created widgets from this page.

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Creating a Widget

When you click “Add New Widget,” you will come to a screen that is essentially the same as the WordPress post editor (except without categories, tags, etc.). This is where you place whatever it is you would like to go in your widget.

After saving when you’re done, go to your normal widgets page (Appearance > Widgets), and you should see your newly created widget there waiting for you. You can then drop it into one of your theme’s widget spots as you would any other widget.

(Note: There will be no options on your widget. Whatever you’d like it to do, make sure you make it do that when you create it in the set-up editor.)

The Widget in Action

I tested my first widget out by putting a small image and then a fair amount of text with a link. I wanted to see if it would display everything nicely in my narrow sidebar. And it did.

I then tested a second widget by putting an image in the widget that I knew was too large for the sidebar space. I wanted to see if it would get resized automatically. It did.

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I then added a caption to the photo, and unfortunately, it didn’t resize it to the space. I also tried adding a regular sized YouTube video, and again, unfortunately, it didn’t resize the video.

So, it looks as if you may have to work with a few things if you want them in your own customized widget, but it seems this plugin is still valuable. Being able to add pretty much whatever you want in a widget of your own will give you flexibility that you didn’t have before.

Again, you can download the plugin here.

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Photo: Gear Icon on Internet Button Original Vector Illustration from BigStock

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Comments (6)

  1. As the plugin author, thank you for the review. I appreciate seeing my work in the field and in use. Do you happen to have a screenshot of the resizing caption and video issues you experienced? Initially this was developed for simplicity in mind without videos but I think that would be a valuable addition for an upcoming feature release.

    • Hello Timothy,

      No, I don’t have screenshots of those things, but you may be able to replicate them. For the video, I just pasted a YouTube URL into the editor. It appeared as if the video remained full size (but of course the space for it wasn’t). The same thing happened with the image with a caption — appeared to keep its original size instead of resizing. Don’t know if either of these things are affected by the theme at all (I was using TwentyTen to test).

      In any case, nice plugin.

      Joe

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