Widgetbox - Widgets Made Simple

A Compendium of Widgets

Widgetbox Widgets Made Simple
Widgetbox's menu makes it easy to transfer widgets. (Image of Widgetbox).

Widgetbox is a widget syndication website that allows people to create, distribute, and most importantly, to find and install widgets on their favorite start pages, websites, blogs or social networks.

This makes it a great place to start for those new to the world of widgets and wanting something fun to spice up their blog or social networking profile, and an excellent resource for those experienced with widgets and looking for a repository of portable code.

The Widget Gallery

The Widget Gallery is a database of over thirty thousand widgets that you can take and use on your blog or social networking profile. They are organized by category, from Blidgets, which are blogs made into widgets, to fun and games to communication widgets and informational widgets.

You can navigate the gallery through these categories, or by searching for the tag. But, perhaps the best way to search for a widget is through the tag cloud. The tag cloud will take into account the category and will narrow itself down as you click through the available tags.

Installing the Widget

The biggest barrier for those new to the world of widgets is the actual act of installing the widget, which usually entails copying a snippet of code and then finding out where on the blog or personalized start page you are supposed to paste it. This can be quite intimidating.

This is where Widgetbox really shines. After choosing a widget, you are taken to a page where you can customize the look and feel. Some widgets require customization -- after all, it doesn't do you any good to grab a text-scroller widget if you can't type in custom text for it to scroll.

Once done customizing the widget, installation can be as simple as clicking on the green Get Widget button. Widgetbox has automated the process of transferring a widget to many different blog hosts an social networking profiles, so putting a widget on your MySpace profile is only a matter of clicking a few buttons.

But not every site is automated. For those that still require manual installation, Widgetbox provides the code that works best with that site. It is then a matter of copying the widget's code to the clipboard and following the directions on the destination's site to find out where to paste the code. Fortunately, Widgetbox is working to automate the process for as many sites as possible.

Creating Your Own Widgets

Widgetbox is not only a great place for finding and installing widgets, but also an excellent site for those wanting to create and distribute their own widgets. This might be as simple as using the Blidget wizard to turn your blog into a widget, or as complex as hosting the widget on your own server while using Widgetbox as a distribution service.

For self-contained widgets that don't need anything more than HTML or Javascript, letting Widgetbox host the widget is the best option. For more complicated widgets that need access to a source of data, hosting it on your own servers is the best route. Widgetbox also supports Flash widgets and automates the process of installing Flash widgets into MySpace and TypePad.