Getting More Out of Widgets!

Wow – thanks everyone. Your response, support and feedback has been incredible! We have set up this page to keep track of your feedback on what you’d like to see covered!

As you can see there are some really great topic areas to get us started. Which got me thinking! The Edublogger is about community, and helping each other. Perhaps you have already covered some of these topics in your own posts? Or you would like to cover a topic(s) in your own post(s)? Let us know by posting the link in the comments below, and we will let the community know!examples of widgets

Meanwhile lets start working through the list! Many readers express interest in widgets, so I have decided this is a good place to start!

What are Widgets?

Web terminology makes it so much harder when people are starting their online journey; suddenly you being bombarded all these foreign terms and widgets are a classic example! In simple terms widgets are mini web applications that you can put onto your website (i.e. blog, wiki, homepage) e.g. the Clustrmap on the side bar is a widget.

How To Embed A Widget

People use widgets to add extra features to their website. But be warned! Choose widgets for your blog wisely because they can clutter your side menu which will distract your readers. My list of “must have widgets” on a blog include:

  1. Search – so readers can easily search your blog
  2. Email subscription – for readers who prefer to be notified of new posts by email
  3. RSS feed – not all feed readers are able to detect the RSS feed from the site URL; this is why I add a Feed burner feed to my sites to make it easier for readers to subscribe
  4. Categories and Tag Cloud – to make it easier for readers to locate posts on your blog. We will be writing a post soon to explain the difference between categories and tag clouds; and why/how each is used

I also like to add a widget that links to information on how to be notified of new posts; to make it easier for new people to understand how to subscribe to blogs.

Edublogs Widgets

Removing WidgetsCould I Mess up My blog Embedding Widgets?

Don’t worry! Widgets won’t break your blog. Any widgets you add can easily be removed, and won’t effect existing widgets in your side bar.

To try out widget drag and drop the widget from your Available Widgets to your Side Bar, then click Save Changes and view your site. To remove a widget just drag it from your Side Bar back to your Available Widget area and then click Save Changes.

What Widgets Should I Add To My Blog?

Widgets are PERSONAL. We all have our favourites.


Many educators like to add Clustrmaps, especially those with younger students, because the students loving seeing the red dots grow as their readers, from around the World, visit their site.

Other common widgets bloggers use include:

  • Flickr – shows the latest photos you have uploaded to your Flickr Account
  • – shows the latest sites you have bookmarked in your account
  • Vod Pod Videos – shows the latest videos you have saved to your VodPod account
  • Google Reader Shared Items – for latest items you share in your Google Reader
  • Twitter – shows your latest updates from Twitter

Not all widgets can be embedded in Edublogs because some types of code and code that includes Java Script can cause problems. For example, you can’t embed a clip of your shared items in Google Reader because the code includes Java

Google Reader shared items

Script however you can still embed by using an RSS widget!

And if you want even more widgets, don’t forget you can grab some from Widgetbox! This video explains how to embed Widgetbox widgets into Edublogs.


For those struggling to embed widgets we hope these “how to” tips have helped! For everyone else we hope that you find these tips useful when demonstrating to new people.

Please leave a comment to let us know how you go, and if you need any help with widgets I haven’t mentioned.

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90 thoughts on “Getting More Out of Widgets!

  1. A big thank you to Sue and co for all the help =)
    I have a cluster map and a voki and a clock and I was feeling really proud till the year six members of the reading club said ……why are there no pictures on our site ? I recently took them on a tour of other edublog sites..BIG MISTAKE !
    So I now have to skill up on images …… one told me this blogging lark would mutate into me being almost as tech savvy as my son……….lead me to the images >>>>>>>>>>

  2. @Mrs Cunningham I’ve sent you an email asking for some more details e.g. link to the animated clock site where you got the code from so that I can try it on my test blog to see what the issue is.

  3. Ok now I am frustrated what page do I need to be actually on to get some tech help I am seriously considering deleting and starting again …..

  4. it disappears before you even get to see the remove box…..and I am now clocking up hours on something I feel is probably easy to remedy…..

  5. Ah mrscunningham I see your problem is unconnected to ClustrMaps… well, I hope someone can beam in with a suggestion! All I can say is that when you click on ‘Edit’ on any widget (including text box widgets) you SHOULD see an option to ‘Remove’ it at the very bottom. If you can systematically remove the offending ones (like the clock) until the problem goes away, and the re-add them one at a time, that should do the trick. On the other hand, if you do not even see the ‘Remove’ link then I’m not sure I’ve got the answer! Let us know how it goes…


  6. Sorry if I was unclear it is the actual text box that is giving me problems…when I click edit it does not open a window to add text it just disappears! I have tried and retried it won’t allow me to add any more widgets to my blog….and I can’t bear it ….hahah ok thats overly drammatic but grrrrrr I just can’t figure it out

  7. Hi mrscunningham… had a look at your shiny new blog (nice one!), but could not replicate your problem… it may be worth doing a few ‘controlled experiments’ to see if it is the position of the ‘voki’ that is causing the problem… ClustrMaps itself is really quite plain HTML, so I can’t see that as being related to your problem.

    Feel free to get in touch with us directly via our site if this problem continues.

    All the best!


  8. Ok so I got a clustr map and a voki on my blog…no problem however I came to add an animated clock and grr I added text it moves over to the right but when I click edit to put the code in it dsappears…please help!!!!!

  9. So, seriously, how do I fix up my Tag Cloud?? I’ve been trying to do it and i can’t seem to find the answer for my question. Can someone help me please?

  10. Hi Sue!

    I am thoroughly confused. I”m attending a web 2.0 conference and most of the other attendees are using blogger, which allows a lot of embedding of sidebar widgets, but, I’ve already switched to edublogs because it better serves my needs, but, I’m finding it much more difficult to navigate, especially the part about embedding widgets.

    I see that your tutorial directs us to go to “presentations”-> “widgets”. However, on my front page/dashboard, I do not even have a presentations button. I only have the options: “Write, Manage, Design, Comments, Upgrades”–is it the case that I need to upgrade to a new version of edublogs that is no longer free in order to embed widgets?

    Thansk for any help you might be able to provide!

  11. @Dick Apologies for my late response to your questions. I’ve sent you an email to explain. However if you click on the tag term Feedburner in the tag cloud in the right sidebar of the Edublogger you will find all the posts on how to add feedburner to your blog.

    @Katt Thanks for telling us about your blidget post (sorry for taking so long to say thanks). What I would like is one that showed nicely some text from the post.

    @Paula Most embed code for widgets you can now add directly to a text widget and it will now embed.

    @clustrmaps Thanks for working with and helping our community

    @Marketing en Internet Thanks I’m glad you liked the post.

    @Leighnewton you need to add tags to your posts. Read this post on the difference between categories and tags because it shows you how to add tags at the bottom of the post.

  12. p.s. by the way, Paula, there is NO effect that would result from being in Kenya… the ClustrMaps thumbnail map is very small and displays very fast – all the hard work is done on our own servers… hope you get it sorted out… let us know…

    -CJ 😉

  13. Hi Paula… there are two distinct sets of instructions here:

    The key is that you want to end up with a small amount of HTML code in the ‘sidebar’ of your blog, for example underneath where it says ‘Latest Post’ on your current blog. To do that you need to ‘add a widget’, which either of the two posted methods will offer.

    Have another go, and let us know how it goes.

    All the best,

    -CJ on behalf of the ClustrMaps Team

  14. I’m struggling to get the clustermap on my edublog wildstuff. I’ve followed all the instructions which I find quite confusing… but no map appears. Could it have something to do with slow loading speeds in Kenya?

  15. I just wanted to drop by and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your blog. I wish there had been a blog like this around when I started blogging. I just did an explanation of blidgets on my blog. I thought I’d drop by and (self-promote) let your readers know that if they want to know more about using blidgets on their blog, they can follow the permanent link to the post below.

    Keep up the great work!


  16. I’d also be grateful for guideance on how to put a feed burner on my blog. I want folk to be able to subsribe to my blog by RSS feed and I dragged the RSS widget into my left sidebar together with the google search widget. I saved this configuration. When I view the site, the google widget is visible but not the rss feed. As usual, I’m doing something wrong or have missed something blindingly obvious – but I don’t know what!

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