Welcome to the fifth step in our free self-paced course to help you set up your own personal or professional educator blog!

The aim of this step is to:

  1. Explain how widgets are used on personal educator blogs.
  2. Introduce you to the commonly used widgets.
  3. Show you how to change widgets and add widgets to your sidebar.
  4. Introduce how categories and tags are used.
  5. Show how educators use categories on blogs as part of their ePortfolio.

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What are widgets?

The term widget refers to any tool or content that you add, arrange or remove from the sidebar(s) of your blog — these are the blocks that make up your sidebar.

Not all blogs have sidebars so not all blogs use widgets, however, they are quite common and useful. The Edublogger is an example of a blog without sidebars.

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How widgets are used

Widgets are used for a wide range of purposes including:

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Examples of widgets

Check out these personal educator blogs to see how widgets are used on their blogs:

  1. Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day
  2. Kathleen Morris Primary Tech
  3. Kevin’s Meandering Mind
  4. Teacher Reboot Camp
  5. The Principal of Change
  6. BlogWalker

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How to add widgets

You add a widget as follows:

1.  Go to Appearance > Widget.


2.  Click on the arrow on the desired sidebar to open up the sidebar (so you can add the widgets).

3.  Drag the widget from the Available Widgets into the desired sidebar.

You drag by clicking on the widget with your left mouse button and moving the widget.

4.  Drop the widget when you see a dashed line appear — this indicates the widget is in place.

Add widgets

5.  The widget will automatically open — just configure, click Save, and then Close.

Widget video tutorial

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How to remove widgets

You remove a widget as follows:

1.  Go to Appearance > Widget.


2.  Click on the small arrow on the right-hand side of the widget you want to remove.

3.  Click Delete.

This returns the widget to the Inactive Widget area.

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Overview of available widgets

Here’s a summary of the main widgets you’ll find in your dashboard and what they are used for:

Archives Used to organize your previously published posts by month. Handy for readers who want to browse for older content. To save space on your sidebar, change the configuration to ‘Display as a dropdown’
Blog Avatar Used to display your blog avatar (uploaded via Settings > Blog Avatar).
Calendar Displays links to your posts by date on a calendar. Can’t be used as an Events calendar.
ClustrMaps A simple widget for quickly adding a ClustrMaps to your blog sidebar. It’s added when the Widget plugin is activated in Plugins.
Custom Menu Allows you to display pages, categories, and custom links with a single widget. To use, you first need to set up your custom menu in Appearance > Menu.
Email Subscriptions A simple widget for adding email subscription to your blog. When readers sign up, they get an email to let them know when you’ve published a new post.
Links Used to display a list of links in your sidebar. It’s commonly used to share your favorite blogs or websites with your readers.
Meta Simple widget for easy log in and log out of your blog, to access your dashboard and to locate your RSS feed.
Pages Displays a list of your pages in the sidebar. Commonly used for themes that don’t have page links in the top navigation.
Recent Comments Displays the most recent comments left on your blog by readers.
Recent Posts Displays the most recent posts you have published. This makes it easier for readers to see what’s new on your blog.
Search Adds a search box to your sidebar that makes it easier for readers to search the contents of your blog.
 Tag cloud Displays a cloud of the tags that you’ve assigned to posts. It helps your readers quickly see what topics you write about.
 Text Allows you to add text or embed code to your sidebar. This is a very useful widget because you can use it to add content from other sources to your sidebar using their embed code (Note: only available on Pro or CampusPress blogs).

Some widgets are also added to your widget area when you activate plugins.

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‘Must have’ widgets

When adding widgets think about does it add to your blog OR does it distract readers from your posts? You need to have a balance between widgets and your blog content; you want people to read your posts!

Sidebar clutter is a good way of convincing first time visitors NOT to subscribe to your blog. The trouble is, sidebar clutter creeps up on all of us.

The key is to focus on ‘What are the most important things you’re trying to achieve when someone visits your blog?’

The main aims on your personal blog might include:

  1. Making it easy for readers to know what you write about and to find content.
  2. Encouraging readers to connect with you on your social networks or subscribing by email.

You do this by placing the most important widgets near the top of your sidebar(s) while removing any widgets that aren’t needed.

Here’s our recommended ‘must have’ widgets for personal blogs listed in order from the top of your sidebar:

  1. Search widget (unless it’s part of your theme header)
  2. How to connect with you on social networks (see an example of this on Sue Waters’ personal blog here).
  3. Subscribe by email (find out more about this in step 10 of this course)
  4. Categories widget
  5. Some people also like to display the most popular posts from their blog and/or a text blurb/image to introduce themselves (check out the example on Kathleen Morris’ blog).

With all other widgets, you need to balance your personal desires with minimizing sidebar clutter.

Class and student blog widgets:

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Introduction to categories and tags

Tags and categories are used on posts to help readers locate information in different ways. Categories are like chapters of a book; they provide a general overview of the topics you blog about.

Tags are more like the index at the back of the book and explode the topic into a million bits.

Another analogy is like shopping at a clothing store online. You’ll see different broad categories like men, women, children, baby etc. Then each of those category pages will have more specific options like dresses, shirts, pants, sleepwear, swimwear etc. Think of these as the tags.

Here’s an example of a post with the categories and tags displayed at the bottom of the post.

Anatomy of a post

The use of tags is entirely optional (although each post must be attached to at least one category).

The categories and tags are displayed in your blog sidebar using the categories widget and tag cloud widget. You can also sometimes see tags and categories near your blog post title or under the post, depending on your theme.

When your readers click on one of your categories or tags, a page loads with all posts that use that tag or category. Well organized categories and tags can make it much easier for your visitors to find content that interests them.

Here is a summary of tags of categories:

The differences between tags and categories -- summary Edublogs

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Setting up categories

You want category names to be unique and descriptive so your reader understands the type of subject matter they will find when they click on the link. (e.g. a category game of ‘other’ or ‘random’ is not ideal).

As a general rule, you tend to limit the total number of categories you use on a blog. Perhaps have 5-10 total categories that all your blog posts can fit into. Then assign 1-2 categories per blog post.

All posts need to have at least one category but tags are optional. The default category is called ‘uncategorized’. This is not ideal. You can change the name of your default category by going to Posts > Categories.

On a personal educator’s blog you might use categories such as:

  1. Using images
  2. Global collaboration
  3. Mobile devices
  4. Digital citizenship
  5. Leadership

And your tags might be things like Creative Commons, public domain, Twitter, Facebook, iPad, tablet, Student Blogging Challenge, internet safety etc.

You want to avoid having the same name for a category and a tag.

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Categories and ePortfolios

Increasing numbers of educators now use their blogs as their ePorfolio. We are also seeing more educators document their achieving of teaching standards on blogs.

For example, in Australia teachers are encouraged to document their evidence to show the work they did to meet the criteria set out by The AITSL Teacher Standards. Some teachers do this using their blogs, and assigning the appropriate AITSL Teacher Standards, when they publish a post so they can use a custom menu to send posts to different pages on their blog.

If you look at Jarrod Lamshed’s blog you’ll see a link to The AITSL Teacher Standards in the top navigation and when you hover your mouse over The AITSL Teacher Standards you see a sub-menu with links to each standard. Clicking on a standard takes you to all the posts assigned the category e.g. ‘Know Students’ takes you to all the posts assigned the category Know Students.

You’ll see a similar approach on Paul Heubl’s blog. If you look at George Couros’s Principal of Change blog you’ll see Principal standards documented.

Standards category

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Planning your categories

Here are our tips on planning your categories:

  1. Think of categories as if you were listing the chapters at the front of a book.
  2. Make them descriptive enough so your readers understand the subject matter you’re writing about.
  3. Ideally use 10 or fewer categories under which all of your content can neatly fit.
  4. Aim for each category to be about the same length (to look visually good in the sidebar)
  5. But don’t stress too much! You can always edit them again later!


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How to create categories

You normally add categories to posts before you publish them using the Categories module to the right of your post editor.

All you need to do is select the checkbox next to a category you want to use.

Categories and tags

You create a new category as follows:

1.  Click on the + Add New Category link.

2.  Type your new category in the Add New Category text box

3.  Click Add New Category

Categories and tags

You remove a category from a post by unchecking the checkbox to the left of that category.

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Add Category widget to your sidebar

Now to complete the process, all you need to do is add your Category widget to your blog sidebar via Appearance > Widgets.

You can also change the title of the Category widgets to a title your readers relate to like:

  • ‘Posts by Topic’
  • ‘Things I Write About’

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Link to categories using a custom menu

A common question we’re asked is “How do I send posts to multiple pages on my blog?”

This is done by assigning different categories to posts, such as teaching standards, workshop, professional development, presentations, and then use a custom menu to create links to each post category in the top navigation of your blog.

You’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to use categories with a custom menu here.   We’ve used an example of a class blog where teachers want to use one blog for multiple classes or subjects —  but it is the same process for setting up an ePortfolio on a personal educator’s blog.

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Set up tags

Tags can be displayed on your blog as a tag cloud; clicking on a tag name will take your readers to all posts tagged with that term.

The larger the size of the word in the tag cloud, the more posts that have been tagged using that term. Remember, your tag cloud displays your top 45 tags.

Find out how to add the tag cloud widget. 

Our advice for tags are:

  1. Tags are normally short, one or two words, and are generally keywords from the post
  2. Choose terms readers would be likely to use if they searched your blog
  3. Make sure they are terms your readers can relate to
  4. Limit them to one or two words
  5. Ideally add 2-10 relevant tags per post (don’t use more than you need)
  6. You don’t need to come up with a list of tags ahead of time. When you’re writing your post, you can click on ‘choose from the most used tags’ on the right-hand side of your blog editor.

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How to add tags to posts

Tags are normally added before your publish your posts by typing your desired tags in the Add New Tag text box and then clicking Add.

Tag module

You can add tags one at a time by clicking the Add button or hitting the Enter on your keyboard after typing each tag.

Or you can add multiple tags at a time by separating them with a comma as you type.  If you forget to add a comma between your separate tags the system considers the words to be one tag.

Adding tags

To remove a tag from a post just click the X to the left of that tag.

You can also choose from your most commonly used tags by:

1.  Clicking on Choose from the most used tags.

2.  Now click on the tags you want to assign to the post.

Tag widget

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Add tag widget to your sidebar

Now to complete the process all you need to do is add your Tag widget to your blog sidebar via Appearance > Widgets.

You can change the title of the Tag widgets to titles that your readers relate to like:

  • ‘Posts by Tags’
  • ‘Tags’

The larger the size of the word in the tag cloud the more posts that have been tagged using that term.

The Tag Cloud widget displays a list of your top 45 tags that you’ve assigned to posts. 

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Add widgets using embed code

You can add any other widgets you find online by pasting their embed code into a text widget in your sidebar. This is for Edublogs Pro and CampusPress users only to prevent misuse by spammers.

This is how you add widgets from Twitter, PinterestShelfari BookshelfFlag Counter, Google Calendar and so on!

You add widgets from other websites as follows:

1.  Grab the embed code for the widget you want to add.

Copy the embed code

2.  Go to Appearance > Widgets.

3.  Drag a text widget into your sidebar.

Add Text Widget

4.  Click on the text tab in the text widget.

Click on Text Tab

5.  Paste the embed code into the text widget.Twitter embed code

6.  Click Save and Close.

7.  You should now see the widget in your sidebar.

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Commonly used visitor tracking widgets

Some educators like to use tracking widgets on their personal blogs.

Tracking widgets

Here’s a quick overview of the most commonly used visitor tracking widgets:

ClustrMaps ClustrMaps is a thumbnail hit counter map widget that shows the geographical location of all visitors to your blog. Number of visitors from a location is indicated by the relative size of the dot. Clicking the ClustrMaps thumbnail takes you to a large World map so you can examine your traffic sources more closely. Here are detailed instructions on how to add a ClustrMaps using the ClustrMaps widget.
 Flag Counter Flag Counter widget shows the total number of visitors from each country next to the country’s flag. Every time someone from a new country visits your site, a new flag will be added to your counter. Clicking on the flag counter takes you to your Flag counter page which provides more detailed charts and information about your visitors.
Revolver Map Revolver Map displays all visitor locations and recent hits live and in realtime on a revolving globe of the Earth. A click on the widget opens the live statistics page.

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The link widgets

Links widgets are commonly used on a personal educator blogs to provide links to blogs they like to read and resources— they are designed to readers find websites easily.

The most common type of link widget you’ll hear mentioned is a blogroll. Bloggers commonly use blogrolls to list their favorite blogs. Blogrolls help readers locate other blogs worth reading — you are saying “these are some blogs I like which are worth checking out!”

Blogrolls used to be a standard feature on personal/professional educators blogs but some bloggers prefer not to use them now due to the size of their networks.

Here’s how you create links to websites or blogs:

1.  Go to Links > Add New.

Add New

2.  Add the name of the website or blog to the Name Module.

3.  Add the URL to the Web Address module.

The best option is to copy/paste the URL from the address bar of your web browser (you’re less likely to make a mistake).

4.  Select Blogroll in the Category Module or create a new Category then click Add Link.

You use different categories if you organize your links in different locations in your sidebars.  

Once you’ve created the links, you add them to your sidebar by adding the Links widget (via Appearance > Widgets).

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Commonly asked questions about widgets

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions we receive about widgets.
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1.  I’m trying to remove a widget and I can’t find it listed in my sidebar in Appearance > Widgets.  How do I remove it?

The most common reason why you may have trouble removing a widget, or see two of the same widget on a blog, is if some of the widgets have been hard coded into the theme. Any hard coded widgets can’t be removed.

NotePad Chaos is an example of a theme with hard coded widgets. Pages, Categories, Links and a What is this Place are all coded into the theme.

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2.  Why don’t the categories I set up in Posts > Category display in my Category widget?

Categories and tags on posts are used to help readers locate information in different ways. When your readers click on a categories link on a post or in your sidebar, it loads a page with all posts that use that category.

Categories won’t display in your category widget until the category has been assigned to a post.

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3.  Why are some tags in my tag cloud widget larger than others?

When your readers click on a tag link on a post or in your sidebar it loads a page with all posts that use that tag.

The larger the size of the word in the tag cloud, the more posts that have been tagged using that term.

The Tag Cloud widget displays a list of your top 45 tags that you’ve assigned to posts.

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4. Why doesn’t my calendar widget show the correct date?

The calendar widget creates a calendar in your sidebar with clickable links to your blogs posts for particular dates. Dates that appear in bold type indicate dates you’ve posted.

It doesn’t let you setup a calendar of events. It’s only used is to display links to your posts by date.

If you want an Events calendar we recommend you add a Google Calendar to your sidebar or embed it into a page.

Alternatively, if you want to add a simple calendar use this Monthly Caldendar.

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Your task

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation on blogging by undertaking one or more of these tasks:

  1. Look: Visit some of these educator blogs then leave a comment on this post to tell us which widgets on their blog you would use on your blog and why.
  2. Add: Now try adding some widgets to your blog. Leave a comment to let us know what widgets you added and share a link to your blog so we can have a look at your new widgets.
  3. Post: Write a post on what you would include on your list of ‘must have’ widgets for personal educator blogs. Or reflect on what you have learned about widgets. Don’t forget to add categories/tags to your post! Leave a comment with a link to your post so we can check it out.

Also feel free to leave any questions you are having (or tips/advice) as well.

How to leave a comment: Scroll down to find the comment box. Write your comment, then enter your name and email address (email addresses are not published). Enter the anti-spam word. Press submit and we will moderate your comment ASAP.

130 thoughts on “Step 5: Working With Widgets

  1. I decided on a minimalist approach to my sidebar (for the time being). Rather than risk it look overwhelming I have just left my blog avatar. I am still trying to work out how to have my personal bio embedded with the avatar just like in this great blog: http://www.kathleenamorris.com. I feel that putting a face on your blog will help readers connect more with the blogger, especially for parents who will be my target audience.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Lee. It’s an interesting topic about putting your face on the front page or sidebar of your blog. I know a lot of people are shy about it but personally, I love seeing who the owner of the blog is straight away and it helps me connect to their content more. That’s why I do it.
      If you want a blurb underneath your image, try dragging over a text widget and putting your photo and writing in there. Let’s know if you need more help!

      Great theme choice too!

      Kathleen Morris
      Edublogs Community Manager

  2. My students found this to be a challenging step. I said I learned by just playing around with widgets. I showed them a few widgets that I used. Then we went through it step by step together on how to add widgets.

  3. For step 5, I added some new widgets to my blog. I really liked how I was able to organize my widgets in a way that felt right to me. Some new widgets that I added to my blog was recents. This is hepful for people who view my page to see my new posts. I also added a search bar and flicker images. I am going to play around with my new widgets and add more later.


  4. Hello,

    For step 5, I played around with adding widgets and added a search bar, a widget for recent posts, a calendar widget, and also one for an image of a quote that I love. I will probably take one of these out and add some other widgets. I had a difficult time figuring out which ones to add, but I am happy with the ones that I have on my page for now.


  5. I would include a link to a twitter feed account and probably a flag counter but the audience of my blog live within a 10 mile radius

  6. After visiting some of the blogs linked above, I would definitely want to have a Connect with Me widget and possibly an email subscription widget. However, I do believe that less is best, so I will most likely keep it minimal.

  7. I’ve added a few widgets now. I had no idea how to add badges, so learning about the image widget was a huge help!

  8. I like the “add this” widget for people to share my blog and a link to “connect with me” on some other educator blogs. I will be exploring a flag counter like others have said in these comments, but I want to be careful not to cram too much into my site. I like what was said in one space about aligning pages or categories as an eportfolio, so I revised my page titles to reflect the tenets of university work: teaching, research, and service (though I like professional partnerships better).

  9. I have added a few widgets to my blog. I am finding the flag counter exciting as it shows how many views my blog has had and also the countries they are from. I have embedded my twitter feed and also the tags cloud. Obviously, they are all the same small size at the moment as I don’t have many blog posts yet. I have also added the usual ones: recent posts, recent comments, archives, categories and a calendar.

  10. The list of educator blogs you refer to doesn’t have librarian bloggers other than Gwyneth Jones, and she doesn’t use widgets at all on her blog, so I visited The Adventures of Library Girl, by Jennifer La Garde, http://www.librarygirl.net/.

    She has a visitor stats widget, a search this blog widget, and a “most popular posts” widgets, all of which I will include in my blog. In addition, she has a text widget where she sets out the Creative Commons copyright for her blog. That one is definitely an important one to include, both to establish her intellectual property and to model for students.

    My blog is https://alwaysunfolding.edublogs.org. The widgets I included are:
    – AddThis
    – search
    – recent posts
    – custom html with my Creative Commons license
    – archive (although I’m thinking I want to remove this one until I actually have something to populate it!)

    Now that I’m looking at my sidebar, I think I want to change my theme again. The current font seems a little fussy. Hmmm.

    1. Hi Kayley,
      While most themes have the widget area on the left or right side, the theme you have shows widgets in the footer area. Please choose a different theme for this, in most cases it can be seen in the preview if the sidebar is on the left or right e.g. Bhari or Chicago.

  11. Hello!

    I’ll do the tasks 1 and 2.

    1. I visited Larry Ferlazzo’s blog – http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/ – and liked the video widget on the footer. I intend to use it because I think it is very useful for students to “see” me “acting” and “talking” with them, not just by text and images. In addition, videos engage the audience.

    2. I added the video widget in footer 2. The my Blog URL is http://quimicae.edublogs.org/


  12. 1. From the shake up learning blog she had a widget about her favorite products. I could see myself using this as resources that I think would be beneficial towards educators. Another widget that I saw on a lot of the different blogs was the search widget. I feel that this is an easy way to find things when you start to have many posts on your blog. I could also see this as being beneficial on my blog to allow my readers to find different posts or resources easily. Another widget that I found on a lot of different blogs was the archives. Again, similar to the search widget, but if you are not sure what to search for you can just use the archive widget to look back at all the different posts that have been shared.

    2. http://alansblake.edublogs.org/ I added some widgets to my blog. They are located at the bottom of my blog. I think that they will be helpful to the viewer that visit my blog.

    3. http://alansblake.edublogs.org/2018/10/09/to-widget-or-not-to-widget/ here is the link to my post about my thoughts on what I have learned about widgets.

  13. When adding widgets to my sidebars, I wanted to avoid clutter. I did choose to add my avatar. I think Kasey Bell’s avatar is particularly iconic; when you see it, you always think of the great work she does connecting teachers to tech. (My own is just my picture–not nearly as exciting.) I also added the categories and recent posts widget to help my students find posts more easily, though so far there is only one. I really like the Blogroll widget for adding links. I hope to add more links to blogs that my students can connect with. You can find my blog here: http://atchisonh.edublogs.org/

    1. It’s looking great, Heidi. I love that you have an image of yourself on the sidebar. I think this is really a key way to help readers make a connection and remember who you are!

  14. Please visit my blog post on adding widget. The post link is:

    I had already created some of the must have widgets while creating other posts.

    After visiting the recommended blogs as well as blogs from comments section of these post, I added Google Translator, twitter and Subscribe me widgets. To keep my blog clutter free, I decided to eliminate about me & my image. I already had decided not to include my avatar on sidebar.

    My blog post also includes links for Dan Gallagher’s blog, http://gallaghertech.edublogs.org/ , Sue Fitzgerald’s blog, http://unpretentiouslibrarian.blogspot.com/ and Cindy’s blog, http://thissideofthird.edublogs.org

    Will you please make sure the credits I gave them in my post is sufficient? I also have left them a note & link to my blog on their contact page.

    Thank you.

    Mrs. Trivedi-Ziemba

    1. Hi Purviben,

      You are doing so well with the challenge! I have left a comment on your blog. Your links back to Dan, Sue and Cindy are fine. I’m sure they’ll be honored that you mentioned them.

      Keep it up!

  15. Hi! I had help a few months ago adding a state widget/image of Iowa…and so I had support–it was done for me. Now I want to add the Global Read Aloud clip image in my library as a widget to my side bar, but don’t yet know how to do this.

    Please let me know specific steps on how to achieve this.

    Thank you very much!


  16. Help please!!!
    I have tried several times following the directions carefully to add my latest posts from Twitter widget and each time it does not appear showing several tweets It says Follow me on Twitter and then My Tweets which appears to be a link but does not go anywhere

    1. Hi Jo, I am open to correction, but clicking that link seems to automatically subscribe me to your blog. When I clicked the link, I received and email saying I had subscribed to your blog.
      I am not familiar with that particular plugin, so am not sure whether it should show a twitter feed.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      1. Hi Eugene
        The Follow me on Twitter is just under the WordPress subscribe to the blog and above the Follow on Facebook The Twitter widget is the only one of the three which is not working and displaying properly. It should show the most recent five tweets from my Twitter timeline.

    2. Jo, I remember, when installing my widget for the Twitter Feed, I had to choose from “all,” “Favorites,” “Retweets,” or some such. I chose Favorites because then I could decide what shows up in my widget area.

      I can’t remember how I did this, but there was some selection button.

      Hope this helps. Michelle


  17. After looking at the recommended blogs I found that I have already included several of the widgets they use but I did find a few more that I would like to add.
    These were
    share my blog with your network
    visit my other blogs
    I have now added these
    My gravatar image
    Facebook like widget
    Follow button
    Twitter app
    Widgets that I would consider to be essential ‘must haves’ are search, tag clouds and archives. Recent posts and recent comments and others are useful and contribute to the appearance of the blog.
    My blog post about adding widgets can be found at https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/2015-edublogs-teacher-challenge-step-5/

    1. Hi Jo, I see you have added widgets to your home page. If the theme allows, I suggest you add widgets to your posts and pages too to enhance your site visitor experience.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  18. I added a shelfari widget to my blog to help members of my state organization know what book is being read for the national members –> it’s called JEA One Book. I’m tempted to put a whole bunch of other books I’ve read, but I need to maintain my focus of being the president of a state organization with a focus on helping members know about the activities and benefits or membership. I’m happy about adding this widget, because I participate in reading the books chosen by the group, and this allows me to share what I get out of it.

    Michelle Harmon

    1. Michelle, your sidebar is starting to take shape. Well done!
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  19. Sue or Edublogs Team,

    I tried the Links widget, but I thought I was going to be able to name my own links. Instead, it listed several Edublog links that I didn’t intend for my blog. Is the Links widget adaptable to links I want to share to my audience? How do you share important links for a blog?


    1. Hi Michelle, those links are set up as default to provide examples of how the links work. In your dashboard go to Links > All Links to view these links. You can edit and delete these links accordingly.

      To add your own links, go to Links > Add New. If you plan on adding lots of links, add categories to your links. This makes it easier for your blog visitors to find the information they are looking for.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  20. I am about 3/4 the way through Challenge #5. Since my school newspaper uses School Newspapers Online, based on Word Press, some of the widget, sidebar, and such are familiar to me. I do feel more confident now. I continue to play with the order of widgets on my blog sidebar, and I’ve tried to upload an image for the background of my theme (because I continue to have angst over how dark the background is). However, it breaks up background images and I’m thinking I’d be better off finding some wallpaper. I dunno . . . !

    What do people include in their footers?

    1. Hi Michelle, your footer widgets are based purely on personal preference. Generally though, custom menus, contact details, social media details, etc, are placed in the footer area. Look at http://edublogs.org/ to get an idea of what to place there.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  21. I’ve spent a good deal of time looking over the widgets, then I had to re-evaluate my theme! After placing widgets I learned more about the restrictions on some themes and how to edit others.

    I was confused at the first about why there are two sections of widgets – under Appearances (which you reference) and under plug-ins. Can I add different widgets to the list under plug-ins?

    1. Hi Terresa, you are so right; there are so many factors to consider when choosing the perfect theme, not only for your content, but also for what you are trying to achieve with your blog.
      There is only one widget area, under appearance. Some widgets are activated in the plugin area. They then become visible under Appearance > Widgets.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  22. Thanks for the info about widgets, it has helped me to get a better understanding of what they are and how they work. I wanted to keep my page simple and uncluttered so only have a few widgets – search,recent posts, recent comments, archives and subscribe by e-mail. I am now going to explore the links widget as I would like to add a link to our main school blog page on my year group page.

  23. HI! I have been trying to get a special one/widget that I have seen on the following blogs:


    I can’t get it…I even tried contacting the one “fifth in the middle” teacher…Diane:

    She (Diane Roethler dlzillman@gmail.com) said, “I’m not familiar with edublog. Let me check into it so I can get you what you need…”

    On Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 8:33 PM, ChelleBelle wrote:

    ChelleBelle has left a new comment on your post “Educational Blogs by State – Midwest”:

    Hi! I have an edublog site and need a widget code to get my Iowa state on my site. Please help me with this! Michelle

    and thanks!

    1. oops–forgot to mention the widget is a little clip of the Iowa state, and it says “I’m an Iowa Blogger.”…thanks for any help you can provide!!!


    2. ​Hi Michelle, I hope you don’t mind, I took the liberty of placing the image in the sidebar. You can follow the steps below to see how it was done.

      First right-click on the image you wanted and save it to your PC.
      Next, create a page, and upload, and place, that image on to that page.
      Select the “text” tab so you can see the code. Copy that code.
      Go to your widgets, and place a text widget in the sidebar.
      Paste that code in to the text widget.
      Your image will now show.

      You can now drag and place that widget where it best suites you.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      1. Wow! I hadn’t seen this nor the e-mail…but as I was looking at my blog with my class of Kinder and First Grade kiddos this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see “Iowa!” “Wow,” I exclaimed, “–I did not do that! …But I did ask for help on-line!…looks like I got it!”–…knowing you must have done this! My students were excited…and puzzled…too!

        Thanks so much…Fantastic! I may consider doing the classroom/student blog…but my kiddos are still working on becoming independent writers..

        Thanks again! Michelle

  24. I have several different widgets setup on my blog. Most are image widgets with a few being actual ThingLinks, but I also have a ClustrMaps and PayPal Payment widget. I display on the second sidebar the various badges, Categories and Recent Posts widgets. You can see them here: http://gallaghertech.edublogs.org/

  25. This was a very helpful lesson. I have never totally understood widgets, and never had the time to figure them out, when in truth I have been using them for years. I went over how to add a Twitter widget, and it was eyeopeing. I believe I can do it, but just need the extra help and time (which is very hard to come by) to get it done. I am so very far behind in the challange, and I know I have missed every single deadline, but I am so glad I did not give up and stop doing it, the information in this one lesson alone has been worth ignoring all my delays and coming back to this challange now that I have a bit of time to focus on it. Thanks.

    1. Hi Laura,

      There was a time when I first started blogging that I was afraid to admit I had no idea what a widget was! So don’t feel bad. Once you know what they are and how easy they are to add to your blog, they can be very helpful. Glad you’re sticking with the challenge even if finding the time to do it is a challenge in itself. I hope you keep learning new and helpful things, but don’t hesitate to let us know if you need any help.

    1. Hi Penny,

      Glad you’ve been enjoying the Teacher Challenge! I’d agree, when getting started blogging, some of the terminology of plugins/widgets and pages/posts can be confusing. Very nice comprehensive post you wrote on these past steps of the challenge!

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

  26. I really liked the Shelfari & Pinterest widgets and added them to sjgslmc.edublogs.org. I already had a couple of others: Twitter & tag cloud. I’m starting to feel much better about the blog. I am having one problem that I can’t resolve. I think it would look better if the entire post showed on the main page, but there is just a summary with a link to the full page. I went to the settings for reading and the full post is check marked, but it does not seem to be working. I would really appreciate some advice.

    @StJoeLibrary; @LbrDragon

    1. Hi Donna

      The setting in Settings > Reading controls how the post displays in the RSS feed and not on the homepage of a blog. The appearance of the homepage is controlled by the theme.

      The theme you are using is designed to show an excerpt of the post on the front page. Personally I prefer full posts on the homepage.

      It is worth considering changing themes as your current theme isn’t mobile friendly and is designed to be viewed on a computer whereas many of your readers will view on a mobile device. Would you like us to suggest an alternative mobile friendly theme that you might like?

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  27. There are so many neat widgets that I would like on my site using the embeded links, but I cannot do that because I am not upgrading to Edublog pro because I cannot afford the extra cost at the moment. Currently, I just added the google calendar.

  28. I played around with the widgets this morning. I have the “must haves” there. I also have a GoodReads widget. I really like the reading challenge widget on Kevin’s Meandering Mind, but I’m going to wait until 2015 to set mine up for the year. I also added a badge from the TeachThought 30 Day Reflective Teacher Challenge.


    1. Hi Heather

      Definitely have the ‘must have widgets’ but I’m wondering if the search widget would look better above your About widget as it may make your follow widget stand out more. I personally would remove the calendar widget as you already have the archive widget and the default calendar widget is only designed to display the dates posts are published.

      Long term it might be worth considering a custom domain for branding purposes.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  29. I really like how Larry’s website has widgets showing what he is currently reading. I had a go at this with a book I read and found very inspiring by Will Richardson. I would love to add a blogroll to my site – but I have so many! How do you pick? I think I need to revisit and find ones I keep going back to before I add to my bookmarks. My new feedly account will hopefully help with this.

    I am planning on leaving mine fairly simple at the moment – I have recent posts, clustermaps, tags, bookmarks, add this share, and an image widget.If you have an add this widget does anyone think a subscribe by email widget is also needed?

    Some websites have a little “About Me” in the sidebar as well (such as Primary Tech and Larry Ferlazzo). Is this done through the text widget or is it a feature of a particular widget or that theme?

    1. Hi Candice

      Subscribe by email widget is important for readers who are less tech savvy and prefer to read posts by emails. I would always include the subscribe by email widget near the top of the sidebar because you never know which readers prefer to subscribe by email.

      It isn’t part of Larry’s theme. We added the About me text to Larry’s sidebar using a text widget with HTML code. You can do similar using the image widget – http://help.edublogs.org/image-widget/ Give the image widget a try and if you don’t like the look let us know and we will add it for you using HTML code in a text widget.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  30. I added a blog avatar widget today. It was a little frustrating as I didn’t want to crop the image that I had but it would not upload unless I cropped it. The bottom of my picture is cut off. I want to add a Twitter widget but I cannot find it listed in my widget list. Can you please provide me some direction on how to do this? Thank you.

    1. Hi Shannon

      Avatars can be frustrating because avatars are generally square and I can never find a photo that works perfectly square. Your avatar looks good!

      The alternative option would be to try the image widget – http://help.edublogs.org/image-widget/ You may be able to use a rectangular image if crop and resize it before uploading to the widget.

      You need to add Twitter using the embed code in a text widget as per these instructions – http://help.edublogs.org/adding-a-twitter-widget-to-your-blogs-sidebar/

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  31. I added the Calender widget. I have Recent Post and Recent Comments widgets. That’s all I could have for free. I love the Social Media widgets a lot. Hopefully when I get a chance to upgrade it, I’ll add all the awsome widgets like ..twitter feed, facebook page, visitors count etc. http://aaishazclass.edublogs.org/

    1. Hi aaishaz

      The alternative for now is you can add links to your social media accounts using a text widget in your sidebar or by adding links to your About page.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    1. Hi Lisa

      I’ve adjusted the order of your widgets slightly as better to have the subscribe by email widget near the top. Hope that was okay?

      Thanks for mentioning the Reading challenge widget on Kevin’s blog. Hadn’t checked it out before. It is a widget from Goodreads. Very nice widget!

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  32. I took it a little easy on this challenge. I already had a few widgets on my blog but thought I would add my Twitter feed. I put it on its own page trying not to clutter the main page. It does not appear to be working though. I get a link to my Twitter account instead of the actual feed. I went to Twitter and l copied the widget as it stated and it showed the previews but it does not appear to be working. Any thoughts?

    I will work on adding more but again, don’t want to clutter the front page much.

    blog: http://billpratt23.blogspot.com
    Twitter account: http://www.twitter.com/billpratt23

    1. Hi Bill,

      It may be an issue with Twitter rather than a problem with how you are adding. We’ve had one support request relating to a Twitter list widget today, The embed code they used was exactly the same as the test code I used from my Twitter account.

      Their widget was working but is currently only showing a link to their twitter search list while the list on my test blog works without any issues.

      The other thing to check is that you copy and pasted the complete code. You should see an end script HTML tag at the end of the code.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  33. I have added the “ClusterMaps” widget to my side bar, in addition to “Search,” “Recent Posts,” and “Archives.” You can see it here: http://readlearngrow.edublogs.org/. It hasn’t completely updated yet; I have an email from ClusterMaps saying it will take a day or so for it to update. Right now, all I see is the spot for it. When I click in the tiny box, I am directed to “ClusterMaps.” Do my visitors see the actual map yet?

    1. Hi Sarah

      I’ve checked your ClustrMaps and can now see the map. You should have a dot from my location soon!

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    1. Hi Mrs Creek

      Thanks for sharing a link to your blog. I’ve noticed that your theme isn’t displaying the header correctly. Your current theme is very popular but it isn’t mobile friendly. While we could look at why the header isn’t working I’m wondering if the better option is to change to a mobile friendly theme. Most people who view your blog will read it on a mobile device while your theme is designed to be viewed on a computer. The mobile friendly themes look good on all devices and we can find one that includes similar colors to your current theme,

      Would you like us to help choose a mobile friendly theme or would you prefer us to look at why the header isn’t working?

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    1. Hi Cyndi

      Thanks for sharing a link to your blog. I noticed you’ve added a link to your pinterest boards. We can add a Pinterest board widget if you want? Let us know if you would like us to add.

      I’ve looked for the common core flag and can’t see it. Would you mind telling me which one is the common core flag so I can explain to readlearngrow if they can add to their blog?

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  34. I have a few widgets on my blog but I want to see haw my parents use it before I add or delete any. I also want to keep it fairly simple as I find blog with too much going are more difficult to focus on. My parents will be able to access our blog next week so here it goes!

    1. Hi newdeernursery

      Good idea to see how parents interact with your blog. I noticed you’ve added a Calendar widget. That calendar widget is designed to display the dates posts are published. Later on you may want to consider using one of Calendar widgets from the demo widget blog – http://widgetdemo.edublogs.org/

      I also noticed you had the meta widget in the sidebar. I’ve now removed the widget as it generally isn’t needed.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    1. Sue,
      I like how you used snippets of blogs you like on your sidebar. Someday, I may choose to reorganize my blog this way. Use of two tiered menu bar & the engaging header makes your blog read worthy ( 🙂 What better complement to librarian than saying readworthy 🙂 , yes. I know it may not be a word, but still)

  35. Widgets are one of my favorites items to add to my blog. I’m always looking for something unusual. I love the Conference Schedule widget in the Principal’s blog. What a great idea! I’m not 100% of how this one was set-up but appears to almost be in a spreadsheet format. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have information on a G sheet that was updated live in your widget?

    1. Hi Sue.

      The Conference schedule is added by pasting the embed code for an agenda from Google Calendar into a text widget. He has just added his own title to it. You’ll find the step by step instructions on how to do it here – http://help.edublogs.org/adding-a-calendar-to-your-sidebar/

      The information is updated as you add events to your calendar.

      You have some great widgets on your blog. Hadn’t thought of adding a Feedly widget.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    1. Hi Mr G

      The image widget is one of my favorite widgets as it makes it so easy to add an image to the sidebar.

      Thanks also for your great post on using Symbaloo. I shared it on twitter yesterday!

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    2. Mr. G,

      I like the clutter free set up of your blog. Is it one of the edublogs theme? if not, did you have to buy the theme separately?

      You have used image widget beautifully. Using the widget for your google Plus, your credentials makes your blog enjoyable.

      Was setting up two sidebars intended to for clarity?

      Please visit my blog http://trivediziemba.edublogs.org/ & share your views with me.

      Thanks & Best wishes.

      Mrs. Trivedi-Ziemba

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