How to put a text widget in your blog’s header

In an earlier post, How to customize your blog with widgets, leanpearl asked: “How do I put text widget in my header? I wanna use it for social networking sites’ icons.”

I thought I use my response to that question as a separate post so it wouldn’t get lost as we progress.

Here is my response:

That’s a very interesting question. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have an expert answer to that.

But here are some thoughts and observations:

1. The widgets in a WP blog are dependent on (a) the plugins installed and active in a site, and (b) the structure of the blog theme, ie, whether the theme had been coded to allow widgets in the header, sidebar or footer.

2. As we all know, most WP themes display widgets in the sidebar, and some themes also display widgets in the footer. I have checked the more than 70 themes in WordPress.com, and I have not found a theme with the options you have in mind.

That said, you may wish to check your theme options including its Custom Header, if any.

For example, this theme I am currently using has several options to customize its header. I can insert a standard 468×60 banner to the right of my site name (which obviously I did not do). The banner can be replaced with other displays like SNS icons using HTML, or anything within the TOS of WordPress.com.

In short, the key to customizing your header is to look for a theme that gives you that option – to change the image, to change the color, to change the text or to insert other objects.

Hope this helps.

This is me, of course. Others may have differing views or ways of customizing a blog header.

Let us hear from you.

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Use the Text widget to promote your posts inside your WP blog

text-widgetAfter seven weeks, I have written more than 20 articles including How to customize your blog with widgets. When I had only 15 or less articles, I did not have any problem listing all my articles on the sidebar using the Recent Posts widget since the widget allows 15 for linking.

But what if you have articles much older than post number 15 which you want to promote and get the most out of those posts? How do you promote them?

I am not sure about others, but I have looked at widgets like Top Rated or Top Posts, and they may not be the answer to my quest. After all, if the posts we want to promote are already top rated or most visited, there is really no point highlighting them for our visitors to notice, is there?

The other approach is to configure your blog Settings > Reading to whatever number of posts you want displayed on your main page. The default is 10 posts. The downside of this method (aside from it being an indirect method) is that your visitors would have to scroll all the way down and may not even notice the article you want them to see. And worst, what if the post you want to show is, for example, post number 75?

Activate the Tag Cloud widget? Again, this is very indirect, and does not immediately display the results you want.

Why not simply be straightforward? As they say, be bold. Stake your claim.

Use the Text widget.

All you really need is insert your promotion text and a little knowledge of HTML coding to direct your visitors straight to your target posts. The top sidebar of this blog is created using the Text widget. See also Personal and more… in my personal website for another demo.

In the hands of an HTML writer, the Text widget is the easiest and most effective method. With the Text widget, you also have better control on how to display your promotion messages.

To me, the Text widget is a powerful tool. Are you going to leave it idle?

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