From Custom Sidebar to Widgeted Sidebar

For the past couple of nights, I have been working on my own blog transformation. Transforming my sidebars from custom to widgetized.

My goal was to make the blog easier to manage. I admit I was a bit intimated. My mind has been pre-occupied with this for months ever since  WordPress 2.5 came up.

I read through the documentation including  this and mainly this, but nothing seemed to click until I simplified  the theme.

I had about 16 variations of templates based on category. In order to get the widget going I had to strip the theme to its bare bones. That meant deleting the custom sidebars and going back to the default “sidebar.php”.

I realized I needed a brand new file called “functions.php”. This file basically tells WordPress that the theme is ready to take it to the next level.

This also meant examining  the template files of other themes to see and compare structure. Once I got an understanding of what to do, I tweaked, posted and tested for approximately 5 hours. I got the first sidebar one day, followed by the second sidebar the next day.

I also had to re-visit the stylesheet and making, editing the necessary tags in order for the headlines and content to appear the way I wanted to, else one would have a lopsided mess of a blog.

Will I go ahead and widgetize the rest of my blogs? Eventually. As for this blog I am taking my time since this one is still wet behind the ears.

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