New Website Feature: Custom Sidebars

The web team is pleased to announce custom sidebars, a new site-wide feature available in WordPress, our content management system (CMS).

Administrators can choose to add one or more widgets to a sidebar that may be inserted site-wide or page by page.

Available sidebar widgets include:

  • A photo with a caption and web link
  • An HTML or text area with a header
  • Twitter feed
  • RSS feed
  • A custom menu of pages from your website

We will be adding more widgets over time.

Examples:
The Department of Information Technology home page contains a sidebar with two widgets.  The first is an HTML area that links to a web page about identity theft, while the other is a feed from the department’s Twitter feed.  Since the Twitter feed is dynamic as the department adds items to Twitter, the content will automatically update on in the widget.

Other pages on the Department of Information Technology website (e.g., our Training page) contain a site-wide sidebar with two widgets: a RSS news feed from the IT blog called The Basement, and our Twitter feed.  Having the blog’s news items on every page of the department’s website greatly expands their visibility. And since these news items are coming through an RSS feed, they will automatically be updated across the site whenever items are added or changed on the blog.

Training

The web team will be providing training on using sidebars and widgets next week. A how-to use sidebars and widgets is available.

Check their WordPress help site for more information.