What are widgets?

Introduction
Determining the layout and content of information displayed on your site's various homepages is one of the most important design tasks to consider when deploying or updating your intranet site. Intranet Connections uses a tool called Widgets to provide administrators easy to deploy content areas on homepages. There are numerous widget types with different functionality ranging from basic content or image insertion to feeding or pulling information from applications or pages. The following article will give you a brief overview of widgets, where to administer them and how to learn more about their functionality.

 

Widget locations
Widgets are available in the following locations:
  • Site home page: Accessible from Admin > Site Design > Edit Home Widgets
  • Department home pages: Accessible from the department pageToolbox > Widgets | Page Layout
  • Appbuilder applications: Accessible on the admin layout pages for each app builder application
  • User personal widget pages: Accessible from Profile > My Workspace > Widgets
For a basic discussion of the publishing to the homepage directly via a simple widget versus publishing to applications and feeding the content through structured feed widgets, you may consider viewing the following video to familarize yourself with some core concepts of widget and site administration.

 

Basic Interface
Along with allowing you to add and edit widgets there are several options on this interface that can help design your home page.

widgets1.png

These include:
  1. Widget Styling: Modify the theme of all home page widgets at once.
  2. Widget Columns: Change the padding and spacing between widget columns and individual widgets
  3. Pin Left Column: Check this to show the left column through the entire site. If unchecked the left column only displays on the site homepage
  4. Site Title: Add a header title above the content area of your site
Some of the options above, like Widget Styling are also available at the widget level. You can make independent theme choices on a single widget as well.

 

Adding a widget to your homepage
When adding a widget through this interface you have two choices. You can add up to three widgets side by side in the left column by choosing the insert another widgets link. In our case, however, we are going to add a new row at the top by clicking the top left most insert new row link. When adding a new widget, you will be prompted for what type of widget you wish to use.

widgets2.png

Widgets are grouped by type and have a summary of their uses listed below. We will add the simplest widget in this tutorial so select Message Box from Simple Widgets. Message boxes are free form areas where you can use the built in HTML editor to write text, upload pictures, etc. Once you have selected your widget type, the widget details screen allows you to enter content or choose the settings of the widget. Generally widgets have a title along with other properties. Widgets also have their own theme settings if you want to make the widget visually different from others on the home page. Once you have added a test message, press save and return to your homepage. You've now published your first widget! Feel free to explore the widgets help forum for advanced widget management and an explanation of each specific widget's functionality.

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