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Step Up to the Sidebar: Making the Most of Widget Areas

***** NEW LOCATION ****

We're familiar with the concept of the sidebar as that narrow column that usually appears on the right or left side of a website, separate from the main content area, and often containing things like info about the website or author, links to important pages, advertising, or perhaps an old-school blogroll.

But in WordPress, "sidebar" has a specific meaning. Most themes now employ one or more dynamic sidebars, otherwise known as widget areas. This is where one can place widgets, like the Recent Posts, Categories or Calendar widgets, which come standard with WordPress. This is found on the Dashboard under Appearance > Widgets.

In this presentation, we'll cover the basics of how widgets and widget areas work within WordPress themes, including:

  • Intro to widget areas
  • What kinds of content are appropriate for the widget areas
  • What widgets can help accomplish what you need
  • Widgets you may not know about
  • Managing widgets when changing themes
  • Plugins that come with widgets
  • Creating your own widget areas (basic intro)

This presentation is targeted towards WordPress beginners and those learning how to modify their own themes.


OPENING PRESENTATION: Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting
(via Skype)

Our members are always asking about hosting options, so this month Kristopher Lagraff from is going to explain the benefits of managed hosting:

  • What managed hosting is and isn't.
  • What are the benefits of managed hosting.
  • Managed vs traditional hosting.
  • Who should choose managed hosting.
  • What to expect from your managed host provider.



Bring your WordPress questions! As always, we'll have some geniuses on hand to help you get answers.



This month we will raffle off $1 for each user that RSVP's. This money will be split between:

  • One WPNYC member.
  • A WordPress developer that has donated a free theme or plugin to the community (chosen by the member winner)



Rindy Portfolio is a founding member of Tadpole Collective, an NYC firm that provides WordPress support, hosting, and custom development. Tadpole offers workshops on WordPress like its Beginner Bootcamp, and Tadpole members can be found in the Genius Bar of the WPNYC meetup every month.

Kris LaGraff is from Denver CO, and has been working with WordPress professionally for the past 4 years, and a Customer Success Engineer with for 6 months. Before he worked at Metropolitan State University Denver as a WordPress designer/Front-end dev and Vanguard Communications as their WP developer. I'm also currently one of the co-organizers for the Denver WordPress Meetup group.



500 7th Ave
17th Floor
New York, NY 10018






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  • Rindy P.

    Thanks for everyone who came out tonight, I had a great time presenting to the group. My slides are posted here:

    1 · April 16, 2013

  • Ken S.

    Steve, you asked for session suggestions? Jetpack, it's growing offerings and how do they compare to other plugins?

    April 17, 2013

  • Victor R.

    I wish the first presentation really explained the advantages of managed hosting further.

    It can really speed up development time and headaches. I use it with Studiopress Genesis framework.

    April 17, 2013

  • Claire F.

    I enjoyed Rindy's presentation on widgets and it was helpful in learning how the WP themes work. The first one with was not so informative. It's purpose was to let newbies that the hosting service are not there to solve their coding problems. The presentation seemed a little mushy.

    April 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Another good Meetup.

    2 · April 17, 2013

  • Ken S.

    Excellent. Lots to cover and well done.

    1 · April 16, 2013

  • Melissa C.

    Rindy rocks.

    1 · April 16, 2013

  • Gabriela L.

    Might be a bit late - crazy nj traffic!

    April 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Running a little me some pizza!

    April 16, 2013

  • Diane G.

    For me as well, won't be there. :(

    April 16, 2013

  • Leslie H.

    Something came up... I'll look forward to the video of this presentation

    April 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry - work intervenes.

    April 16, 2013

  • Richard

    Do I have to RSVP to attend or can I show up and pay at the door?

    April 16, 2013

    • Steve B.

      RSVP's closed at noon. No walk-in's allowed... sorry.

      April 16, 2013

  • Bhavna

    Next one hopefully...

    April 16, 2013

  • Tom

    Trumped by taste of paramus

    April 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can't pay... It keeps telling me transaction can't be processed

    April 10, 2013

    • Steve B.

      Please make sure your credentials are correct. It is working for everyone else that RSVPed.

      April 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Worked today. Thanks

      April 11, 2013

  • Barbara Malone L.

    New to WordPress as well, eyes wide open!

    April 8, 2013

  • Jacqueline

    New to word press, have lots of questions and looking forward to meeting everyone.

    1 · April 5, 2013

  • Marc W

    So I need to go to NYC to meet Denver WP In in NYC for 2 weeks interviewing (moving May 1). Incase you are wondering...

    1 · April 4, 2013

  • Annabelle T.

    Nice topic, looking forward to this one!!!

    April 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excited for the new location.

    April 4, 2013

  • Stephen B.

    Always welcome the opportunity to learn more about widgets.

    April 4, 2013

Your organizer's refund policy for Step Up to the Sidebar: Making the Most of Widget Areas

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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