A widget is a small downloadable and a stand-alone application with limited functionalities and can be installed or executed within a web page by end user. These widgets can even be embedded by any authorized into pages of third party sites like a webpage, blog or profile on a social media site etc. Widgets can be implemented using web technologies including JavaScript, Flash, HTML, CSS, DHTML or Adobe Flash.

Widgets play a vital role in customizing the home screen the device like desktop, laptops or smartphones. With these widgets the user can access the app's most important data and functionality right from the home screen. Users can move these widgets across their home screen panels, and resize them (if permitted) to tailor the amount of information to be displayed within a widget.

Widgets enable the users to turn the personal content into dynamic web apps, which are then being shared on websites wherein the code is installed. For example, a "Weather Report Widget" has the capability to report today's weather just by accessing data from the Weather Channel. If it has to be viewed by the website visitors, then the widget has to be embedded in a webpage, such as a Blogger blog sidebar. Also, the portion of a blog where the ads are displayed is referred as a widget.

Many a times, widget acts as a transient or auxiliary application. This means a widget just occupies a portion of a webpage and performs a small task by fetching the information from other websites and displays the information in place. Some of the terms used for describing widgets include: portlet, web part, gadget, snippet and flake. The default widgets that are available for Windows OS include clock, CPU meter, picture puzzle and image slideshow etc.

Types of Widgets

There are many types of widgets, but among them the two major types that are commonly used today are Web widgets and Desktop widgets.

Web widgets: these widgets are designed to be used on or embedded in webpages. Some of the major applications of these widgets are in areas such as site performance, SEO and even backlink campaigns. For example, Widgetbox generates Web widgets that can be embedded on any website except on the pages using SSL i.e. URLs beginning with https.

Desktop widgets: These types of widgets intended to be embedded on local computers. They do not impact on SEO or webpage performance. Example: Apple Desktop widgets, Windows desktop widgets like clock, weather reporting widget etc. these can only be added to the desktop of your local computer.

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