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Wherefore Art Thou, Widgets?

Posted November 20, 2011 by Jen Mylo. Filed under Development.

We need your opinion! One of the features we’re adding to WordPress 3.3 (currently in beta 3) is intended to reduce widget pain. Say you’re using Theme A and you have a handful of widgets set up. You switch to Theme B, and it has different widget areas, so you add/remove/edit your widgets. Then you realize that you hate Theme B. “This theme doesn’t represent my innermost soul!” you cry to the heavens. You switch back to Theme A, but because it had different widget areas, now your widgets are messed up. Argh, right? Not for long!

Imagine being able to change themes and modify widgets as needed, and if you decided to go back to your old theme, it would return your widgets to how they were the last time you had that theme activated.  Sounds good, yeah? The problem we’re facing is deciding how long to save the old widget configuration, since there are so many potential workflows. If you changed From Theme A to Theme B and added more widgets over the next few weeks, if you switched back to Theme A after a month, would you still expect it to go back to the widgets from a month ago? At what point does it go from handy timesaver to unexpected widget mangler?  What do you think?

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