What’s a Widget? Plus Other Questions You’re Too Scared to Ask embeddable calendar

Updated Oct 20th, 2023 by   Nicolas Zenker

Believe us, we get it: you don’t want to ask what a widget actually means for fear of aging yourself. 

We’ve all been there at one point or another, coming across some sort of internet slang or term, and feeling sheepish as we Google, “What does so-and-so mean?” 

But some things definitely need a little explanation, and widgets, plug-ins, and embeddable calendars are all things that need some clarification. Let’s dive in. 

So, What’s a Widget? 

Widgets are elements of a graphical user interface that displays information or allows you to interact with an app or operating system. If you’re still not sure what that means, stick with us.

Widgets can be things like:

  • Icons (an image that represents some other concept — think the Facebook button at the bottom of a website)
  • Pull-down menus or toggle buttons
  • Event countdown clocks
  • Website visitor counters
  • Selection boxes or buttons
  • Progress indicators
  • Weather monitor
  • Map widget
  • On-off checkmarks
  • Scroll bars
  • Windows or window edges that allow you to resize a window

Essentially, a widget is some sort of data that resides in an application that’s running on your smartphone or computer. It displays tidbits of information in a visual way. You might be most familiar with widgets in the context of your cell phone.

For example, you may have the Weather app widget that sits on your home screen and displays the current temperature at all times. What’s happening is the widget is extracting the selected data from the app in order to project it on your screen in an easy-to-digest way and is regularly updated. 

Using Widgets for Business

Utilizing widgets on your business’s website is a great way to boost customer experience without needing an extensive background in coding. While many assume you need a web developer to install them, oftentimes it’s as easy as copying & pasting text/code into the backend of your website. It puts the “fun” in “functional” for even the simplest of websites!

There are a ton of ways you can use them, too: 

  • Engage visitors with live chat functionality
  • Increase word-of-mouth reach with social media buttons
  • Gain new email subscribers with pop-up window invitations
  • Up your event attendee numbers with calendar widgets

What’s a Plug-In? 

Similarly, a plug-in is a piece of software that can add new features or extend the functionality of an existing application. They can do a variety of things: improve a website’s speed and performance, maximize a visitor’s experience, and create new functionality without requiring a heavy IT lift. 

How It Works

A plug-in is designed to specialize in processing specific types of content, and then integrating it seamlessly into the user interface — almost making it look like a part of the website itself. But despite the way it looks, the plug-in operates independently from the platform, which allows the developer to make changes to the plug-in without needing to change their hosting application. 

Widgets Versus Plug-Ins

While these two things sound fairly similar, the main differences between a widget and a plug-in is interaction and visibility. A widget allows a user to see it and interact with it on a page, whereas a plug-in keeps the page running and functioning properly in the background. 

Now, let’s talk about another term you may have heard in passing but didn’t fully understand: embeddables. 

What’s an Embeddable or Embedded Calendar? 

“If it’s not on my calendar, I won’t do it!” is a popular and too-true sentiment shared by many of us these days. Our lives are far too busy to actually remember that one event we signed up for months back. That’s where using an embeddable calendar can come in super handy for your customers. 

AddEvent is proud to offer an embeddable calendar solution that automatically syncs your businesses’ event calendar across a bunch of different platforms (think Google Calendar, Outlook, Apple Calendar, and more!) and websites. The versatile event management tool seamlessly integrates a calendar or events list (or both!) directly on your website so it’s easy for your customers to access while also being aesthetically-pleasing to the eye. 

One of the best features is the ability to customize your AddEvent embeddable calendar to match your business’s branding and blend into your website beautifully. And all you have to do to get it live on your website is copy the HTML code AddEvent provides you and paste it into your Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, or other website builder. And now users can subscribe to your calendar to stay up-to-date with the latest in-person and virtual events your team adds in the future!

It’s really that simple. 

AddEvent’s Pro Tip: Here’s a full guide to embedding an AddEvent calendar or embeddable events widget on your website. 

Ready to get your hands on your very own embeddable calendar (or widget, plug-in, whatever the heck you want to call it!)? All you have to do is tell us your email.

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