Introducing Widgetkit

Introducing Widgetkit

We are proud to finally announce the first release of Widgetkit our next generation tool set. Widgetkit is the successor of the famous YOOtools we first introduced in January 2008. Back then the YOOtools were only built to work with Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.0 (for those who remember the old times) and until today enriched countless websites. As time flies by so fast in the web, our tools aged and were due for a major update. So we started working on a new version of our tools back in August 2010, right after we finished our work on the Warp 5.5 theme framework.

When we started we basically had two choices, the easy one would be to take each YOOtool and update its code to work with our default JavaScript library jQuery and keep everything else. Each tool would still require you to use Joomla articles to fill their content. This seems like a reasonable approach, but we thought if we have the opportunity to re-design the tools what can we do differently now to make them even better. We also wanted to achieve compatibility with Joomla 1.6 and to make them available for WordPress. Giving all this a lot of thought, we came up with great ideas which are now implemented in Widgetkit. With Widgetkit we created a whole new concept to make the tools easier to use, install, update and extend.

Widgetkit basically acts as a platform for all our widgets. It installs as a single component in Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.6 or as a plugin in WordPress 3.x. The Widgetkit dashboard presents you an overview of all widgets. You can create, edit or delete all widgets and their content in one place. And after you have created the content for your first widget you can either use a shortcode or a module to display your widget anywhere on your website. In fact, you can do both because once have you created a widget you are able to display it multiple times and reuse it on different parts of your website.

Our first Widgetkit BETA offers you four commonly used widgets which are Slideshow, Lightbox, Spotlight and Twitter. All widgets are written from scratch using HTML5 markup, CSS3 features and JavaScripts based on jQuery. Here is a quick overview of all the widgets features:


The Widgetkit Slideshow is the most interesting widget of the Widgetkit BETA release. It takes full advantage of the very user-friendly Widgetkit administration user interface. You can easily create and manage slideshows and their different slides. It comes with 15 eye-catching transition effects which are all based on hardware accelerated CSS3 animations with a JavaScript fallback for all Internet Explorers. This makes the slideshow run smoothly on iPads, iPhones and Android phones. As icing on the cake the slideshow can be browsed using swipe gesture on mobile phones.

The Widgetkit Lightbox is our new and shiny lightbox. It is originally based on the great Fancybox for jQuery. We did some optimization, removed IE6 support and used CSS3 and HTML5. It also comes with support for YouTube and Vimeo videos as well as SWF movies. It replaces our old lightbox so there is no need to use the YOOeffects plugin anymore.


We also added the Spotlight effect to Widgetkit which you all know from our Warp5.5 themes. That's the reason why we removed it from Warp6. The new Spotlight effect, is also enhanced and is a lot easier to use than the previous version.


The Widgetkit Twitter widget replaces our old YOOtweet module. It is completely rewritten and the caching is optimized. The tweets will show up even if Twitter is not available.

What's next?

Since this is the first BETA version of Widgetkit, we will give it some time to collect all appearing issues and bugs and release a second BETA in the next weeks. But of course we are already working on new widgets which will be added to Widgetkit. Following widgets are currently planned: Accordion, Maps, Gallery, Tooltips and of course more Slideshow styles. So enjoy Widgetkit and take it for a test drive!

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