I'm a developer, I don't mind – in fact, no, I *like* – coding but when it comes to doing stuff on my own site I'm rather hesitant and I prefer things that Just Work out of the box.
I installed a new theme K2 last night and whilst it looks good I did have to tinker with a few files, mostly sidebar.php to get things how I liked them and it left feeling ever-so-slightly that it'd be better if layout control was dealt with using the admin GUI rather than code.
This morning I found this on the WP dev site:
Widgets are an easy way for you to arrange and rearrange your sidebar to your hearts content without touching a line of code. We first launched WordPress Widgets (WPW) it on WordPress.com a month ago and the response <a href="http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/03/07/recent-widgets/”>was great. Now we’re ready to release the plugin to the world. If adoption goes well, we’ll consider rolling it into the next version of WordPress.
You can find out more information and download the plugin on the new Widgets page.
That was enough for me. I downloaded it, unpacked to wp-content/plugins and then went to the admin area and enabled it. Now under Presentation I have a Sidebar Widgets option where I can drag and drop the out-of-the-box widgets onto the sidebar.
Even better, each WP theme needs minimal code alteration to enable Widgets (a few lines) but K2 already had the hooks built in so I didn't need to do anything else!