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Countdown timers, Flash, Gigya, Html & inline css codes, Shortcodes, Sidebar, Widgets

Widgets for blogs: 8 – generic countdown timers

• General background: The gigya shortcode 3 – widgets.
• Paste shortcode into text widget or html post/page editor.
• Four of these timers have a fixed (or practically fixed) width, one is resizable; check my post on sidebar width.
• May not display correctly in Explorer – use at your own risk (till Explorer learns to behave, or till users learn not to use Explorer).

1. A simple countdown timer

Color customizable.
Resizable, but illegible if downsized.
Changing height alone changes space above & below widget.


[gigya src="" flashvars="TimeZone=GMT0300&Target=2015,9,18,17,59,59&Title=EVENT HERE" width="288" height="18" wmode="transparent" ]

Customize by changing the parts I’ve marked in blue.
Color options: “blue”, “gray”, “green”, “orange”, “red”, “yellow”.
Timezone: 4 digits, can be negative.
Target numbers: year, month, day, hour, minute, second.
Event: up to 16 lowercase or 12 uppercase characters (including spaces).

Page 2: Two customizable (but non resizable) countdown timers
Page 3: A highly customizable (but non resizable) countdown timer

Related post: more countdown timers

Please don’t paste code in comments – see comment guidelines.


34 thoughts on “Widgets for blogs: 8 – generic countdown timers

  1. Well, great minds then. I posted a few minutes ago and used #1 simple countdown timer which was discussed in a comment. Then
    I stopped by to see if you had posted.

    Posted by Tess | October 28, 2010, 17:05
  2. Ha!

    (Is it a riddle or is it I’m too ill? This great mind doesn’t understand what you’re counting in your post…)

    Posted by Panos | October 28, 2010, 20:01
  3. Very nice stuff Panos!

    Posted by IzaakMak | October 28, 2010, 21:25
  4. No riddle. The whole (whatever it is) is:
    great minds think alike
    (fools seldom differ)

    Must be a colloquialism. (The non-profit I work for is sort of a store, in a community with people from around the world, as well as from different economic classes.) Just happened today all were women from around the U.S.)

    Women (U.S.) from 13 to 70 have heard and used the expression. They could finish the first part of the platitude from the first two words. (Is platitude the right word?) Though only the first line. (4 words.)

    I did not see any men or people from other countries while I was at work today. So my mini survey is very small.

    It has two meanings:
    !.) It is a way for one to reach out to another person, indicating that if we think alike we have similar tastes, ideas, and attitudes. Sort of an expression of “we agree so we have positive ‘vibes’ for each other.
    2.) It can also be used sarcastically. That is more obvious if you know / add the second line.
    No one I talked to today knew the second line, so I’m not sure if any of them understood the ironic (how is that different from sarcastic?) use.

    I meant the first for you.

    This great mind doesn’t understand what you’re counting in your post…

    It’s of no general public interest—you no longer read my blog? Shrug. The countdown clock is for when we, j. and me, will close on buying a new (‘real’) house. Official day of closing is 15 Nov when we will ‘own’ the house. Or at least have keys and a mortgage to pay…

    Posted by Tess | October 29, 2010, 03:15
  5. @IzaakMak: Thanks!

    There are also innumerable specific timers (Christmas, New Year, marriage, birth etc. etc.) but I don’t think I’ll make such a post.

    @Tess: By “riddle” I was referring to the timer in your post, not the “great minds” thing.

    Yes, sorry, presently I don’t read your blog. Lots of things I don’t do, because much of my time is spent in various institutions and endless related chores and arrangements, you know why.

    Posted by Panos | October 29, 2010, 12:09
  6. nnn. yes. K.


    Posted by Tess | October 29, 2010, 14:27
  7. Doesn’t work or you posted it in poor ways. Where is the event date code? The link you given produces a crap only

    Posted by Nitish Kumar | December 5, 2010, 22:36
  8. I just got something like this.. which sure of no use to me

    <EMBED src="

    Posted by Nitish Kumar | December 5, 2010, 22:37
  9. @NK:
    • The widget works, as the live example I’ve posted shows.
    • I’ve given no link, I’ve given a shortcode.
    • The shortcode I’ve posted is valid: copy that exact shortcode, paste it into your HTML editor, update your post and check the result to see for yourself.
    • The “event date code” is the six numbers that follow “Target=”, as the notes below the shortcode explain.

    So first learn to write politely, then learn to read, copy-paste and type correctly.

    Posted by Panos | December 6, 2010, 02:39
  10. Hope you might have an answer to this: do you know why the shortcode would work in a post/page but not in a text box in the sidebar? All I get is a “No hotlinking please” message.

    Posted by Hitorikiri | March 9, 2011, 00:25
  11. The gigya shortcode works in posts, pages and text widgets. Here’s a screenshot of your blog:

    Or aren’t you talking about that timer?

    Posted by Panos | March 9, 2011, 10:29
  12. That’s peculiar. When using Firefox, I get the following:

    I did notice though that another browser had no issues. I’ll have to look into my Adblocker settings for the page or something. But at least I know it’s something on my end. Thank you!

    Posted by Hitorikiri | March 9, 2011, 12:45
  13. You’re welcome. I’m seeing your widget in both Safari and Firefox (and Opera), so it’s definitely something that has to do with your browser settings.

    Posted by Panos | March 9, 2011, 12:56
  14. I just have an empty white box… Just wanted a decent sized, simply, timer to tell when I’d be posting my next flash fiction story.

    Then again, I’m new to this but either way may I have a helping hand please?

    Posted by Curry | May 12, 2011, 18:20
  15. @Curry: The blog linked to your username is empty. I cannot possibly help without a link to the blog in question, with the problem in question there for me to see and tell what’s wrong.

    Posted by Panos | May 13, 2011, 02:54
  16. Thanks just what i needed :)

    [Username link removed – P.]

    Posted by Biker Guy | May 22, 2011, 15:14
  17. I apologize for my incompetence but for some reason I can’t find the string in the following code. I’ve successfully created two other countdown timers so I don’t know why I’m having trouble now…

    [Code relic removed – P.]

    Thanks ahead of time.

    Posted by Josh Paunil | July 30, 2011, 22:15
  18. No need to apologize for anything. But if you need to show me some code, check point 4 here:

    Posted by Panos | July 30, 2011, 22:39
  19. I’m guessing that EST, that is eastern US, like New York City, is “GMT-0500”. Is that the correct format? I’m asking because the GMT is usually referred to as “GMT-5”.

    Posted by Moxy | August 10, 2011, 10:59
  20. Yes, that’s the correct format – that’s the way this particular widget is coded.

    Posted by Panos | August 10, 2011, 12:43
  21. hi, this is a very useful post! :)
    I just can’t seem to get it to work, it’s good for ? right?

    Posted by daytodaymoments | September 21, 2011, 08:59
  22. My blog is exclusively about blogs. If you can’t get this to work, either tell me exactly what you tried to do, or show me the code you tried to use (see point 4 here: ), or link to where you tried to insert the widget.

    Posted by Panos | September 21, 2011, 11:38
  23. Thank you for your response, I had to make sure about the even though it clearly says..sorry :)
    Im clueless when it comes to widgets, so thankful for running into this site.

    I created a “highly customizable countdown timer” and got the code, but not sure if Im supposed to edit it before. It shows up only as codes. I tested the shortcode you have above and it shows up but not sure how to get the customized one to show.
    I was just trying to put up a Halloween countdown at

    Thank you.

    Posted by daytodaymoments | September 21, 2011, 12:53
  24. Give me the code you get after customizing the widget and I’ll convert it for you. To give me the code, use Textsnip ( see ).

    Posted by Panos | September 21, 2011, 21:52
  25. Hi!

    Thank-you for this page! Your help is appreciated!

    How can the following be converted to work in a blog?

    [Code relic removed – P.]

    It’s from this website…


    Posted by rockymountainlockout | October 8, 2011, 01:08
  26. Hi,
    Please check point 4 here and use Textsnip:

    Posted by Panos | October 8, 2011, 09:47
  27. Help! I followed the instructions to creating the countdown and when I was finished it had me log in to my wordpress account and said it was posted. But I don’t see the countdown anywhere. Where would this be???

    Posted by campbellsoup614 | October 23, 2011, 18:25
  28. For starters, I can’t help without a link to the blog in question.

    Next, you need to be more precise. Which countdown? Which instructions, mine in this post or the ones in the site where the countdown comes from? What “had you log in to my wordpress account and said it was posted”? Where exactly did you want it posted?

    Posted by Panos | October 23, 2011, 22:01
  29. It looks too simple to work, but it works and it is no riddle. Thanks a mill

    Posted by zimdev | October 27, 2011, 19:34
  30. You’re welcome. It’s simple once you know the trick. If you ask WP staff, they’ll still tell you it’s not possible.

    Posted by Panos | October 28, 2011, 02:20
  31. Thank you so much for the simple countdown timer. It is perfect for something that I have coming up soon.

    Posted by Peke Penguin | November 1, 2011, 00:59
  32. Thanks. Works!

    Posted by oneinspireddude | November 27, 2011, 17:32
  33. I’ve used the third timer multiple times before and it’s fantastic but now when I click on the lick provided to enter in the information the page is weird. It doesn’t give me background option and a lot of other stuff. Is this a problem with something I don’t have installed on my commuter or the page itself?

    Posted by Josh Paunil | December 23, 2011, 06:40
  34. I visited the page in both of the (perfectly healthy) browsers I regularly use and got the same issue, so the issue is probably with them, not us.

    Now, if this widget had been designed by a sane person we would be able to change the flashvars ourselves and produce the result we wanted. For example, the time and date variables of the second timer are like this:


    Pretty straightforward. And its bg color uses hex numbers (base-16 numbering), which is the standard way of specifying colors for the web.

    But this weird widget uses a system I cannot recognize or decipher. The colors of the sample in my post are:


    Look like base-8 numbers. But converted from what? I tried converting hex color numbers and RGB color numbers to base-8, but the resulting numbers give completely different colors.

    As for the date, I tried setting several different dates so I could see what the result in the code would be. If you can figure out why these:

    2010 Nov 29
    2011 Nov 29
    2011 Dec 29
    2011 Dec 31

    translate to:


    …let me know!

    Posted by Panos | December 23, 2011, 11:04


author's avatar panos (justpi)

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