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The past few days I've been Googling and searching for answers to no avail. I'm building out a "Featured Content" widget where the user can easily (via ajax/jquery) search for posts.

Is it possible to use AJAX/jQuery strictly in the Widget area, or would this type of application have to be plugin-based?

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    I don't follow why do you "or" these two things?.. Plugin is just a convention for code organization, it has no impact on what code does.
    – Rarst
    Jul 5, 2014 at 20:34

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AJAX/jQuery is not limited to any specific "area" like plugins or widgets, in fact some plugins consist solely of widgets (although afaik the converse cannot be said). This Smashing article might be a good primer. When you finish with that then check out Gary Cao's WordPress + AJAX tips and come back with a more specific question.

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