When you're setting up a widget instance, Magento asks you to select a Design Package/Theme. This includes the base/default package.

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Why is this here? Can is be used for anything? My initial assumption would be this is here to add a widget to all themes — but that doesn't appear to work. Am I incorrect in this and just doing something wrong?

My next assumption is the widget UI was designed to "display all themes", but didn't take into account the special behavior of the base design package.

Can this base/default entry be used for anything in a Widget Instance? Or is it a vestigial feature, present only to confuse us?

2 Answers 2


It looks like it's there without any working functionality for it. Only if your storeview is actually using that package/theme combination, but not as a default for all themes as you suggest.

In Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Layout you can find the method fetchUpdatesByHandle, which fetches all widget generated layout updates from the database. That query will only fetch the records for the current package, theme and some other params like store_id.

So no it can't be used as a 'for anything' setting. Otherwise there had to be a fallback mechanism in the query to also always include the widgets based on base/default.

  • +1 — I saw the same thing, but it seems weird that it's stayed in the list for so long. That always makes me wonder if I'm missing something obvious. Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 19:05
  • Haven't we all had that feeling when working w/ Magento ;)
    – Tim Hofman
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 19:43

My initial assumption would be this is here to add a widget to all themes

As of Magento, widgets are not inherited from parent theme to child theme. Like you, I would expect them to be inherited.

I am assuming this was a forgotten feature in someone's 'todo' list that never got implemented.

I wanted this feature so I wrote an extension that does this.

Here it is: https://github.com/mpalasis/Palasis_Inheritwidgets

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