You update or change your theme and your widgets are gone!
WordPress core has gotten better with this lately in that it will usually at least throw the widgets into the Inactive Widgets section or maybe into another widget. But short of backing up (and restoring) your entire site, how can you save your hard earned widget work? The worst are when you have lots of custom HTML or code in a text widget. Poof, gonzo. No fun.
What I’ve done in the past is take screen shots or copy and paste out code and put it into a notepad file or something and then back that up. Shameful!
I stumbled on Widget Importer & Exporter and it seems to do the trick. Seems like a simple enough plugin that does what you’d want it to do. I mention this today because I just … manually recreated a whole bunch of widgets that we tried to remember the functions and order for and … maybe got it right, maybe not.