Goal: My widget area as what displays on the front page/center column, and the single post display and page display normal. Ideally, able to display one or more posts before the widget, but that's not a must.
I found myself able to add PHP code to add a widget area to the center column, by editing index.php.
I was also able to comment out the posts, since I can't seem to set it to display 0. On the front page, it works fine!
On a single-post page, I get whatever text I've added for the post, plus the widget. Oops.
I tried "Widgets on Pages" plugin, but it was having issues; I would consistently get a 404 error upon first viewing the site, and have to refresh for the widget to show up. I also had difficulties in styling the widget output when showing on a page vs. on the front/index page.
Note: If I were to want to display posts on the front page -- excerpt and some limited info -- where would I edit what gets displayed (parts/styling)?