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WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget

One of the most unappreciated widgets among the WordPress Widget collection is the Text Widget.

There are many Widgets that come with WordPress, and many more you can add with Widget WordPress Plugins. The Text Widget is not a WordPress Plugin, it comes with the basic installation of WordPress and WordPress.com. The Text Widget helps you add content that goes beyond these, helping you add simple or complicated things to your sidebar or any widgetized area of your blog.

Many don’t know what to do with it, are afraid or uncertain how to use it, and fearful of HTML, so let’s make this simple and easy and help you explore all the things you can do with the WordPress Text Widget.

What Can I Do with the WordPress Text Widget

There are so many things you can do with the WordPress Text Widget. Here is just a sample.

Table of Contents

  • Ads
  • Article promotions
  • Cartoons
  • Children’s drawings
  • Comment Policies
  • Copyright Policy
  • Disclosure Notice
  • Email and contact information
  • Events
  • Favorite Posts
  • Image links
  • Images and photographs
  • Instructions
  • Link Lists
  • Links
  • Maps and directions
  • Messages
  • News
  • Promotions
  • Reviews
  • Social Media Links
  • Text
  • Tips
  • Video

Anything you can form with HTML can go into your WordPress Text Widget.

The Text Widget is designed to hold text and HTML code. The most basic HTML code is used, so go forward with confidence that you can add almost anything you wish to the WordPress Text Widget as long as you are patient, careful, and follow the simple instructions.

Let’s look at some of the basic things you can do with a Text Widget. From there, it’s up to your imagination.

How Do I Add a WordPress Text Widget

The WordPress Text Widget is one of the widget options that comes in the basic installation of WordPress and WordPress.com, no Plugin required. It adds an HTML container to your WordPress Theme’s sidebar. If the WordPress Theme has been totally widgetized, you can add the Text Widget to the header, footer, or other areas within the Theme.

the WordPress Administration Panels Widget menu

Example of text widgets on the WordPress Widgets panelTo add a Text Widget:

  1. Go to Themes > Widgets in the WordPress Administration Panels.
  2. Open the sidebar you wish to add the Text Widget to.
  3. Find the Text Widget in the list of Widgets.
  4. Click and drag it to the spot you wish it to appear within the sidebar or other container on your Theme.

To Open and Edit the Text Widget, click the down arrow to the right of the Text Widget title.

  1. Set the Text Widget Title.
  2. Add the text or HTML to the box or edit it.
  3. Optionally, choose to Automatically add paragraphs to wrap each block of text in an HTML paragraph code (recommended unless manually coding everything).
  4. Click Save to save the Text Widget.
  5. Click the “close” link to close the Text Widget.
WordPress.com Users:
users can do most of these suggestions with their WordPress Text Widget. WordPress.com users cannot use JavaScript, PHP, iframes, and other code as listed in the WordPress.com Terms of Service.

To see the changes instantly, open your site in a new tab in your browser and look. Go back and make changes if necessary, then reload the tab with the site view to see the changes.

WordPress Text Widget Code Examples

The WordPress Text Widget has long been a favorite of mine, helping me to break through Theme restrictions to add customized bits of information and images.

Here are some simple examples you can use to add some flair to your own WordPress blog.

Text in the Text Widget

Adding text to the Text Widget is the simplest thing you can do. You can tell the world what your blog is about, include a photograph of yourself or your brand/logo, direct readers to specific areas of interest on your blog, make announcements…the list is really endless.

A Text Widget consists of the title of the Widget and the text box holding the words or code you add. Fill in both with text, making two line breaks (ENTER keystrokes) between paragraphs, choose “Automatically add paragraphs” and save. View the results by reloading your site’s page in a separate tab.

Example of text widget using just text

Example of Text Widget with just text in the titleFor the introduction description in the top of my sidebar here, I wanted the text to be the same as the HTML heading font, so I left the text box empty and pasted the entire sentence in the title.

I could have titled it “Welcome” or “What You Need to Know” and put the text in the text box, but it didn’t look right. Depending upon your WordPress Theme options and your ability to control the look of the Text Widget, you can use either one. Later in the article I’ll show you how to change the CSS styles for the Text Widget box.

Adding an introduction and description near the top of your sidebar is a great way of welcoming visitors to your blog by helping them understand

Links in the WordPress Text Widget can be a list or within a sentence. Use properly coded HTML anchor tags to create the links.

To put links within a sentence, add them as you would within a blog post. You can use the WordPress Post panel to create the sentence or paragraphs with the links and copy the HTML and paste it into your Text Widget.

To manually create a link in a sentence, use the following example which was titled “Blogging Tips,” editing appropriately.

Use Google Alerts to set up keyword search terms and have Google search for trends, article ideas, and topics within their database and news indexes, bringing the latest results to your email inbox.

Example of text widget with a list of linksIf you are using multiple paragraphs, remember to choose “Automatically add paragraphs” to format the text into paragraphs.

To create a list of links, which could be a list of blogs you recommend, links to specific articles, categories, or tags on your blog, use the HTML Lists code. You can do this in the Post HTML editor or manually.

[TIP: Do not use ‘target=”_blank” to open the link in a new page. To do so without warning is a violation of web standards.]

This is an example of my manually created Most Popular Posts list before WordPress.com added the feature to do it automatically.

<ul>
<li><a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2007/09/30/customizing-your-wordpress-theme-footer/" title="Customizing Your WordPress Theme Footer">Customizing Your WordPress Theme Footer</a></li>
<li><a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/what-do-you-do-when-someone-steals-your-content/" title="What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content">What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content</a></li>
<li><a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2007/02/11/how-to-install-configure-and-use-wordpress-plugins/" title="How to Install, Configure, and Use WordPress Plugins">How to Install, Configure, and Use WordPress Plugins</a></li>
<li><a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/03/16/adding-rss-feeds-to-wordpress/" title="Adding RSS Feeds to WordPress">Adding RSS Feeds to WordPress</a></li>
<li><a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2007/02/07/wordpress-plugins-for-images-photographs-and-graphics/" title="WordPress Plugins for Images, Photographs, and Graphics">WordPress Plugins for Images, Photographs, and Graphics</a></li>
<li><a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2007/02/28/random-wordpress-plugins-rotating-banners-header-art-images-quotes-and-content-on-your-blog/" title="Random WordPress Plugins: Rotating Banners, Header Art, Images, Quotes, and Content on Your Blog">Random WordPress Plugins: Rotating Banners, Header Art, Images, Quotes, and Content on Your Blog</a></li>
<li><a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2007/02/17/video-music-podcasts-audio-and-multimedia-wordpress-plugins/" title="Video, Music, Podcasts, Audio, and Multimedia WordPress Plugins">Video, Music, Podcasts, Audio, and Multimedia WordPress Plugins</a></li>
</ul>

You can add text to introduce your list of links, and even add images to the list of links. We’ll cover that in the next section.

If you wish to add contact information such as your social media sites, email, and other contact information via the Text Widget, you can do so.

Get the social media links to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media sites. Put them in a text link or wrapped around an image, as described below.

To add your email address, instead of http use mailto and add your email address disguised or obfuscated for your own protection and security. See Protection From Harvesters on the WordPress Codex and my article on protecting your email for more details and specifics.

Adding Images to the Text Widget

Example of text widget featuring a photographYou can add any graphic or photographic image to the WordPress Text Widget. The image width must not exceed the width of the sidebar minus some padding (if your sidebar is 200 pixels wide, set the image to be 180 pixels width to start). Keep image file sizes small to speed up page loading.

To add an image to a Text Widget:

  1. Upload the image first to the WordPress Media Library.
  2. Click the File URL button to put the image file location in the form above it (see screenshot below).
  3. Copy the link that appears in the form for Link URL.
  4. Click Save Changes.
  5. Exit the Media Library.
  6. Go to Appearance > Widgets.
  7. Add or edit the Text Widget in which you wish the image to appear.
  8. Enter the following, pasting in the image location or URL and editing the HTML accordingly, and save.
<img src="[Image Link URL]" alt="[description - what is this]" />

Example of where to find the link to the image from the WordPress Media Library

Here is a full example:

<img src="http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/blogging-tips.png" width="120" alt="Articles about blogging tips" />

Save and preview the results.

Here are some tips for fine tuning the image in the Text Widget.

  • If the image is too wide, either upload a smaller image, or reduce the width by setting the width in the image smaller and removing the height, similar to the example above.
  • If you wish to float the image to the left or right so text will wrap around it, add class="alignleft" or class="alignright" to the HTML anchor tag’s code. Ensure the image will not crowd the text in the sidebar by making it small enough to fit.
  • To center the image in the sidebar’s text widget, add class="aligncenter" to the code.
  • To make a row of images, remove the align classes and put a space between each image.
  • To make a column of images, use the center alignment (option) and put each image on its own line with one to two spaces between them.

Example of linking to an image in a text widgetIf you would like some action associated with the images you add to the Text Widget, you can wrap them in a link.

In my sidebar, I have a variety of images wrapped in links. Clicking them will take you to another page on my site. These are excellent ways of promoting specific pages, articles, article series, books, products, categories, tags, and other content on your site.

If you choose to link the image to an off-site location, make sure the image clearly indicates the visitor will be leaving the site.

Example of WordPress Text Widget used to create linked images for article seriesBegin with an image as described above which fits appropriately within the sidebar. Add the HTML anchor link before the image and the closing tag after.

<a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/books/blogging-tips/" title="Blogging Tips Book By Lorelle VanFossen"><img src="http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/bloggingtipsbook.jpg" alt="Blogging Tips - book cover, copyright Lorelle VanFossen"></a>

Save and reload your test page and click the link. If it doesn’t work, check the code carefully to ensure that all the < and > and quote marks are in the right place.

To make a row of linked images such as I did with my social media links, use the tips above under creating images in the text widget to align them in a row or column or otherwise.

This is what I used to create the list of article series badges/icons in the sidebar. The images are wrapped in links to the article series or category and set two images per line with a space between the link and image codes. No alignment styles are added. This creates a simple column of images to create a directory listing of popular article series I’ve written, promoting them.

Sometimes you might want to add an image to a link list, before or after each text link in the list. Some like to add symbols or icons to represent the content found on the link’s destination.

To add images to a link list, place the image within the link anchor tag just before the anchor text. Depending upon the image, you might want to add a space between the image and anchor link tags.

Make sure the image is sized to not distort the lines or words. As the images are not key to the entire navigation of the site as they are accompanied by text, there is no need to add the ALT information, just leave it blank.

&lt;ul&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://lorelle.wordpress.com/about/&quot; title=&quot;About&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/about.png&quot; width=&quot;120&quot; alt=&quot; &quot; /&gt; About&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://lorelle.wordpress.com/books/&quot; title=&quot;Books&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/books.png&quot; width=&quot;120&quot; alt=&quot; &quot; /&gt; Books&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://lorelle.wordpress.com/contact/&quot; title=&quot;Contact&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/contact.png&quot; width=&quot;120&quot; alt=&quot; &quot; /&gt; Contact&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://lorelle.wordpress.com/site-map/&quot; title=&quot;site Map&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/site-map.png&quot; width=&quot;120&quot; alt=&quot; &quot; /&gt; Site Map&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;li&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://lorelle.wordpress.com/subscribe/&quot; title=&quot;subscribe&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/subscribe.png&quot; width=&quot;120&quot; alt=&quot; &quot; /&gt; Subscribe&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;/ul&gt;

Adding Video to a Text Widget

Example of putting videos in WordPress Text WidgetYou can add video in a variety of ways to a WordPress Text Widget. The video can come from any source such as YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, WordPress.tv, or DailyMotion. Do remember that you cannot add unapproved video embed codes to blogs. See WordPress.com Videos Support for the specific list and shortcode examples.

The most simple method is to add it to a post and copy the HTML and paste it into the Text Widget.

Like images, take care that the video does not force itself to be too wide. Some shortcodes will allow control of the width and most embed codes will also allow control of the width. If you change the width, either remove the height or set it properly to maintain perspective.

You can also use the embed code from any video service. This is an example from WordPress.tv, using WordPress shortcodes.

[wpvideo IlQ8Xujq]

This is a sample from WordPress.tv, Viddler, and Vimeo on this WordPress.com blog.

[wpvideo IlQ8Xujq]

[viddler id=76616e19&amp;amp;w=190]

[viddler id=ba1ed7b4&amp;amp;w=190]

http://vimeo.com/7835100

[wpvideo pbVUmXjA]

For full version WordPress blogs, you can simply use the video’s embed code, such as this example.

Example of adding Viddler video code to a WordPress text widget

Adding Maps to a Text Widget

Example of featuring Google Map in WordPress Text WidgetGuiding someone to your store location or the location of an event and want a map visible in the sidebar? You can put a Google map in a Text Widget using the map service embed code.

Here is the Text Widget code for a text link with directions from the San Francisco Airport to the offices of Automattic and WordPress which will work in a sentence and with WordPress.com blogs.


<a href="http://g.co/maps/h8se" title="Map with directions from the San Francisco Airport to the offices of Automattic and WordPress">Driving Directions to Automattic Offices</a>

To include the actual map helps the visitor even more. They can zoom in and out of the map and move it around. It can be a map showing a location or featuring the directions from a nearby landmark by car, public transportation, walking, etc.

To use the Google Maps embed code in full versions of WordPress, you would use an example like this:

&lt;iframe width=&quot;425&quot; height=&quot;350&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; scrolling=&quot;no&quot; marginheight=&quot;0&quot; marginwidth=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;amp;source=s_d&amp;amp;saddr=San+Francisco,+California+(San+Francisco+International+Airport)&amp;amp;daddr=3+Pier,+San+Francisco,+CA+94111+(GigaOM)&amp;amp;hl=en&amp;amp;geocode=Fdj9PQIdAZW0-CGPprokJLPSNw%3BFbi-QAId-GO0-CkB_2BLZ4CFgDFQ8lZCVq-Eqw&amp;amp;sll=37.707336,-122.393851&amp;amp;sspn=0.225986,0.506744&amp;amp;vpsrc=0&amp;amp;mra=pd&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;ll=37.707455,-122.393875&amp;amp;spn=0.18297,0.02288&amp;amp;t=h&amp;amp;output=embed&quot;&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;small&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;amp;source=embed&amp;amp;saddr=San+Francisco,+California+(San+Francisco+International+Airport)&amp;amp;daddr=3+Pier,+San+Francisco,+CA+94111+(GigaOM)&amp;amp;hl=en&amp;amp;geocode=Fdj9PQIdAZW0-CGPprokJLPSNw%3BFbi-QAId-GO0-CkB_2BLZ4CFgDFQ8lZCVq-Eqw&amp;amp;sll=37.707336,-122.393851&amp;amp;sspn=0.225986,0.506744&amp;amp;vpsrc=0&amp;amp;mra=pd&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;ll=37.707455,-122.393875&amp;amp;spn=0.18297,0.02288&amp;amp;t=h&quot; style=&quot;color:#0000FF;text-align:left&quot;&gt;View Larger Map&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/small&gt;

Ads, Affiliates, Events, Subscriptions, and More

For those using the full version of WordPress, you can use the above tips and techniques for adding affiliate links, advertising, promotions, subscriptions, forms, events, and many other things to the WordPress Text Widget.

If you have a book to promote and sell, or a specific project you wish to highlight or feature, you can include it in a Text Widget with a link around it to its destination.

Working with a newsletter WordPress Plugin or service. Get the embed code for their subscription and add it to the Text Widget.

To highlight an event, you can write a text announcement about the event with a link to it or use a badge or graphic wrapped in a link as described above. I do this often in my sidebar to highlight conferences I’m speaking at or participating in.

If you travel and attend many conferences and events, you can keep a schedule in a Text Widget and update it when an event passes or new one lands on the schedule. You can group it chronologically or by month or year depending upon the number of events. Put them in lists with links to the event information or a page on your WordPress blog announcing the event.

Here’s an example using an Amazon affiliate link with the book image saved on my site, which can speed up page loading:

&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470877014/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;tag=amazoncode-123&amp;amp;linkCode=as2&amp;amp;camp=217145&amp;amp;creative=399369&amp;amp;creativeASIN=0470877014&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;http://lorelle.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/all-in-one-wordpress-dummies.jpg&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=&amp;amp;l=as2&amp;amp;o=1&amp;amp;a=0470877014&amp;amp;camp=217145&amp;amp;creative=399369&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot;&quot; style=&quot;border:none!important;margin:0!important;&quot; /&gt;

Example of WordPress text widget using Amazon affiliate link and image

The same technique applies to JavaScript and other embed codes for full version WordPress blogs. However, you cannot add PHP to a Text Widget unless you use a WordPress Plugin that permits the use of code in this way. Advanced Text Widget WordPress Plugin, Allow PHP in Posts and Pages WordPress Plugin, Code Insert Manager (Q2W3 Inc Manager), Shortcode Exec PHP, and others will override WordPress restrictions on using PHP in posts, though not all may work with Widgets.

Styling the Text Widget

Full versions of WordPress and those using the CSS Extra option for styling WordPress.com blogs can style Text Widgets in a variety of ways. You may never want to make any changes, but with a little CSS experience, you have the option to customize the look and feel of each Text Widget.

Most WordPress Themes present Widgets in an unordered list format. The following code is a simplified example.

&lt;div id=&quot;primary&quot; class=&quot;sidebar&quot;&gt;
&lt;ul&gt;
	&lt;li id=&quot;text-1&quot; class=&quot;widget widget_text&quot;&gt;&lt;h3 class=&quot;widgettitle&quot;&gt;Widget Title for First Text Widget&lt;/h3&gt;
		&lt;div class=&quot;textwidget&quot;&gt;Text within the text widget area.&lt;/div&gt;
	&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li id=&quot;text-2&quot; class=&quot;widget widget_text&quot;&gt;&lt;h3 class=&quot;widgettitle&quot;&gt;Widget Title for Second Text Widget&lt;/h3&gt;
		&lt;div class=&quot;textwidget&quot;&gt;&lt;p&gt;Text for second widget text area.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
	&lt;/li&gt;
&lt;/ul&gt;
&lt;/div&gt;

The CSS styles include:

  • widget: The class for the widget item within the list.
  • widget_text: Another class for the widget item within the list.
  • h3.widgettitle: The heading HTML tag within the widget area to hold the Widget title.
  • textwidget: The class for the text area of the Text Widget
  • li.widget, li.widget_text, li.textwidget: Styles directly associated with the list item.
  • ul.sidebar ul: The HTML child container for lists within the Widget lists, if chosen to be styled differently.
  • li.sidebar li: The list item for a child list within the Widget lists.
  • p.widget, p.textwidget: The paragraph HTML tag within the widget areas to style text.
  • p.widget a, p.textwidget a: The HTML anchor tag to style links within the widget and text widget areas.

Each sidebar or widgetized section is set in a parent style such as #primary, #secondary, #footer, etc., as well as the class for sidebar, footer, etc. To permit further styling control, each text box automatically generates its own ID such as text-1, text-2, etc., going down the sidebar list. Check your WordPress Theme source code and stylesheet for specifics as they may be different.

You may also be able to add styles within the Text Widget itself.

What Will You Do With Your WordPress Text Widget

There are so many things you can do with a WordPress Text Widget. Use your imagination. Put pictures of your kids or their crayon drawings in the sidebar. Post your manifesto. List your to do list or new year’s goals. Just saw a movie you can’t get out of your mind, put the trailer video in a Text Widget. Got a favorite song? Why not add a link to the MP3 for everyone to listen.

I can’t possibly cover all the many ways you can use the Text Widget, so share yours. What fun things have you done with the Text Widget on your WordPress blog.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

123 Comments

  1. Posted August 24, 2011 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    One word of warning. If you develop the site on a test URL and then migrate the site your Text Widgets will get all messed in the database migration. This is due to them containing serialised data which a simple search and replace on the new url will not fix.

    So, if you’re developing the site without the final url in place then you will have to manually rebuild the Text Widgets when you go live.

    Two ways around this:
    a) Edit your hosts file (and possibly your lamp stack settings) so that your local test version has the same url as the final live version.
    b) Have the same amount of characters in the test url and the live url. Then a simple find and replace on the sql file will work.

    • Posted August 24, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Good suggestion. Thanks!

    • Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      John what if the test URL is on the same domain ie www.example.com/test/wp-admin.

      Is the easiest practice (for those of us who have no idea what a Lamp Stack is) to just recreate the text widgets manually in the live site?

    • Posted April 12, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Whether it is on the same domain or not, you still have to deal with the issue of the test directory. A search and replace throughout the entire database should cover text widgets, but I’d copy backups of the text widgets to make sure. I haven’t had a problem with search and replace through the entire database for a URL – if you are VERY careful – including the text widget data, but there are times when it isn’t so easy, so the old fashioned way is best until something else is done to preserve them.

  2. Posted August 24, 2011 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this post Lorelle.

    I already knew some of the techniques you have listed here, but I had didn’t realise that I could use the text widget for adding maps and videos to the side-bar, for instance.
    You have certainly given me food for thought and many more ideas for what I can use this widget for.
    Many thanks to you!!

  3. Posted August 24, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Lorelle for the tips. It’s the most comprehensive tutorial about WordPress text widget

  4. Posted August 24, 2011 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Awesome post. Glad, I didn’t skip it by looking at the title.

    • Posted August 24, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Thank you. Not sure I understand the rest of it, as it explains what the article is about and I don’t play games with post titles, but thanks anyway.

  5. Posted August 24, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle!
    Me & my friend Isadora are running an italian blog named “Using WordPress.com” can we translate this article of yours for our italian audience??

    Of course there will be written clearly that the credits are yours!
    Cheers,
    Nicola

    • Posted August 24, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Thank you for asking. You can translate sections within Fair Use and include a link to the Italian Translation as well as the original. Google Translate also provides easy translation fixes to articles so you could help it improve by fixing the translation errors and help everyone get improved Italian technical translations. My copyright policy doesn’t permit translations of my content save for Fair Use. Why not build upon what I’ve done and create your own unique article and trackback here so we can all learn about even more options for using the Text Widget?

      Thank you again for asking.

    • Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      1st of all thank you for the reply.

      I’m reading this [1] to understand fully what “Fair Use” means. Our Usare.WordPress.com is just a tutorial on the WP.com platform made for free and personal enjoyment on sharing knowledge. We do not even have banners & such.
      So I think that translation of the article with the clear evidence/link/referral that the original material is yours is “fair”.
      Anyway I gave a look also to the Google Translation of the article but I did not find a way to improve the areas I think that are improvable.

      Thank you again for your time & patience in explaining things to me!
      Ciao,
      Nicola

      [1] http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/06/14/understanding-copyright-and-licenses/#what-is-fair-use

    • Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Fair Use is a copyright standard which is set by industry standards or by the copyright holder. For me, it’s 10% or 400 words but I’m not that picky. It has nothing to do with your site, its host, advertising, etc. It’s also not about “nice” as in “playing fair.” It’s the law. It’s a license. The rights I’ve assigned to my content. It’s not personal, favoritism or anything other than my copyright license.

      By improving the original content, I didn’t mean rewrite, I meant point to the article, quote of few of the tips, then take it further. There is so much I didn’t cover. What about adding photo galleries from a variety of sources beyond Flickr (there is a Widget for that)? What about mixing up all the possibilities into putting a full bio with text, links, images, images in links, lists, etc.? How about a page that shows examples of some of the best uses of the Text Widget from blogs all over WordPress.com or beyond. There are some great examples. I only showed off mine.

      In this age of easy access to translatable web pages, original content is exciting and much needed. Celebrate the original by coming up with your own ideas sparked by this article. And let me know how I can help. I love helping people learn more about WordPress. Good luck with your project, and thanks again for asking.

    • Posted August 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to you again Lorelle for your time and clarifications.
      I’ll keep you posted with the result of the inspiration this article on our ‘support’ blog!

    • Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Thanks. I can’t wait! I love helping people generate new ideas!

  6. Posted August 24, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed reading this article. I am guilty of underusing the text widget, and after reviewing this, I resolve to begin using it more. Thanks for the insights!

    • Posted August 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      You are welcome. It’s amazing that such a powerful tool that comes built into WordPress should go so ignored. I use it constantly, on every blog I have.

  7. Posted August 31, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Lorelle!

    This would have saved me hours of experimenting with the text widgets if I had read it earlier. But it was nice to read nevertheless since it serves as a proof that the methods I am using are in a way ‘legitimate’ if you like.

    However, I have lately switched to WP PHP Widget. I use it, for example, instead of Categories widget because here I can exclude some categories from being displayed. Otherwise it works like a normal text widget.

    All has been going well so far with that widget being used instead of the text widget. I just wonder if there might be some dangers that might emerge in the longer run?

    • Posted August 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      If it works for you, keep doing it. Because you are using PHP, you have to use that Widget. It puts another hit on the database, but it isn’t a big deal. If you don’t need the conditional code, then just use the Categories Widget and add in the excludes in the options.

  8. Posted August 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. I have a book review blog and I already use the text widget for book covers and other texts. But your tutorial has opened my eyes to lots of possibilities. Thanks especially for pointing out that it can be used to list favorite posts! Very useful indeed.

  9. Jinkee Umali
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    This is such a great tutorial for Text Widget…

  10. Posted September 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle!

    Here is a little trick I use with the text widget.

    Make your “widget” in a WordPress post put your text, bullet items, links, images and such in. Set your alignment and size options in the Visual Tab. Set the widths to what will work for your column widths.

    Then select your HTML tab. Copy all the html out (you don’t need to know what it all is about) and paste it into your text widget. Save your post as a “Temp Widget” post as a draft, in case you want to make changes to your widget.

    That’s it drag your text widget to the sidebar if it was not already there.

    This keeps from having html errors to (like using ) because the WordPress post is going to write the html as it should be. Though I do work in HTML, this keeps the errors down, and a beginner can make it work.

    • Posted September 7, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      That sounds like a cool idea instead of working out the HTML from scratch..
      How do you set the width in the visual mode in the Post area?

    • Posted September 8, 2011 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      @Mister Muscles

      While you can not set the width of the post in the backend to be the same as your column, I do the following.

      Bring in a graphic that is the width of your column or slightly larger. An example would be http://www.OnTheStep.com the column is 250 pixels if your graphic is at 300 use the handles to make it smaller watching the readout until it is 250. Chances are if you have a column that is just text you will just key it into the widget.

      As you can see in that website, we were able to set titles, colors, bullets, bold, images, and make them destinations to other pages if you clicked them. All without knowing any html.

      Now you know your column width, as you type lines they will extend beyond the graphic, but you know they will wrap on your widget. Again, chances are you are not going to be putting in huge paragraphs.

      Don’t forget to make the images “clickable” using the toolbox items available. Even the kitchen sink items like text colors can be used.

      Save the post as “Temp_widget1″ since it is not wysiwyg. After you paste the html, you can come back and make changes if you need to.

      Doing HTML since the early 90’s myself, but we need to think what it must be like for those that may be experts in other fields. All they want to do is make a nice looking website.

    • Posted September 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      That’s a lot of work. For the most part, column width is not as important for text as it is for images. Make sure that all images are no wider than the column less padding and margins. Using 250 pixels for a 300 px width is a good example.

      A key point in column width is to not paste in long ugly links, as mentioned in the article. They won’t wrap, or can break on wrapping, and can push around the sidebar container causing bigger design issues. Use links properly in a properly formed HTML Anchor tag, as explained above.

    • Posted September 8, 2011 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      @Londonderry News

      That’s geat information and I can see what you mean with the OnTheStep.com site. I can see what the possibilities are and I hadn’t even thought about saving the post as “Temp_widget” so I can use it again.

      Thank you for you help. I really appreciate it.

    • Posted September 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Writing it in the Visual Editor and copying it from the HTML is a good idea if you have no familiarity with HTML. It isn’t a replacement, just an alternative. Do be aware that WordPress strips out code when you switch from HTML to Visual if you make changes in the HTML version that the program doesn’t like. Of course, you would never do that, would you? :D

      And you are right, aligning with CSS will win over the old HTML methods.

    • Posted September 22, 2011 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Hopefully text widgets will get a visual editor one day. I’ve tried WYSIWYG Widgets but for some reason the content doesn’t always load the first time.

      For client sites I like to build text widgets for them to edit content in the sidebar, footer, etc. Most clients don’t know HTML, so that makes it tough to build an little widget for them to update.

    • Posted September 22, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      I agree and hope they will, too, but until then, you do know that you can create the text widget information in a post and then switch to the HTML editor and copy the code and paste it into the text widget area? It’s not pretty but it works. I usually work with multiple tabs so I can switch fast between tabs rather than just use the Administration Panels.

      As for the first issue, contact the author of the Plugin to find out if they have a fix or upgrade available. That’s not cool.

    • Posted September 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Yup, that is a good work-around… but still something for a client to easily mess up or forget how to do.

    • Posted February 22, 2014 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      Great trick, thanks. I tried it for my disclaimer but my full justify alignment creates spaces within my paragraphs. I highlighted all my text in “Visual” mode, then copied from the “Text” mode, right into my widget.

      Any tips?

      Thanks,
      cravingthis.wordpress.com

  11. Posted September 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    See talk about errors, “(like using ) was (without the spaces and~) to show the old html method of centering an item. No longer compliant.

  12. bill morton
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I have always wondered how the Widgets worked so thank you for your article I have printed it out and will try to understand it later. However with little knowledge of HTML, I hope your instructions do not demand that knowledge for everything
    [EDITED by ADMIN – no self promotion permitted.]

    • Posted October 9, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

      @Bill Morton: Thank you for your comment, however, I do not permit such promotion on my site.

  13. Seth
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Hey thanks for the great tutorial!

    I have a question though. Where is the html for the text widgets that I have designed stored in the wordpress files? I can’t seem to find it in either the database or the wordpress core files and folders. Anybody know?

    • Posted October 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      The HTML and in the widgets are stored in the database but only as long as that widget exists. If you remove it, it’s gone. You also cannot, to the best of my knowledge, call that into another area or widget. Why are you trying to find it?

    • Seth
      Posted October 20, 2011 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      For some reason my wordpress installation duplicated text widgets that were supposed to be unique one morning. So, I was stuck for awhile locating the lost html I had within my unique text widgets. It turns out that WordPress does keep that backed up, but I only found it after exporting my SQL database and searching within the file.

    • Posted October 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      So where are they and what caused the duplicated text widgets? There must have been an easier way to resolve the issue other than digging into the database? WordPress doesn’t just “do that” so something must have gone wrong. Not normal at all.

    • Seth
      Posted October 21, 2011 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      I am not exactly certain where WordPress keeps the backups within the database. You could perform an experiment and find out. I don’t know enough about MySQL to understand how to query them within PHPmyAdmin.

      I am glad this behavior is not ordinary. The next day I found out that the abnormal behavior was because I had foolishly updated the WordPress framework (Gantry Framework) with a version that had a bug that caused my text widgets to be duplicated. The next day, the makers of Gentry Framework released a fix that solved the problem. Yay!

    • Posted October 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Yep! I knew it. That’s usually the reason.

      The WordPress Widget information is stored in the wp-options table.

  14. Flora
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi, thanks for great and detail explanation.
    I’m wondering, is it possible to insert php script into text widget. I’m working around wordpress.com not wordpress.org aka. self hosted. Thanks!

    • Posted November 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      As the article states, you cannot do that without using a Plugin that permits execution of code within the Text Widget.

  15. Marcelo
    Posted November 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Lorelle VanFossen.
    I´m developing a magazine-style theme and I´ve found it´s a great idea to divide home in several sidebar areas in order to use widgets where category IDs will call the posts according with such category. Category ID is a field to fill by user in widget pannel.
    But my web server says that every widget makes a query in db, and since my website is expected to have high traffic that would be a problem. Is there a performance issue with database and widgets? Thank you in advance for your answer!

    • Posted November 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Every widget is a query on the database, but then so is every call to a post or post content or post meta data data. Using a cache WordPress Plugin will help with all of this, but the server folks are also right. If it were me, I’d skip the Widget idea and go straight to calling the content elements with template tags in the WordPress Theme, or minimizing the magazine-style Theme, which is “done” in the sense of web design today. Over-done, baked and broiled according to the experts. :D

    • Marcelo
      Posted November 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Lorelle! That was very helpful for me!

  16. Posted November 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    @ Marcelo and Lorelle
    We use a “magazine style,” very heavy widget template. (And yes I think we over do it :)

    Typically we break 100K page views each month, not including authors and editors. It would not work without WP Super Cache we are on a good but shared server. We have had news events that have brought 30K page views in one day. No performance problems as long as the Cache is turned on.

    • Posted November 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Hey, my friend! I can’t believe your site has reached such sights! Excellent. Have you done a comparison between other cache Plugins and Super Cache to see which work better or are more responsive with your site? Cache is the only way to go when you have a demanding, high traffic site.

      While your site is a “magazine” in intention, I don’t think that it has the design for magazines that Marcelo is talking about with a custom Theme that calls content in using Conditional Tags and scripts that display multiple posts above the fold and such. Yours is still blog format, but does the job in serving your community, I assume from the tremendous amount of work and testing you’ve put into it. I know it is a huge passion of yours. So how goes it? I haven’t heard an update in a long while.

    • Marcelo
      Posted November 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it´s a great site!
      Anyway, I was talking about another kind of theme.
      We have wordpress sites that have reached one millon page views in one day (rarely though), most of them in image galleries, and a rate of 9 to 10 millons in a month. I call the content with areas defined by taxonomies. Every area has a tax name and editors asign the desired tax name to every post to be shown at home. Of course, servers aren´t shared.

    • Posted November 23, 2011 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      VPNs are the only way for you to go on such a site. Sounds like you got your hands full. Good luck with it.

    • Posted November 23, 2011 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Hi Lorelle,

      Good point it is a blog style that we have made look like a news site. That does keep the overhead down for us.

      Intentionally making it busy, has worked for us. Just last week a reader said to me, when I indicated we would like to change it to a more modern look, “Don’t do that the best part is when we read it we have to jump all over the place looking for what we may have missed.”

      If you remember way back in 2007 the intent was to have a tourist site. We have used content and created new to develop a “Commerce and Visitors Center” but this is more than a site, this is a organization that just happens to use (WordPress) as a Magazine style face to the group. http://www.VisitLondonderry.com

      Off topic but we should get together, we are having great success experimenting with ecommerce using wordpress.

      Steve Young

      P.S. Will take a look at other Cache utilities, never thought of it because this one works.

    • Posted November 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      You’ve set a beautiful example of how to set up a solid site and how to grow it. You listen to your fans and pay attention to their needs. You are serving your community so well, I’m proud to have watched you guys grow and expand. Lovely. We will talk soon!

  17. Elaine
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    This is great but how would you add a text box or similar to a page or post and not to sidebars or other commonly found wigitised areas?

    • Posted January 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      A few WordPress Themes have a variety of widgetized areas including within the post area. There are WordPress Plugins that will also add “widgetized” or container sections for ads and other information outside of traditional widgetized areas. You can also add it yourself if you know a little code and imagination.

  18. Posted January 26, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    This has been so helpful… thank you!

    One question, I have my social media buttons in a row of 4, and want to center all 4 of them in my sidebar, is that possible? I’m thinking I could just add spaces on the left somehow, but I don’t know how to do that either. :-)

    • Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      On WordPress.com you cannot change the layout for the social media links unless you are using the CSS extra paid feature. A website isn’t a word processor and spacing is aligned in ths CSS. There are complicated features but I recommend learning to appreciate them where they are.

  19. Posted February 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I’m wondering if you could help me with a problem: I have used the text widget to put buttons in my sidebar to link to my facebook, twitter, etc. However, I cannot find a way for it to work with my email. It redirects to (my blog url)/email address if I simply put the email address in the coding. However, if i put http:// in front of the email, it directs to hotmail.com homepage.

    blog home page: http://creativestudent.radism.net/ (button in question is at the top of the side bar, and just says “email” in blue text.

    Thank you!

    • Posted February 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      You do not use http in front of the email address. You use mailto to direct to an email. However, there are problems using that technique. It initiates the “default” email program for the user, which actually might not be the right email client. For instance, on my computer (until I changed it which few know how to do or think about) the default email was Outlook Express. I use a web-based email, Gmail, for my email not a software program. When I clicked on an email link, it would open Outlook and make my life miserable for a few minutes while I had to wait for it to load and tell me to activate and set it up when I didn’t want to. Then I’d have to copy the email, go to the tab in my browser with the email account and paste in the email in order to send a note. Yuk!

      Therefore, I recommend you use a contact form. It’s simple and easy and goes right to your email without the visitor having to jump through hoops to figure out how to email you.

      Good luck with your site.

  20. Full
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Must say I learned so much from you website.And every time I need some codes or education I am coming to your blog.Thanks :) I just was thinking.Lets say I want to ad link in my word press widget area clickable. And after the link in the next text box i want to ad some text.How to stop thin text to be clickable.

    • Posted March 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      If I understand you, you want to add a clickable link or some text that is not clickable as a link. Use the Sidebar Widgets and add it in the text Widget – with or without the HTML hypertext anchor tag, per examples above.

  21. Posted March 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Great blog. Lots of helpful knowledge being shared. Thanks a lot. I’m wondering if you know whether its possible to build a simple horizontal navigation menu on the footer area of a wordpress.com site using a text widget. I don’t seem to find any way of customizing the custom menu widget in order to make it a horizontal menu, so I’m trying to do it all with html and css combined using a text widget. I’m still far from taking the right first step though.
    Thanks in advance for your attention and your help.

    • Posted March 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Styling a list (or menu) is simple CSS. Look for the CSS and style your list accordingly. Who cares if it is in the footer, header, or sidebar. Yes, you can also do it in a text widget. Just add the appropriate CSS styles.

  22. Posted March 22, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Do you have to upgrade to use this feature? I have just started, and I don’t see where the option is to drag the widgets to a sidebar in the blog. All I see is the list of available widgets and Footer Option One. I tried dragging a widget over to them and it didn’t work.

    Do I need to choose a different template? Thanks.

    • Posted March 22, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      According to the Manifest Theme Description on WordPress.com, the Theme only features Widgets in the footer area. If you wish to use sidebar Widgets, you will need to choose a WordPress.com Theme that offers them. Not all WordPress Themes are widgetized nor permit Widgets in specific places in the Theme.

  23. Posted March 22, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I switched templates and got the widgets to work. : ) Thanks!

    Now my problem is that when I copy/paste a numbered list from WORD into a new post, the numbers only go so far (I have text in-between them) After the text, the numbering starts over at 1. even though the numbers continue in the WORD doc). Is there a way to keep the WORD formatting?

    • Posted March 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      You have to use the PASTE FROM WORD feature in the Visual Editor (or paste and fix in the HTML Editor) on the post in order to paste from Word. No one recommends writing, copying and pasting from Word into WordPress. I recommend using a text editor and your life will be MUCH easier. A website is not a word processor.

      To make a numbered list you are required to use HTML Lists.

  24. Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your post Lorelle, I found the information you give very helpful in writing for my online project. WordPress.com blogs has not many opportunities for customization.

    • Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      Actually, WordPress.com sites have amazing opportunities for customization. I’m always stunned at how many of the MILLIONS of sites on WordPress.com rarely look exactly like other ones. Just shows you how far you can go without digging into the code to create a personal, professional, and unique looking site even on WordPress.com. And with the purchase of the CSS extra package, you can have free reign to paint the site to look like whatever you want. Not many free hosting services give you those kinds of options.

  25. skettiegrl
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi!
    I am having some trouble putting a click-able image in my text widget. I want it centered. It’s click-able but does not center itself. I’m so frustrated!!
    HELP
    Angela

    • Posted July 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Now I’m catching up with the conversation. Thank you for the attempt to ask the question, which I’ve edited in the comments for you, and I’m glad you figured it out.

      For those following along, skettiegrl wanted to align a clickable image in the text widget. To do so, she would simply need to add class="aligncenter" to the image HTML link. It’s that simple.

  26. Posted July 23, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    I can NOT thank you enough for this post!!! I KNEW there had to be a way for me to put my social media icons in one widget in a single row!!! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!! Just gotta watch out for those tricky > guys and be sure to close your HTML. Will definitely be following you!! Feel free to pop over and see my cute little icons. It’s not much, but boy am I feeling proud of myself right now!! Thanks again :)

  27. Rulatir
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Let’s try again:

    This thing ALWAYS generates a <h3> tag, even if you leave the title empty. Worse yet, it puts a space in there, which causes the heading to occupy space if headings are given margins by the stylesheet. AAARGHHHH!!!!

    • Posted August 1, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      What is “this thing” – the text widget? If you wish the <h3> heading of the widget title to not appear within your design on a self-hosted version of WordPress, use the CSS for display:none; or use a child Theme and customize the sidebar.php template file.

  28. Posted August 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Superb one !!!! Can someone also tell me pls tips on how to add people’s adverts on my blog….have gotten three offers already but dont know how too come about it.

    • Posted August 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Advertising on WordPress.com is a violation of the WordPress.com Terms of Service. Those “offers” are spam, scam, and not to be trusted, nor followed. Many of them also may contain links to malware, viruses, and spyware. Please refuse all such offers. Professional bloggers have filters in place to block them, they are that insidious.

  29. Moimeme
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    I am puling my hair out. I easily managed to add text to footer area 3 in the past, but every time I have tried to add new widgets since, following the same procedures you have mentioned, on re-loading my page there is nothing to see. I don’t understand what I could have done to stop the widgets from appearing. Do you have any problem solving tips for me, or possible solutions, please ?

    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      If you are using a Theme that uses the new never-ending post content feature, your footer may not appear. Check with your Theme author on how their footer and widgets are handled.

  30. Posted August 25, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    THX for info.

  31. Posted August 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Thanks this really help,But i have few question in mind,
    1. can a free blog run ads in the text widget?
    2.And how?

    • Posted August 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Please see the WordPress.com Terms of Service you agreed to when you signed up for a WordPress.com blog. The answer is no.

    • Posted August 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      pls is there anything you can do to advise me

    • Posted August 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      I don’t understand what you are asking. You cannot put advertising on WordPress.com blogs. It doesn’t matter if it is in a text widget or not. If you are the self-hosted version of WordPress, check with the Plugin or advertiser you are using for instructions on how to add their advertising material.

    • Posted August 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      okay thanks

  32. Posted September 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this article. I am trying to load a widget with the following code but it keeps deleting it. Any advice?

    • Posted September 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Well it deleted it from the comments too. I want to link to a javascript source file.”

    • Posted September 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      As stated, you cannot include JavaScript on any posts, Pages, Widgets, etc. on WordPress.com.

  33. Posted December 5, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the awesome post! I’m going to bookmark this page because I have a feeling I’m going to come back to this and use it as a resource for a very long time.

  34. Posted December 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Great post. I definitely agree that text widgets are one of the most important widgets that you can use in WordPress. You can literally drop any piece of HTML in there and display anything you want. One of my favorite uses of a text widget is to drop in a Facebook “Like” button and other “call to action” items for my website visitors. Keep the great content coming!

  35. julie
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    I just found your blog and I LOVE it. I am fairly new to blogging and you are a wonderful, very educational resource. I know I’ll be back often!! Your a true GEM. :) Bookmarking.

  36. Dave Z
    Posted December 25, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    What do you propose two turn a single 300px wide text widget into two columns of 120px and 160px with white space between them? Basically, I need to get a 160px wide ad unit into my theme but also want to make use of the extra space instead of just leaving it blank. Thanks!

    • Posted December 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      It is all in the math. I would first look for a different WordPress Theme that accommodates that type of sidebar configuration. From there, simply put in two DIVs or images or whatever and float them to the right and left using the alignright and alignleft Class that should come by default with all WordPress Themes. Remember to add some padding or margin around them for spacing, which would give you 160px wide graphic or image with, say, 5 pixels on one or both sides, adds up to 165 or 170 pixel width, shrinking down your 120 px area to 110 or 115px. It’s just math from there. Or just center the image in the 300px space with aligncenter Class and call it done.

  37. james
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Great post. I definitely agree that text widgets are one of the most important widgets that you can use in WordPress.

  38. mikieshow
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Is there a way to put an image container inside a text widget that already contains text? i.e. say we have a list of four things; next to those is an image that spans the height of the list as one would do in a page layout for instance? Thanks.

    • Posted January 15, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. It is no different than the examples I’ve included above. It’s just basic HTML. Just take care to not set the image alignment to float, unless that meets your goals.

    • mikieshow
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Thx, I’ll give it a try :)

  39. rophh
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Hey, i was wandering how can i write a social media box in text widget in wordpress.com.
    I read your post and i didn’t find anything related. The thing is that the Facebook Like Box in WordPress.com is not what i really want. Can you help me?

    • Posted January 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      You can put anything in a Text Widget that will pass the filters applied to the WordPress Widgets. If what you wish to place involves JavaScript or PHP, it will not work. On WordPress.com you may not add WordPress Plugins or Widgets, you may only use what they have available, which is plenty for most people.

      I don’t understand what you wish to put into the Text Widget, but check with the WordPress.com Forums for help. Thanks.

  40. Posted February 5, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the explanation here Lorelle. I was unsure how to use this widget and now it’s all clear. Will try it on my blog for sure. Thanks again.

  41. Posted February 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Everyday Affiliate and commented:
    Great article on how to effectively use the text widget!

  42. Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on warriorg123's Blog.

  43. Posted April 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    have being trying to put this link on my text widget but each time i put it and press save it disappears and do not show on my blog i need help, the link is

  44. Posted June 7, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I am new to wordpress. I need to pass the parameters to text widget through URL and update it. Is it possible ?

    • Posted June 7, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Parameters for a JavaScript or PHP code snippet? Not going to happen. Such actions violate the WordPress.com Terms of Service. These tend to be advertising embeds which are not allowed. This is a security protection as well as such code may endanger other sites, if I understand what you are trying to do.

      If you are just trying to make a link, use the examples in this article to create an HTML link to a web page or site. Thanks.

  45. Jemma Taylor
    Posted July 2, 2013 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Hey thanks very much i have trying to know about this since long time, finally i got it here. Its just surprised !!

    Thank you

  46. Posted July 4, 2013 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, Thank you–you have no idea how much of help your posts are for amateur website editors like me.

  47. Posted November 9, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    In my prev post, shortcode I was referring to got executed. I’m repating my question below this time changing the [ to { so you can see.

    I was asking this;

    In the {wpvideo IlQ8Xujq} example in your article, what is the ‘IlQ8Xujq’ part corresponding to? In the shortcodes API, you can only pass attributes from there. And attributes come with the some_variable=”IlQ8Xujq” syntax. I’ve never seen an example like this before.

    Please explain.

  48. Posted March 20, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    hi Lorelle.. i luv this article… can i use your article for my blog?? i will translate it to my language and will put the source from your site? thanks

    • Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your kind words. You are not allowed to translate my articles and use them elsewhere. That is a violation of my copyright, as it is for everyone. You are not allowed to translate the work of anyone without their express, written permission. To do so runs the risk of fines and penalties, including the possibility of getting your site shut down by WordPress.com for copyright violation. You may provide a summary in your words, and link to the article, even include a link to the translation with Google Translate or something else by web browser or machine translation, if you wish to share it with others. Sharing is wonderful. Copyright infringement and plagiarism isn’t.

      Thanks.

  49. Posted March 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Hello, Lorelle!

    Here’s my kind request I posted on WordPress forum(s) but didn’t get any answers (OK, I posted it 3 days ago, but still…). In the meantime I found your blog so maybe you could help. I would be very grateful. Thank you.

    Blog I’m talking about is http://grandtresor.wordpress.com/

    —————-

    Twenty Fourteen is fantastic theme and I’m very happy with my blog (it’s in Croatian if you wonder :-) despite its French name).

    But, there’s one thing that really bothers me and that’s a list of posts by category in Content Sidebar on the right side. It’s impossible to choose category in Recent Post widget. I tried to use RSS widget and it works but… it shows RSS icon and there is no option to show featured image.

    So, I wrote this code in Text widget…

    [display-posts category="Audio" image_size="thumbnail" posts_per_page="10"]

    …and it looks good but not, well, perfect… Title is too close to thumbnail and, which is even worse, when title is longer, it doesn’t look good when it splits to second row and goes under the thumbnail.

    It will be great if that list could look as list of posts right after the featured/sticky list in MOBILE version of the theme.

    Any idea? Maybe some other “class” in that code above.
    Please, help.
    Thank you

    • Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      What you need help with is styles, not code, though expecting the code you’ve added to work with the Mobile version of the Theme, a WordPress Plugin on WordPress.com that serves every site on WordPress.com not just yours and cannot be customized to serve your site or custom code in the sidebar widget… but to the point, it boils down to styles.

      If the title is too close to the thumbnail image, and distorted when too long, then that is an issue with the styles associated with the Theme. You can pay for the CSS Extra package on WordPress.com and be able to adjust the CSS for that Sidebar Widget to make it appear how you wish, or live with it or experiment with something else. Luckily with WordPress there are many ways to solve the same problem.

  50. Posted March 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Ah, it didn’t show full code in my comment, maybe it will show it now without at the begining and the end of the code?

    aside class=”widget widget_recent_entries”>[display-posts category="Audio" image_size="thumbnail" posts_per_page="10"]</aside

  51. Terry Heenan
    Posted April 2, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Great article. Can I ask for some support with this issue? I have created image links on many sites without ever running into this issue. Somehow one of my Text Widget Titles has become a link to an interior page.

    The page it is linking to comes from another text widget that I just installed that has an image that links to that page. The 2 text widgets are the top one “JUST ADD SERVICE Promotional Offer!” and the third one “Frequently Asked Questions”. Thanking you in advance if you can be of service.
    Terry Heenan

    • Posted April 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      The only help I can give is for you to go through your Text Widget code and make sure that all of the HTML tags do what they are supposed to do. You must have changed something that corrupted the link around the image. Good luck with it.

    • Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the reply. You are right, I was missing a closing tag. It was a bad case of using ‘cut and paste’ and the original code was broken. It all worked fine until I added a title to one of the widgets and then the problem showed up. W3C Validator pointed me to the missing ‘<' and all is

    • Posted April 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      @Terry: I figured that was the problem. It’s always that tiniest bit of code that breaks everything. I’ve spent HOURS hunting for something that turned out to be a semi-colon or comma. Good for you to have the patience to track it down. And you thought it would be complicated. lol!

  52. Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, I am blogging using the Yoko theme, and am trying to add a text widget. Do I have to use HTML commands for basic text or should I just be able to enter the text and save? I have managed to enter and save text, as well as place the widget where I want it to go, but it doesn’t appear on the blog. Thanks for your help, Charlotte.

    • Posted April 10, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      The Text Widget works independently of any Theme you are using. The Theme influences the look and feel of the content in the text Widget, but it works as described in the article no matter what Theme you are using.

      If it doesn’t appear on the site, check to see what Widgetized area you have put the Widget into. If you want it in the sidebar, and there are multiple sidebars on the site, you have to pay close attention as to which sidebar you add it to and look on that pageview.

      Text Widgets come with the core of WordPress, not WordPress Themes. Thanks.

  53. Posted May 25, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Hello,
    Very nice info you have here.

    I am using a text widget that has my stress in a navigation sidebar. How do I get the address to lock to the Bottom of the page so it is the last thong you always see in a responsive site.

    Hope that make sense.

    Thanks

    GP

    • Posted May 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Change WordPress Themes or purchase the CSS Extra package and modify it yourself. Only answer.

  54. P. Holz
    Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    I’m starting to use wordpress for my projects and your guide was perfect. There are so many good examples of how to use the Text Widgets which I haven’t though about. I think you can also the google analytics code there, can you? And another example would be amazon affiliate links or the amazon carousel. Then you don’t need extra plugins which make your side slow for this features.

    • Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      You can do all kinds of things with Text Widgets, so have fun. These are just a few examples.

  55. kris
    Posted August 12, 2014 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Hi,
    Thank your for this wonderful guide, this is amazing and it help me a lot about fixing my WP website.

  56. Posted September 23, 2014 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    At last I fix my website! I thought I will never fix it. Really thankful to you for sharing your blog useful.


22 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] The link is the permalink for the comment. If you wish to create a reference link to the comment in a post or another comment, copy the link and put it in a properly formed hyperlink or short url such as the comment used in the example image at the top of the post. […]

  2. […] an abbreviated form of the welcome statement in a “sticky post” or in a text widget in the […]

  3. […] WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget « Lorelle on WordPress […]

  4. […] are automatically converted into a WordPress shortcode when saving a post.There is an excellent reminder by John King telling us that migrating between sites from test url to live ones, it is most likely that the text […]

  5. […] next helpful video was from a blog titled Blogger for Dummies, I watched gave me a good tutorial on how to utlilize […]

  6. […] Need help? If you have a Blogger/Blogspot blog, see How to Add a Logo to Blogger/Blogspot for instructions. For WordPress.com sites, see this tutorial on text widgets. […]

  7. […] Need help? If you have a Blogger/Blogspot blog, see How to Add a Logo to Blogger/Blogspot for instructions. For WordPress.com sites, see this tutorial on text widgets. […]

  8. […] Need help? If you have a Blogger/Blogspot blog, see How to Add a Logo to Blogger/Blogspot for instructions. For WordPress.com sites, see this tutorial on text widgets. […]

  9. […] 32. Dra nytta av din Text Widget […]

  10. […] explain how to do this extensively in “WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget.” Here is the short […]

  11. […] Text Widget: The Text Widget is one of the most popular and flexible of the Widgets. You may enter text, Basic HTML, images, and many other things within it. For more details, see WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget. […]

  12. […] http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/wordpress-tips-exploring-the-wordpress-text-widget/ – this is the site that “wowed me” with all the possiblities of the Text Widget. […]

  13. […] Further reading: WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget. […]

  14. […] Further reading: WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget. […]

  15. […] Further reading: WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget. […]

  16. […] social media icons and graphics within the design and layout of your site. You may add these in a Text Widget in the sidebar, footer, or other widgetized area of your WordPress […]

  17. […] learn how to do something new on your blog? Did you finally figure out how to create that difficult text widget project? Did you learn how to resize an image for publishing properly on your […]

  18. […] List in the Sidebar: Add a list of post highlights, links to your past posts in your sidebar with a text widget or whatever your web publishing platform allows for editing and changing your sidebar. Or put the […]

  19. […] WordPress Tips on Exploring the WordPress Text Widget […]

  20. […] may use the WordPress Text Widget to manually create the list of posts or Pages to read in […]

  21. […] you are placing the link in a Text Widget, use the manual method or the web browser link copier to copy and paste the link in […]

  22. […] WordPress Tips: Exploring the WordPress Text Widget […]

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