How to Use the Text Widget for Your WordPress Blog

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

The Text widget in WordPress.com is a little different from the rest of the widgets on the Widgets page. Add the Text widget just as you would any other. After you have it settled in the sidebar, click the arrow to the right of the widget title. A text box drops down to let you type text or HTML code to insert a hyperlink or include an image file.

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WordPress.com users can’t, by default, monetize their blogs within their network. This means that you can’t run any type of advertisement services such as Google AdSense, Yahoo!, or text ad links. This is mentioned here because many users think they can use the Text widget to include the ad code (JavaScript, PHP, or others) that advertisement services provide them to display ads on their site.

WordPress doesn’t allow it; therefore programming code such as JavaScript and PHP doesn’t work in the WordPress.com Text widget. WordPress.com allows some light advertising in only very special circumstances, and it has a program called WordAds that users can opt into — but currently it’s open to sites that have moderate to high traffic and appropriate content on their site. You can read more about WordPress.com’s advertising policy.

You have no real options to configure for the Text widget, but you can use the simple text box for several things. Here are a couple of examples of what you can use a Text widget for:

  • Type a short paragraph of text, such as a bio.

  • Insert the HTML code to display an image in your sidebar.

The Text widget accepts basic HTML that you can use to do things like insert an image, a hyperlink, or a list of items. You may need to brush up on some HTML markup to make that happen.