How to Use the WordPress Text Widget - dummies

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

The Text widget is one of the most useful WordPress widgets because it enables you to add text and HTML code into widget areas without editing the theme’s template files. For that reason, the Text widget is the jack-of-all-trades widget; it enables you to include several types of information on your site by including your own text within it.

To illustrate this, here are some diverse examples for how the Text widget has been used and why it’s such a popular feature:

  • Add an e-mail newsletter subscription form: You can add a form that allows your site visitors to sign up for your e-mail newsletter. This often involves HTML, so the Text widget is especially helpful because it allows you to include basic HTML markup within it.

  • Display business hours of operation: You can display the days and hours of your business operation where everyone can easily see them.

  • Post your updates from social networks: Many social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook offer embed codes to display your updates on those sites directly on your website. They often include JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, and with the Text widget, you can easily embed the code provided.

  • Announce special events and notices: If your organization has a special sale, an announcement about a new staff member, or an important notice about inclement weather closings, you can use the Text widget to quickly post these types of things in just a few seconds to your site.

The WordPress Text widget does not allow you to include PHP code of any kind, such as special WordPress template tags or functions. However, a great plugin — the Advanced Text Widget — allows you to insert PHP code within it. If you need this feature, you can download the Advanced Text Widget from the WordPress Plugin Directory page.

To add the Text widget to a sidebar or footer on your site, follow these steps:

  1. From the WordPress Dashboard, choose Appearance→Widgets.

  2. Drag and drop the Text widget from the Available Widgets section to the desired widget area on the right.

    The Text widget opens automatically to allow for editing.

  3. Add a widget title in the Title field and any desired text in the text area.

  4. Click the Save button and then click the Close link.

    The text widget closes, and you can view the content of the widget on your website.