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How to use the Text Widget

In this video, I show you some different uses of the text widget—and how it can provide you with a variety of customized widgets you might have not thought possible: email-signups, event lists, ebook sales and more. And all without having to learn html. It also works great for adding widgets to your blog or site or WordPress.com, where you limited with a certain number of widgets.

And if you are interested in learning how to create a custom RSS email widget with the text widget, watch this video.

And below the video is a screenshot tutorial as well.

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Here is a widget that is particularly useful. It’s called the text widget. It comes as a default widget in WordPress. You may have already discovered it.

Or not.

Underneath this widget in your widget page, it simply says, “Arbitrary text or HTML.”

Looks promising. But when you type some text, it’s not as exciting as you thought. You might get excited. You think, wow I can simply type some text in there. In fact, it looks bland.

And when you see “HTML,” you might  shiver. You don’t know HTML—and never will. It’s scary stuff.

So you ignore it.

But give it a closer look. because this little widget could become your best friend. In fact, in my workshops I used to refer to it as the “magical text widget” until people started googling “magical text widget”. Learned my lesson there.

What can you do with the text widget?

Let’s say you have been listed as one of the Top 10 Food Blogs and you want to put the badge on your sidebar. They send you an email and give you a few lines of code—or HTML—for that and the shivers start again.

What the heck am I supposed to do with that, you say.

Look no further than your text widget friend. Simply drag it over into your sidebar, give it a title (if you want), then paste that hieroglyphics-like  code into it.

Presto! Your badge shows up.

And here’s let a little tip for with you on how to create your own sidebar badge—even if you don’t know HTML.

An example: Let’s say I want to put the “For Bloggers By Bloggers” badge on my sidebar. They sent me the graphic, but now what?

1) I save it on my computer.

2) I open up a new page. I  won’t be saving this, just using it to format my own badge with its own link.

3) I click on the upload media button and find the graphic I just saved. A window like this will come up. See the arrows? That’s where I linked the image to the blog’s URL and centered it.

WordPress text widget

4) Once i have the image in, I can add some text below it. My page edit window will look like this:

WordPress text widget

5) I click on the HTML tab and copy the code.

WordPress text widget

6) I go back to my widgets. I grab the text widget, drag it into my sidebar, open it and paste the code in. You can also add a title for the widget if you want to:

WordPress text widget

7) I’ll save and then I can preview my new badge in the sidebar of my blog.

For Bloggers by Bloggers badege

This widget can also be used when grabbing code for your Facebook “like” box or Twitter feed. The options are practically endless.

Watch the video above to learn more.

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Bob Dunn
I'm BobWP, educator, podcaster and blogger. I have taught thousands of people how to set up their WordPress sites and grow them out. Having used WordPress since 2007, I bring those years of experience to our content in non-geeky sort of way.

8 comments on “How to use the Text Widget

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  5. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

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