How to Use HTML in the Text Widget in WordPress

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The widgets included in the WordPress platform are handy little tools that let web users make very good use of the dead space on the right or left sides of their pages. The beauty of using widgets is that they are highly customizable in most themes. Take the text widget, for example. The text widget basically offers you a blank canvas to place information that will not work well in any of the other widgets.

There are some website owners who want to include a contact phone number and address in the sidebar rather than creating a dedicated contact page. For them, the text widget is perfect. Others want to use the sidebar space to plug a particular item they want to sell. For example, a blogger might want to create his or her ad to sell a newly-published book. This can all be done with the text widget. The only question is: what do you do if you want to utilize HTML in the text widget but you have no coding knowledge? You have two options.

Download a WYSIWYG Editor

The first option is to download a WYSIWYG HTML editor to create your text in. There are lots of free editors for Windows, Mac, and Linux. They work just like your standard word processor. If you can create fairly decent looking documents using a popular office suite, you can certainly use a WYSIWYG editor to create the content for your text widget.

The process is fairly simple. Just use your editor in standard view to create whatever you want. Then navigate through the menus until you find the option to view the source code. It is a simple matter of cutting and pasting. Cut the code out of your editor and paste it into the text box widget.

Create a New WordPress Post

An easier way to use HTML in the text widget is to simply create a new post through the WordPress Dashboard. Creating a new post gives you access to the built-in WP editor. You already know how to create content using the editor in visual mode, so creating customized text for your widget should be a piece of cake.

Use the editor to do whatever you want to do. You can enter text, graphics, and even hyperlinks to external sites or other pages on your site. When you’re all done, click on the ‘Text’ tab at the top right corner of the editor. This switches the editor to a view of the HTML code. Then just cut and paste the same way you would if you were using a separate WYSIWYG editor.

Regardless of which method you use, remember that the text widget limits you in terms of width. The more content in your widget, the longer it will be. It’s a good idea to create sidebar content that complements the main body of your page rather than overpowering it, so you may have to experiment with several different layouts to get the length and width just the way you want it.

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