Adding a widget to your WordPress site is easy. Once you’ve placed it though, you need to fill in fields or, if it’s a text widget, add content.

If you’re comfortable with HTML, you can simply start typing. but what if you’re not?

Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy workaround.

#1. Open Your Text Widget

Once you’ve added the text widget to your sidebar, footer, or other widgetized area, click the small arrow to expand it.

Text Widget

#2. Type the Title

Decide what you want to call it, and type in a title. We’ll call this one Text Widget Example.

#3. Type the Content

You can type the text you want directly into the widget content area, but you won’t have any styling.

Here’s what it looks like to a site visitor.

Text Widget example

Not very appealing, is it?

Click the checkbox at the bottom of the widget to automatically add paragraphs.

Text widget with paragraphs

That’s a little better, but what do you do if you want to add a link or use bold, or italic, or even add an image, though?

Note: With the release of WordPress 8.1, the information below is obsolete. I’m leaving this post here in case anyone is running an older version of WordPress (and if you are, shame on you. Update now!)

#4. Quick and Easy Cheat for Beautiful Text Widget Content

  • Select the Custom HTML widget instead of the text widget (it’s a recent addition to WordPress).
  • Click to add a new post in a new browser tab. (In Chrome, just right click on the link and select Open Link in New Tab from the dropdown menu.)
  • Type the content you want for your widget into the editing window of the new post. In the Visual Tab, add your styling, links, even images.
  • Save it as a draft, then click to select the Text tab.visual / text editor
  • Now you’ll see something that looks like this.content in the WordPress text editor
  • Copy the contents of the text edit window, go back to your other open tab, and paste them into the Custom HTML widget content area. It’ll look something like this.
    sample widget contentBut your readers will see this.sample widget content
  • Click Save. Of course, you can go back and edit or make other changes. Once you’re satisfied with it, delete the post you used to create it.

Text widgets, and their newer cousins, the Custom HTML widgets, are not the place for long-form content, but this will help you install widgets that say what you want to say, in a way that’s easy for you to create and for your visitors to read.