The “text” widget: Feel its power on your Areavoices blog!!!

The text widget is a really great tool for customizing your Areavoices blog because it can take HTML code. “Oh, goodie,” you say sarcastically, “I do love HTML.”

But HTML isn’t as complicated as it might initially seem. And, with just a few simple codes, you can get some nifty-looking stuff. For example, here’s a screenshot of an item on my own blog. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

The highlighted section was created with the “text” widget. Here’s how I did it. (Oh, quick note, different themes may allow different widgets so I don’t know that this is possible in all themes, but it works in the default “Twenty Eleven” theme).

First, you click on “Widget” in the “Appearance” menu. Then, drag the box labeled “text” over to the box labeled “main sidebar.” (See below – Click image for a larger view.)

The “About Shane” part is just the text I typed into the text box label. All the rest of it is created by entering text and HTML into the “text” area. Here’s the code for what you’re seeing:

  • The picture of me and my family – “<img src=”” alt=”Me and my crew”>”
  • The intro paragraph is like this. No coding necessary – “Hi, I’m Shane Mercer. I’m the community content coordinator at The Forum, the daily newspaper in Fargo-Moorhead. Being the CCC sorta makes me the blog guy around here. Here are some facts about me:”
  • This is the bullet list: “<ul>” start the list. “<li>” marks each bullet point; “</ul>” closes the list. So here’s how it looks:

<li>I grew up in Tennessee
<li>I’m married to Amy; we have three kids
<li>I love BBQ (And I don’t mean mean Sloppy Joes)
<li>I play a Taylor guitar
<li>I shoot a Nikon camera
<li>My dad is a missionary to Peru…

  • This is the link at the bottom – “<a href=” means you’re inserting a link. Here’s the syntax for the link”Wanna <a href=””>know more</a>?”

And there’s tons more you can do with it. Links to favorite sites, photos of your cat, clickable thingies that can make that email box pop up!

Okay, so was that helpful or just really, really confusing? Maybe it sounds cool, but you don’t think you could ever pull it off. Don’t worry; we can do it! I’m here to help. Call me!

You can get more blog help here.

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