Picture of an Apple keyboard with headphone and a phone with WordPress logo pulled up

Adding Special Characters to WordPress

There are a lot of situations when you might want to add WordPress special characters to your website. For example, you may need to add a trademark symbol or a copyright character. By default, however, these characters aren’t available on regular keyboards, and WordPress doesn’t provide you with a block or a feature to add them to your content.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to add special characters to your website. You can approach this task either manually or with a plugin, and both routes are quick and simple.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what kinds of special characters you might need to add to your content, and how to do so. Let’s get to work!

Kinds of Special Characters

A modern keyboard contains dozens of unique characters besides just letters and numbers. There are question marks, exclamation points, slashes, dollar symbols, and many more. 

However, we use a lot more special characters in our online content than what any keyboard can contain. Some examples include:

  • Male and female symbols
  • The copyright symbol
  • Trademark symbols
  • Simple emoticons

In practice, there are hundreds of special characters that you can use. First, however, you’ll have to know how to add them to WordPress. Let’s talk about how that process works.

Adding Special Characters to WordPress With HTML

If you don’t want to use a WordPress special characters plugin, the alternative is to add those symbols using HTML. There are specific HTML codes that WordPress will recognize and ‘translate’ into the special characters that you want to use. All it takes are two simple steps.

Step 1: Add HTML Entity Code to the Post Editor

The first thing you’ll need to do is open the WordPress Block Editor. We’re going to be using HTML ‘entities’, which are codes that WordPress can translate into special characters.

Let’s say, for example, that you want to add a copyright symbol in WordPress. To do that, add a Custom HTML block anywhere on your page or post. Then type “©” inside that block:

Image of how to add a custom HTML block on your WordPress page

Every HTML entity is composed of an ampersand followed by a specific code, with a semicolon to tie everything up. As long as you remain within the Block Editor, you’ll only see the code. To see the resulting special character, you need to publish or preview the post.

Since there are hundreds of special characters and entity codes that you can use, you’ll need a cheat sheet. Fortunately, it’s easy to find a full list of entity codes and the characters they represent.

Step 2: Preview Your Post

The next step is simple. Once you’ve added all the entity codes that you want to use, go ahead and preview the post you’re working on.

During the last step, we added a copyright symbol in WordPress. You can also add a trademark symbol or any other special character that you want to see:

How to add a special character to a WordPress post step by step

If you preview your page with the new code included, you’ll see something like this:

Screen shot of a special character in the preview of WordPress page

There’s no limit to how many special characters you can add to WordPress using HTML. So go ahead and experiment with the entity codes that work for your needs.

Add Special Characters to WordPress With a Plugin

Although using HTML to add WordPress special characters is simple, looking up the right codes can be cumbersome. A more straightforward alternative is to use a WordPress special characters plugin.

Step 1: Install the Insert Special Characters Plugin

We chose the Insert Special Characters plugin for this tutorial because it’s remarkably simple to use. This plugin adds a menu that includes almost every special character you might want to insert into WordPress. All you have to do is select a character, and that’s it!

To install the plugin, go to your dashboard and into the Plugins > Add New tab. Use the search bar to find the “Insert Special Characters” plugin and select the first result:

Screenshot of how to install and add the Insert Special Characters plugin

Then click on Install Now and then Activate. Once the plugin is ready, you can move on to step number two.

Step 2: Select the Character You Want to Insert

The Special Characters plugin doesn’t add a new block to the WordPress editor. Instead, it adds a Special Characters option when you’re using a text block:

Screenshot of the special characters plugin within WordPress block editor

If you select that option, a menu will pop up that includes hundreds of WordPress special characters. You should be able to find anything you need there, from trademark to copyright symbols and much more:

List of hundreds of special characters available in WordPress plugin

Keep in mind that you can navigate these symbols using the tabs at the top of the menu or the search bar to the right. For example, if you want to add a trademark symbol, you can type “trademark” into the search bar:

Example of how to add a Trademark symbol to a WordPress post

Once you’ve found the special character you want to use, it’s time to add it to WordPress.

Step 3: Insert the Character

When you’ve located the right special character, click on it and it will appear within the text block, just like this:

Example of how special characters appear in a post in WordPress

Unlike HTML entities, using the Special Characters plugin enables you to see your characters right within the editor, which makes them easier to work with.

Make Your Site Look Its Best With WP Engine

Adding special characters to your website is only one of the many things that WordPress enables you to do. To unleash the full potential of your WordPress site, however, you’ll need to use the right web host.

WP Engine enables you to create a top-quality website, and provide the best customer experience possible for your users!

Get started.

Build faster, protect your brand, and grow your business with a WordPress platform built to power remarkable online experiences.