Category Archives: WooThemes

The WooSidebars Plugin

Once they have uploaded a header and worked out the look and location of their site navigation, people start eyeing the sidebars.  By default, sidebars appear in the same 2 or 3 places on each page:  usually 2 spaces in the right sidebar (one above the other) and in the footer area.  Most themes have an option of using a Home Page Template which has no sidebar and so the content extends the width of the page template.

Often people ask if they can have different sidebars on specific pages.  You could go overboard and have different sidebars on every page, but this could fast become confusing for visitors.  However, there are times when it makes sense to have a sidebar on a page with specific content related to that page.  For example, on a page which describes courses or an event, you could have a registration form in your sidebar, or a PayPal widget.  It would not be as helpful to have these on the home page or the blog page of your site.

WooThemes has created a free Sidebar plugin that has this functionality.  It is called WooSidebars, and integrates seamlessly with Canvas, Woo’s “flagship” theme. Woo says that it should integrate well with other themes. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will update this post when I do.  After using Woo Sidebars with the Canvas theme, I enjoyed the ease and flexibility and can’t wait to try it with the default WordPress themes.

So what is so great about WooSidebars?  Well, not only can you add specific sidebars to specific pages, you can also replace/override existing sidebars.  Give it a try.  Put the kettle on and follow these painless steps:

Watch the WooSidebars Video

1.  It’s a good overview and it’s only 2 minutes and 38 seconds!

Download the WooSidebars Plugin

2.  If you don’t have the Canvas theme, go to the Dashboard menu. Click on Plugins>Add New.  (If you have the Canvas theme, go to WooDojo in the Dashboard menu and select WooSidebars.)

3.  If you are adding a new plugin from Plugins, type WooSidebars in the search box.

4.  Scroll down the list until you find WooSidebars then click to install. (Note: there are other Woo products, so select the one that only says, WooSidebars.)

Designate the Pages for the Sidebar

3.  In the Dashboard menu click Plugins>Widget Areas.

4.  On the Widget Areas page, click Add New.

5.  Give your Widget Area a title, for example, “Blog Page Sidebar”.

6.  Give it a description as a reminder to yourself, or skip this step.

7.  In the Conditions box select the pages upon which you want this sidebar to appear. (I will cover the “Advanced” options in another post.)

8.  On the far right in the dropdown menu titled: “Sidebar to Replace”, select the sidebar that you want to replace. (Note:  If you don’t select anything, it will replace the one at the top of that dropdown menu.)

9.  Click the “Publish” button.

Fill the Sidebar

10. In Dashboard, select Appearances>Widgets.  On the far right of the widgets page is a column with your current active widgets.  Now in addition to the default ones, you should see the one you just created at the top right.

11.  In order to add a widget, select it from the available widgets on the left side of the page and drag it over to your new sidebar. If you change your mind, click on the undesired widget and click “remove”.  You can also just drag the widget to the left (outside the sidebar) and it will disappear.

12.  Return to your site (if necessary, refresh your page) and see how your new sidebar looks.