How to add custom sidebars in WordPress

There are two major columns on a website. The main column with the main content, pagination, articles, and so on, and the sidebar column with sidebar widgets with a search bar, advertisement, latest blog posts, and so on.

So, you’d definitely need one if you want to make the most out of your canvas.

Not to mention, having a display ad on your sidebar will increase your overall blog income dramatically.

We all are aware of the goodies that these sidebars offer but what if you don’t want to show the same sidebar content on every single post, custom post types and pages?

By default, WordPress only let’s you use a single sidebar. If you are using a premium WordPress theme, you may be able to use multiple Sidebars for main container and the footer section but not many themes will let you create custom sidebars on the go.

And, if they let you create custom sidebars, you will lose all the custom sidebars when you decide to switch to a new theme.

What’s the workaround?

Well, you can always use codes or a plugin to create custom sidebars in WordPress, and in this tutorial, I am going to show you how.

Let’s get started right away.

Note: In this tutorial, I am going to use Unlimited Custom Sidebars plugin but if you are familiar with WordPress, you can make use of any such plugin that you prefer using in place of Unlimited Custom Sidebars.

Step #1: Head over to WordPress plugin repository and search with the term, “Unlimited Custom Sidebars”. If you aren’t able to find this plugin, it is build by Joachim Jensen.

Install this plugin and active it.

Custom Sidebars In WordPress - search and install plugin-min

Step #2: Once the plugin is active, you will see an option in the admin menu bar. Click on the “Add New” link.

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Step #3: Once your click on the menu option, it will take you to a page where you can configure the new sidebar.

Custom Sidebars In WordPress - configure sidebar-min

There are a lot of metrics that you can use as filters. You can choose to display custom sidebars on special pages, posts written by specific authors, page templates, post types, pages, media, categories, tags and other available formats.

Choose the relevant filters and metrics to display your custom sidebar on the right page.

Step #4: Once you are done configuring the custom sidebar, you can now work on the actions. You can also replace, merge, force replace, or turn your custom sidebar into a shortcode.

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Custom Sidebars In WordPress - replace sidebar-min

Step #5: The next step is to style the custom sidebar the way you want without any coding.

Custom Sidebars In WordPress - design sidebar-min

Step #6: With the Schedule option, you can decide when a sidebar automatically becomes active and inactive.

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Step #7: Once you are done with styling, scheduling and configuring the custom sidebar, you can click on the “Create” button.

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Now you have created a custom sidebar but you haven’t actually made it available in the front-end. So, you will need to do that by editing a post.

Step #8: Edit or create a new post. Scroll to the Sidebars – Quick Select option and select your custom sidebar in select box.

Custom Sidebars In WordPress - select sidebar from post editor-min

If you want to show your sidebars in custom positions, you can do that by adding some custom codes in the functions.php

Since the theme that I am using doesn’t come with two column layout, I have to do with the footer plugins.

Once you select the custom sidebar, your custom sidebar will reflect on the front-end of the website.

Custom Sidebars In WordPress - font-end-min

FAQs related to custom sidebars in WordPress

Does adding custom sidebars slow down your website?

Yes, if you are using a shared web hosting plan with limited resources, you shouldn’t be installing such plugins. I wouldn’t recommend installing a custom fonts plugin on the shared hosting powered websites. So, there’s no way that I’d recommend installing an advanced customization plugin.

Why should you use custom sidebars on your website?

Well, if you run a blog with multiple categories and hundreds of quality article, you will definitely want to display custom a different sidebars on different blog posts.

This will increase your website’s earning potential and help you in making the most out of your organic search traffic.

Furthermore, it’s 100% free to implement. So, all you have to do is spend 5 minutes creating the plugins and assigning them to posts.

Conclusion: Add custom sidebars in WordPress

Custom sidebars extend WordPress functionality to a great extend. With custom sidebars, you can display specific sidebars for specific post types, blog posts and even pages.

For example, if you have a deals page or a blog post with the latest deals, you’d want to show related deals, other deals that you’d published and affiliate links instead of displaying related posts and latest posts on the sidebar.

I always use custom sidebars on my niche websites to improve revenue generation and to reduce the bounce rate.

How would you make use of custom sidebars in your WordPress website?

Drop you comments in the comment section below.

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