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Tips to Make Your WordPress Sidebar Work Better

Tips to Make Your WordPress Sidebar Work Better

For most common websites, the sidebar section is one of the most important parts that can be used to display the valuable and crucial information in a fixed manner. You can use different widgets to showcase different items. In general, a typical website sidebar may showcase the below things.

  • Links to the recent blog posts, the most popular contents and the mostly viewed comments.
  • The social media buttons that are linking to your social platform profiles.
  • The special forms for email registration or account signup.
  • The short website description or the webmaster bio information.
  • The advertisements for the website products and services or for the items offered by other third parties.

Surely, all of these elements are great for the proper working of your website sidebar, but do you want this sidebar to work harder for you? This time, we’d like to list some useful tips to make your WordPress sidebar work better.

Make the Right Decision of Sidebar Location and Widget Order

To begin with, you need to make the proper choice between the right sidebar and the left sidebar. After all, the proper sidebar location can effectively increase the chances for people to check and to interact with the sidebar contents.

To make this decision, you need to consider the common reading habit. When checking a webpage, our eyes will move from the left to the right automatically, which means our final attention is on the right hand. In this case, if you hope people can engage with your sidebar more, you’d better switch it from left to right.

Right Sidebar

In addition to the location, you also need to consider the order of each widget on your sidebar. In most cases, people are much more likely to be engaged with the top items and may skip through the central part and scroll down to the bottom quickly.

Due to this, you’d better make sure that the items you want people to pay attention are displayed on the top of the sidebar, such as the advertisements and the opt-in form.

Achieve the Simple and Precise Sidebar

We have found that many webmasters display a cluttered sidebar that has a lot of widgets showcased in the weird order. If you are the one, you need to clean up your sidebar to make it as simple and precise as possible.

Especially, as WordPress offers a lot of sidebar widgets by default and your themes may also add some options, it is not a good idea to leave all of them in place. Instead, you need to remove some unnecessary widgets but only keep a few crucial ones.

To do this, you only need to enter the WordPress admin panel and hit the Appearance button for navigating to the Widgets section. Here, you will find all the widgets that are currently showcased on your sidebar and you can painlessly remove them by clicking the Delete button.

Remove Widgets

In addition, it is possible that you do not display too many things on the sidebar, but your sidebar still looks busy and cluttered without the enough spaces between different widgets. In this case, to break up this clutter situation, you can put up a thin border between each widget.

Achieve the Sticky View for Some Important Sidebar Widgets

It is possible that you have already put some crucial widgets at the top location of your website sidebar. However, when people scroll down your webpages, the widgets may disappear due to your page design. In this case, you’d better achieve the sticky view for them so that they can keep in sights all the times.

For this, you can consider installing the Fixed Widget plugin, which can achieve the fixed position of your selected widgets even if the webpage is scrolling down.

Upon the installation, you can directly enter the Widgets section of your dashboard, and then, click your target widgets that are listed in the sidebar. Here, you can find a special checkbox named as Fixed Widget. You just need to hit it.

Fixed Widget Plugin

This way, your crucial widgets can remain in the eyes of your readers. If your widgets are about some call to actions, such as the clicking of the ads and the subscription of your newsletters, this can result in a higher chance for them to take some actions.

Even, this plugin allows you to decide some minor settings for the display of the fixed widgets. For instance, you can determine the exact pixels of the margin top, the margin bottom and the maximum screen width for the activation of the sticky effect.

Fixed Widget Options

Create Multiple Sidebars for Different Pages

This tip is pretty useful if your website is a large platform that contains a lot of categories coming with different contents. For instance, you may have a large e-commerce site that sells a wide variety of products. If so, you’d better create different sidebars for different categories, featuring different related contents. Note that this practice simply helps you target your readers precisely.

To do this, we think the Easy Custom Sidebar plugin is the great option to try. With it, you can create multiple custom sidebars and replace them with your default sidebar.

Here, you can click the Theme Sidebars button after the plugin installation. And then, you can create the new sidebar by giving it a name and clicking the Save Sidebar button.

Once you have created your custom sidebar, you can choose where to apply the sidebar replacement. For instance, you can show it for all or some of your posts and pages, all the posts in some specific categories, all the posts that bear the particular tags and many more. Note that this plugin achieves the AJAX search function that allows you to easily and quickly find the target posts, pages and categories that you are looking to apply this replacement.

Sidebar Replacement

In addition, it is possible that your website already has multiple default sidebars. If so, you need to determine which sidebar will be replaced with your custom ones.

Sidebar Properties

Now, you can click the Widgets button to target your newly created sidebar, and then, drag your wanted widgets into it.

Selectively Display Some Sidebar Widgets for Different Posts

This tip is a little bit similar to the previous one, but can save you a lot of efforts without the need to create an entire new sidebar. Instead, depending on the different contents people are looking for, you can show them different sidebar information by hiding some widgets based on different situations. Generally, this can have a huge impact on how your readers interact with your website sidebar.

This time, we highly recommend you to try the plugin of Display Widgets. With it, you can modify the sidebar contents for different posts, categories, pages and custom taxonomies easily. This can help you avoid generating multiple sidebars and copying the sidebar widgets.

In addition, this great plugin allows you to showcase different widgets for different users. For instance, if you want to showcase the promoted information or some special website activities to your logged in readers only but not the common visitors on the sidebar, this feature can be useful.

Now, you simply need to install the Display Widgets plugin and click the Widgets button. Here, you can click each of your sidebar widgets to decide who can see this widget and which page can display it totally based on your needs.

Display Widgets Plugin