Custom Sidebars Pro lets you set when and where widgets display on your site.
It’s WordPress widgets on steroids and it will transform your site.
Set any widget area to change dynamically then create new widget areas to replace them based on post type, page, category, user type, author and more.
Display custom widget areas on every part of your site.
It’s Really Easy
Every part of Custom Sidebars Pro is seamlessly integrated with the WordPress ‘Widgets’ menu for add control and simplicity.
No confusing settings pages or added menu items. Just simple core integration.
Quickly Manage Sidebars
Clone widgets across different areas and sync updates for a super fast way to manage complex widgets in multiple places.
Speed up your workflow with import/export to other sites and copy/paste into new areas.
Download Custom Sidebars Pro for next-level customization and control over your WordPress widgets.
Creating a New Custom Sidebar
Once activated on a site, head on over to Appearance > Widgets on that site. All the settings & options are located right there.
Once there, you’ll see that the layout of your widgets area has changed a bit. All available widgets are still shown on the left side as they always have been. But, on the right side, you’ll now see a distinctly new area:
1. The new Sidebars section at the top enables you to create a new custom sidebar, or export/import your sidebar configuration (more on that below).
2. The Custom Sidebars section will display the custom sidebars you have created. As this is a new install, there won’t be anything there yet. 🙂
3. The Theme Sidebars section displays the sidebars made available by your currently active theme, just like you’re used to.
Let’s now create a new custom sidebar so we can see how all that works. Click the Create a new sidebar button in the Sidebars section at the top.
A modal window will pop open where you must enter the name of your new sidebar, and the description (optional).
If you want to edit the layout of widgets that you’ll be adding to your custom sidebar, check the Advanced – Edit custom wrapper code checkbox at the bottom. That will open a new section in the modal where you can edit the actual HTML used to display the widgets in your new sidebar.
- Be careful here though: if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you may mess up the layout of your site. For more on the HTML used for widgets, see this article over at JustinTadlock.com
Once you’ve entered all the details for your new sidebar, click the Create Sidebar button in the modal. You’ll now see your spanking new custom sidebar appear in the Custom Sidebars section.
You’ll notice that there are a few settings options in a row at the bottom of each sidebar:
- Sidebar Location enables you to specify where this sidebar should be displayed (see the next section).
- Edit launches the new sidebar modal again, but allows you to edit the current sidebar settings.
- The Trash can does what you’d expect, but you’ll be asked to confirm you really do want to delete your sidebar.
Now that we have our first custom sidebar, let’s set it up to be able to replace other theme sidebars.
Setting the Sidebar Location
We first need to set things up so that selected theme sidebars can be replaced with our custom one. That’s just too easy: simply check Allow this sidebar to be replaced in any sidebars you want to be able to replace. 🙂
Now click the Sidebar Location link in the bottom row of your new custom sidebar to pop open a modal window where you can select exactly where you want it to appear.
For each theme sidebar where you have checked Allow this sidebar to be replaced, you’ll see several options for both single entries and archives.
- In both sections, you can set your custom sidebar to replace your theme sidebars depending on what post category they’re in, and/or the post-types.
- Note that custom taxonomies are not currently supported in this section. However, you can set the visibility of individual widgets depending on custom taxonomies. See below for details on that.
In each setting, you can select multiple categories or post-types too, so you can really target specific content areas on your site.
Once you’re done, click Save Changes in the modal window.
- If you don’t want to save your changes, click Cancel or simply click out of the window to close it.
If you want to check stuff out now on the front-end of your site, drag any widget to a theme sidebar you have set to be replaced, and visit some content to see the magic happen.
You may have noticed something interesting at the top of the Sidebar Location modal:
- To attach this sidebar to a unique Post or Page please visit that Post or Page & set it up via the sidebars metabox.
Yep, you’ll see a new metabox in the editor of every post-type on your site enabling you to quickly and easily select which sidebar should display for that specific post.
Selecting a sidebar here will override what you may have set as its Sidebar Location under Appearance > Widgets. In other words, even if a sidebar has been set to appear only on posts under Appearance > Widgets, you can select it for display on a page here.
Now let’s take a closer look at widget-specific options.
Cloning a Widget
This is a really handy feature that can save you a lot of time if you have widgets with a bunch of complicated options or arrangements of shortcodes, and need to adjust them from time to time.
You can create an identical copy of any widget, complete with all its settings, simply by clicking the Clone button at the bottom of the widget.
The cloned widget will appear immediately below the one you just clicked. Now just drag the clone to any sidebar where you want it.
To make this a real time-saver, your widgets are now linked. That means that any edits you make to one of them will be automatically reflected in the other! This will be indicated by a link icon next to the widget title.
Hovering your mouse pointer over the link icon will highlight all other widgets that are linked clones.
If you don’t want a widget to be linked anymore to another, simply click the link icon in that widget, and click the Save button in the widget. That one can now be edited independently from other linked clones.
- Note that once a widget has been unlinked from any clones, it cannot be re-linked.
Important: if you manually add multiple instances of the same widget to sidebar(s), the plugin will assume they are clones and will automatically link them. If you want to configure them independently, click Save in one of them to refresh the page. Then click the link icon in each one you want to be independent of the others.
You can set any widget to display or not depending on any combination of user role, special pages (frontpage, archives, 404, etc.), post-type or taxonomies.
To set the visibility for any particular widget, click the Visibility button at the bottom of the widget.
Then click the Show button to select whether to Show or Hide the widget based on conditions you’ll set next.
Now click the plus (+) sign that appears when you hover your mouse pointer over Show/Hide widget if to open a menu of conditions you can select.
As an example, we can set a widget to display only for admins. Once Show has been selected in the previous step, select Roles here.
Then click in the empty field to open another menu where you can select the role you want. If you want to include additional roles in the same rule, simply select them one after the other to add them in.
- Tip: if you want to set a widget to be visible to logged-in users only, use this rule, and simply select all user roles.
You can include as many additional visibility rules as you need by clicking the plus (+) sign again and adding the new ones.
You may also have noticed in the visibility rules illustrated above that there is one for “Membership”. That will appear for selection only if you have our Membership plugin active on your site.
So yes, you can set any widget to display or not depending on the Membership access level of the user visiting your site. Cool huh?