Sidebar makes part of the WordPress layout and is an important part of your WordPress site if well used. The dynamic sidebars that have been widely used in WordPress sites are easy to manage and have great use on your sites, such as showing older posts or old comments on your blog.
Simply put, dynamic sidebar or what is also called as widgetized area is an empty space where users can drag and drop different widgets on their sites. The dynamic sidebars do not only appear on the right-hand side of the blog but also at the top and the bottom. It is easy to install WordPress sidebar on your site and start enjoying their benefits.
Sidebar is an important component of your blog. It can help your readers navigate through your site. They may include older posts that readers can click on, older comments or categories on your site among others. You can also have a registration form for your blog as a sidebar.
Among the many files on WordPress themes is the sidebars file that is called sidebar.php. This is used to store the content of your widgetized areas.
To get this, you have to use get_sidebar function or use WordPress sidebar plugins that make it easy to manage the sidebar. The following code can be added into the sidebar.php file to activate this function.
You can have multiple sidebars so that each of the pages on your blog has a specific one.
Manage Sidebars using Plugins
There are great plugins that bloggers use to manage their sidebars. In the following, we have listed the top options along with a detailed introduction.
WordPress Dynamic Sidebar
This is a plugin that allows you to manage any given number of sidebars on your site. It is an awesome plugin that manages your widget areas with ease, giving you the feeling of dynamism on the site. With this plugin, you can also fetch the sidebar at any place you want, and on any posts and pages with the use of a simple shortcode that can be seen after adding the sidebar from the settings page.
Now, you can go to the widget page and select the widget you want on your sidebar or widget area. Drag and drop the widget on the created sidebar. Open any post or page and place related shortcode on the editor.
Dynamic Sidebar Plugin
This is a plugin that allows you to change the widgets that are displayed in a widgetized area or sidebar in line with the context of the page or a post. It is easy to set up a custom widget area for your blog using a few shortcodes and clicks. Also, you can create dynamic sidebars for each of the custom post type, webpage, and blog post on your site.
Note that its “quick edit” and “bulk edit” can suit different needs in terms of the sidebar quantity and creation speed.
The plugin adds a “custom-sidebar” support by default for posts and images. You just need to use a shortcode wherever you need a sidebar. You can use this shortcode as below.
Create Dynamic WordPress Sidebar Manually
Those who want to have more control on their blogs can use the register_sidebar function to register and manage their sidebars. This is part of the functions.php that you should edit on your site to make the sidebar dynamic, and it goes into your theme. To edit this, add the code below at the bottom of the functions.php.
Note that you need to set your “sidebar id” that is the name you want to give to this sidebar. The “name” does not include any characters. The “description” designates the dynamic sidebar in your admin.
The other part involves the HTML output of the widgets. The after_widget and before_widget designate the HTML that wraps each widget, while the before_title and after_title designate the HTML for each widget’s title.
Add Content to Sidebar Areas
After creating the sidebar by use of codes, you need to add content into it. This is done by dragging and dropping the widgets you need into it. You can drop as many widgets as you like, but ensure that you only include those that are relevant to your blog and your readers.
For example, you can have a widget showing information about you and meta widget to show the number of links that you like your readers to see. After adding your content to the sidebar, you need to display it in your theme.
This also uses a simple code. You can use the dynamic_sidebar function to add a sidebar to your theme on your site. You need to pass the title of your sidebar to the dynamic WordPress sidebar function as following.