Many bloggers set up a single sidebar and then include that sidebar on every page of their blogs. But what happens if you have categories that would benefit from different sidebar content, or pages on your blog where you'd like a custom sidebar?
Maybe you want to place hand-picked affiliate ads, or you want to promote different books on different sections of your blog. Whatever your reason, you can create custom sidebars and have them appear only where you want them to on your WordPress site.
The Custom Sidebars Plugin
If your blog or other WordPress website is a good candidate for custom sidebars, this plugin is a great place to start. You can set up new sidebars to replace the default one (or to replace other widget areas in your theme).
What can you do with it?
- Have a custom sidebar for each blog category.
- Set up custom sidebars for specific pages (such as a special sidebar with a contact form for your contact page or a sidebar with your personal bio for your blog's About page).
- Create custom sidebars for different post types, if you're using custom post types (such as having a different sidebar for the portfolio section of your site).
This is a plugin I personally use, including here at All Freelance Writing. And I have plans to use it even more extensively in the near future. I'm lucky that my theme here already comes with the ability to swap different sidebars in for different areas of the site. But the number of custom sidebars is limited. Any more, and the plugin comes into play.
Not all themes have that option. So if you've felt stuck with a single sidebar, give the Custom Sidebars plugin a try. Promote your books and services more effectively. Share related posts with more relevant readers. You might be surprised at how much more flexible your WordPress site becomes with this plugin installed.
Have you used this or a similar plugin before? What do you like best about being able to customize your sidebars? Share your thoughts in the comments.