How do I create a new sidebar in WordPress?

How do I create a new sidebar in WordPress? I show you with screenshots, how to create and organize a sidebar in your WordPress blog. First, you need to pick a theme that allows for a right-hand or left-hand sidebar. Second, you go into ‘Widgets’ under ‘Appearances’ in your WordPress admin. Third, on the right-hand side of the page, you will see sections where you can add widgets. You are looking for the part that has ‘Sidebar’ in the title. Fourth, you select widgets from the left-hand side and drag those to the sidebar section on the right. Fifth, you add titles and necessary information to your selected widgets. Sixth, click save, and now you have created a sidebar for your WordPress blog.

Let’s start creating your sidebar

Choose a WordPress theme with sidebar options

To install a new WordPress theme we need to go to ‘Appearance’ in our WordPress admin. When you hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’ you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Themes.’

Like this.

How to choose a theme in WordPress

After you select ‘Themes’, you come to this page.

Your installed WordPress themes

Here you will find all the themes that are currently installed in your WordPress admin. You can use any theme here for your site or you can find a new theme.

If you would like a more detailed walkthrough on changing your WordPress theme, please check out my post, ‘how to change your WordPress theme.’

I want to find a new theme. To start, you need to click on the ‘Add New’ link on the top left of the above screenshot.

After we click on that link we get access to all the free WordPress themes. It is from here that we can find a theme that has a sidebar.

WordPress theme library

Use the ‘Feature Filter’ option

To find a theme with a sidebar we use the ‘feature filter’ option. Click on ‘Feature filter’ and you get this.

How to use the feature filter in WordPress themes

If you look at the layout column on the right you can see options for a sidebar on the left and right.

Tick the box of the one you want and then click on the ‘Apply Filter’ link on the bottom left.

I will tick the ‘Right Sidebar’ and ‘Accessibility Ready’ feature. After I click on ‘Apply Filter’, these are the themes now available to me.

I can see that I have 77 themes to choose from.

From here I will scroll down to find a theme that I like the look of and install it.

Once I have selected and installed themes that I like, I click on ‘Themes’ again in the main menu on the left.

Your installed WordPress themes

Here you find the themes that you have installed on your WordPress account.

Your installed themes on WordPress

I installed three themes that I liked.

Your current theme will always be the theme on the top-left of this page. You can see the current active theme for this site is the default ‘Twenty Nineteen’ theme

I am going to activate the ‘Magnetism’ theme so that I can create a sidebar.

To activate this theme, I hover my mouse over the image of the theme and click on ‘Activate’.

Like this.

How to activate a WordPress theme

How to create a sidebar in your WordPress blog using customizer

There are two ways to create a sidebar in your WordPress blog. You can click on ‘Customise’ in your admin menu or you can click on ‘Widgets’ in the menu.

If you are on above page you can click on ‘Customise’ on the theme image.

First, I will click on ‘Customise’. Once I do, I get this page.

How to create a sidebar in your WordPress blog

You can see from this page that there are already quite a few widgets in the right-hand sidebar of this theme.

If you want to add or remove any of these widgets then you click on ‘Widgets’ in the menu on the left.

On this theme, when I click on ‘Widgets’ I get this.

How to create a sidebar in your WordPress blog using customiser

Here, I have the option of adding widgets to the sidebar and footer. I will select sidebar.

Organising the widgets in your WordPress sidebar

On the left, you can see all the widgets that are currently in your sidebar. You can change the order by left-clicking on your mouse and dragging the widget up or down.

If you want to delete a widget, you click on the small arrow on the right of the widget. The widget will open up like this.

How to edit a widget in WordPress

Once you open the widget, you can give it a title or if you wish to delete it you click on the red ‘Remove’ link.

I am going to remove all the widgets except the search widget and then I am going to add a new widget so that I can do an about me.

I have now removed the widgets. The live preview page shows me what the page now looks like without the widgets I have deleted.

How to delete widgets

How to add a widget to your sidebar

I am going to add an about me section in my sidebar. First, I click on the ‘Add a Widget’ link on the left.

How to add a widget to your sidebar

After I click on ‘Add a Widget’, I get a list of all the available widgets I can use. The widget I need to do an ‘about me’ section is the ‘Text’ widget.

Creating an about your widget in your sidebar

After I select the ‘Text’ widget, it opens up for me on the left. Now I can add a title for the widget. In the blank space, under that, I can add a photo and text.

As you type in the box, the live preview on the right will reflect your changes.

Like this.

Writing an about you section in your sidebar

When you are happy with your widgets. Click on the blue ‘Publish’ link at the top and your changes will go live.

To exit out of the customiser, click on the black cross on the top left.

How to create a sidebar from your WordPress admin menu

Let’s go back to our WordPress admin dashboard. From here we hover our mouse over ‘Appearance’ and then select ‘Widgets’ from the mini menu.

Like this.

Selcting widgets from your WordPress admin dashboard

After you select ‘Widgets’ you come to this page.

How to create a sidebar in your WordPress blog

On this page you have all your available widgets listed on the left. On the right you have the areas on your website where you can use widgets.

When you use the customiser, you have a live preview of how your site will look. Here you don’t have that.

You can see that the two widgets I used to set up my sidebar in the customizer can be seen here under the ‘Sidebar’ block.

To add widgets to your sidebar or any other section. You click and drag the widget to the section you want the widget to be in.

To edit the widget, it is the sane process as in the customise. You click on the arrow to the right and the widget will open.

Click on the arrow on the ‘Search’ widget to open it up.

How to edit a widget in your WordPress admin

I titled the ‘Search’ widget ‘Site search’.

When you have finished editing don’t forget to click on the blue ‘Save’ link.

How to check your sidebar in your WordPress blog

You have finished making your changes now you want to see how it looks in your blog.

To get a view of your site from your WordPress admin dashboard. You hover your mouse over your site name on the top left of your screen. In the drop down menu, select ‘View site’.

Like this.

How to view your site from your WordPress admin dashboard

Let’s see how my sidebar looks on my site.

How to create a sidebar in your WordPress blog

There is the sidebar I created with a ‘Search’ and ‘Text’ widget.


Having a sidebar on your WordPress blog allows you to present a number of things to your visitors.

You can have an about me section, a disclaimer, a how to guide menu, advertisements, email subscription sign ups, and so on.

With WordPress it is so easy to create and organize. You can create your sidebar through the customiser or widgets in your ‘Appearance’ option in your WordPress admin dashboard.

At anytime you can go back into these sections and make changes. You can add, delete or change.


How do you create your sidebar?

Do you have a sidebar?

What do you have on your sidebar?

Do you change your sidebar often?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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