How To Create a Sidebar In WordPress – Step By Step Guide

In my post, I show you how to create a sidebar in WordPress, step by step.

In sidebars, you can add widgets. Widgets add extra functionality to your blog. You can edit and delete them simply in WordPress.

Choose a WordPress theme that has an option to use sidebars. WordPress themes without sidebar options mean you must install a plugin.

To create a sidebar in WordPress.

  1. Select a WordPress theme with a sidebar option.
  2. Install and activate your WordPress theme.
  3. Hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’ and select ‘Customise’.
  4. Select ‘Layout’ from the menu.
  5. Select the sidebar option.
  6. Add widgets to the sidebar.
  7. Publish changes.

Let’s begin.

Step one – Use A WordPress Theme With Sidebar Option

To install a WordPress theme, go to ‘Appearance’ on your WordPress admin menu and select ‘Themes’ from the popup.

Select themes

Next, select the ‘Add new’ link.

Add new

Click on the ‘Feature Filter’ link.

Feature filter

On the right, under ‘Layout’, there is an option to select a theme with a left and right sidebar option.

Tick the boxes, then select the ‘Apply filter’ link.

From the list, select the theme that best suits your blog topic. To reduce the list further, use the search function on the top right. Or use the ‘Feature Filter’ again.

Available themes after using feature filter

To view information about each theme, hover your mouse over the one you like, and select ‘Details and Preview’.

Details and preview

Step Two – Install And Activate Your WordPress Theme

If you like more than one theme, you can install them and preview them to see how they look with your blog content.

Hover your mouse over the theme, and select ‘Install’.

Install theme

Then select ‘Activate’. Activating the theme makes it live on your website. To preview the WordPress theme with your content, select the ‘Live Preview’ link.

Activate theme

Once activated, click on ‘Customise’.

Should you select the ‘Live Preview’ link, you also go to ‘Customise’.


The customize feature allows you to change how your content is displayed.

Use the menu on the left to change the settings on the theme. Every change shows in the live preview window on the right.


Step Three – Create A Sidebar

Each WordPress theme is different. You might have to change a setting to create a sidebar, or the WordPress theme already has a sidebar.

For example, on the Themelia WordPress theme, you must click on ‘Layout’ to create a sidebar.


In ‘Layout’, there are three options. Select the option with a right or left sidebar.

Global layout

Once selected, the live preview on the right displays the new sidebar.

Step Four – Add Widgets To The Sidebar

From the menu, select ‘Widgets’.


Each theme has sections you can place widgets. This theme has four.

Select the area for your widget.

Primary widget

Click on the ‘Add a Widget’ link.

Add a widget

A list of available widgets opens on the right.

Available widgets

Click on the widget you want to add to your sidebar.

Add a widget to your current active widget list

Give the widget a title, make your edits, and click on ‘Done’.

Edit a widget

To move a widget, drag and drop.

Move widgets

To remove a widget, select ‘Delete’.

Select delete

Your changes show in the preview window on the right.

Site preview

Step Five – Publish Changes

Select the ‘Publish’ link to make your edits live.

Select publish to make your changes live

How To Add Widgets To Your Sidebar From Your WordPress Admin

From the WordPress admin menu, hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’, and select ‘Widgets’.

Select widgets

Available widgets are on the left, and your website sidebar is to the right.

Available widget list

To add a new widget, drag and drop the widget block from the left and drop it into the section block on the right.

To edit a widget, click on the section block to open it up.

Open the block to edit widgets

Make your edits and select ‘Save’ to update.

Make your edits and then save

To remove a widget, select ‘Delete’.

Select delete to remove a widget


Creating sidebars for your WordPress blog is simple with WordPress. Choose a theme that has a sidebar feature and activate it in ‘Customise’.

Once activated, add widgets to the sidebar to add functionality to your website. You can also use sidebars to add legal disclaimers, ‘About you’ sections, and place advertisements.

You can add widgets to the sidebar using the theme customizer or the WordPress admin.

What WordPress theme do you use on your site? How many sidebars do you have? What do you display on your sidebars?

More posts…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.