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

Sidebars allow you to add widgets that add extra functionality to your WordPress blog. You can move, edit, and delete widgets easily when using WordPress. If you choose a theme that has a sidebar feature, you do not need to use a plugin or know any code.

Let’s start creating a sidebar

Choose a WordPress theme with sidebar options

Choosing a theme for your WordPress blog is important, but shouldn’t take too much of your time. You want a theme that highlights your blog topic, is fast loading, and is mobile friendly.

If you have a number of posts already published on your site, changing the theme will change the look and could disable features. Before you change, run a backup of your site. That way you can restore you blog back to the way it was before you made changes.

To learn how to make a backup of your WordPress blog, check out my ‘How to backup your blog‘ post.

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

Select themes

On the next page, select the ‘Add new’ link.

Add new

Here are all the free WordPress themes. There are thousands of them, to shorten the list, we use the ‘Feature Filter’ option.

Feature filter

On the next page, you can shorten the list of available themes by selecting features you need in the theme. For this tutorial, we want a theme that has a sidebar.

On the right under ‘Layout’, there is an option for a left and right sidebar.

Tick the boxes, then select the ‘Apply filter’ link. I recommend that you also tick the ‘Accessibility Ready’ option under ‘Features’. This ensures that the theme will load on all devices.

After you apply your filters, your list will be much shorter, it will be easier for you to select a theme you like.

Available themes after using feature filter

Once you find a theme, hover your mouse over it, and select ‘Install’.

Install theme

Activate your WordPress theme

On your list of installed themes, hover your mouse over your chosen theme, and select ‘Activate’.

Activate theme

Once activated, click on ‘Customize’.

This is where you can add a sidebar to your WordPress site.

How to create a sidebar on your WordPress blog

On the menu, look for ‘Layout’, this feature allows you to set the look of your theme.

Layout

Open ‘Layout’ and choose a setting that has a sidebar. On my theme, there are three options. A sidebar on the left, a sidebar on the right, or no sidebar.

Global layout

Once you select your layout, the preview of your site changes. In your sidebar, you can add ‘Widgets’, widgets give your site extra functionality.

Next, I show you how to add, move, and delete widgets.

How to add, move, and delete a widget in the sidebar

There are two ways to add widgets to your sidebar. The first way is to use the theme customizer.

On the menu, look for ‘Widgets’.

Widgets

Open widgets, and select the primary or main widget.

Primary widget

Now you can add, move, or delete widgets.

Edit widgets

To add a new widget to the sidebar, click on the ‘Add a Widget’ link.

Add a widget

Here is a list of all the available widgets you can add to your sidebar.

Available widgets

Click on the widget you want to add to your sidebar, and it will be added to your current active widgets.

Add a widget to your current active widget list

To edit a widget, click on the widget you want to change, make your edits, and then select ‘Done’.

Edit a widget

To move a widget, click and hold with your mouse and drag the widget to where you want it to go.

I will move the about me widget to be under the site search widget.

Move widgets

To delete a widget, click on the widget you want to remove, and select ‘Delete’.

Select delete

All your changes show in the preview window on the right.

Site preview

When you use the theme customiser to make edits to your theme, don’t forget to select ‘Publish’. This will make all your changes live on your site.

Select publish to make your changes live

How to add widgets to your sidebar from your WordPress dashboard

If you have customized your theme to the way you want it, but then decide you want to edit the widgets in your sidebar.

You don’t have to go into the theme customizer to do this, you can edit widgets directly from your WordPress dashboard.

On the main menu, hover your mouse over ‘Appearance’, then select ‘Widgets’ from the popup.

Select widgets

Then you come to a list of available widgets and areas on your website you can place widgets. On my theme, there are eight areas to place widgets.

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

Then click on the widget you want to edit. Once you complete your changes, select ‘Save’.

Make your edits and then save

To remove a widget, click on the widget to open it, then select ‘Delete’.

Select delete to remove a widget

Quick link to your website

Once you complete your updates, you probably want to see how your website looks. On your WordPress dashboard, there is a quick link to your blog.

Hover your mouse over your site name on the top-left, then click on ‘Visit Site’.

Visit site link

All my new widgets are live on my new sidebar.

Sidebar on website

Conclusion

With sidebars, you can add widgets to your WordPress site. Widgets allow you to add extra functionality to your blog to make for better user experience.

If you can’t find a widget in your list that supports a functionality you want to add to your site. Use the WordPress plugin library. Type the function you need for your site, followed by ‘Widget’.

The drag and drop feature in WordPress is easy to use. You can add, edit, or delete widgets with one click.

Before you return to your site to add widgets to your sidebar, would you kindly spare one minute to leave me a comment? Did my post help you? Do you want me to go into more detail? I look forward to reading your comments.

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