Create And Manage Sidebars With Content Aware Sidebars

in Blog

I recently spoke about how you can add a sidebar to the Twenty Eleven theme. Adding a sidebar is relatively easy to do is you follow each step carefully though I appreciate that many of you don’t feel comfortable editing code whilst others simply want an easier solution.

Today I have such a solution for you. Content Aware Sidebars is a great plugin that makes adding sidebars to your website very straight forward.

There are two main options when adding a new sidebar. Firstly, you need to set whether your sidebar displays on posts, pages or media. You can set the sidebar to display on one, two or all three of these areas.

Next you have to set how the sidebar is displayed. You can make the sidebar replace any of your current sidebars or merge the sidebar at the top or bottom of an existing sidebar. You can also choose to insert your sidebar into your theme manually by calling the function display_ca_sidebar(); in your templates.

Content Aware Sidebars

I really can’t recommend Content Aware Sidebars enough to those of you who are looking for more control with their sidebars. Once you’ve entered a few details, the new sidebar will be displayed in your widget area; all you have to do after that is drop your widgets into your new sidebar. That’s it.

The only downside, if you can call it that, is that the plugin was created to display sidebars on posts, pages and media. That is, the plugin allows you to add an infinite amount of sidebars to your posts and pages but it doesn’t let you add new sidebars to areas such as your blog index or archive page.

Perhaps the functionality of the plugin will be extended in the future so that you can add sidebars to every area of your site and not just posts and pages. This is a minor criticism and I still recommend you try this great plugin out.

As always, I’d love to hear your opinion on this.


Link: Content Aware Sidebars

Comments (4)

  • Comment by Kevin Muldoon
    Kevin Muldoon

    That’s great new Joachim. You’ve done a great job with the plugin. I’m sure lots of WordPress users are going to find it very useful.

  • Comment by Joachim Jensen
    Joachim Jensen

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for the kind words about this plugin. Your criticism is appreciated and as of version 0.4 you can choose to make the rules apply to singulars, archives or both. This means that you can show a sidebar with e.g. posts only, posts archives only or with both.
    Since your article was published it is now also possible to show a sidebar with specific taxonomies or taxonomy terms for greater control and flexibility!

    More features will definitely come in the future:)

  • Comment by Kevin Muldoon
    Kevin Muldoon

    It really depends on what type of spam you’re having a problem with.

    On WP Mods I currently use Akismet, Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin and User Spam Remover. Though I have tried and tested dozens over the last year or so.

  • Comment by Bjorn Karlman
    Bjorn Karlman

    Thanks Kevin! This is great for non-coders like myself who have sidebar issues on their blogs… this way I don’t have to pay a VA.. I appreciate the heads up… BTW… what is your best recommendation for a WP-based spam blocker?