A sidebar is an important part of a website or blog. We use it for displaying categories, popular posts, Facebook like box, email subscription and advertisements. Some people will show social media feed, audio and video widgets as well.
The sidebar widgets are static in most of the situations. It means that website owners are using the same widgets irrespective of the page types. They won’t change from page to page, home to archives etc. But a custom sidebar will enhance user experience in your blog as the readers will see different tools in the sidebar when they explore through your contents.
Some themes come with built-in options to create custom sidebars for home, single posts/pages and archives. They allow you to manage the part through the theme settings or the customizer.
If your theme is not flexible in creating new sidebars, go for the plugin option. Custom Sidebars is a popular plugin to replace default sidebars and widget areas in WordPress. It is simple and doesn’t have any complex settings to configure. It allows you to dynamically arrange widgets on posts, pages, categories and archive pages.
After installation, visit Appearance > Widgets to create a custom sidebar. Click the button to get the following popup box.
Enter the name for your sidebar. Here, I named it as Single Posts & Pages as I am going to show it only in single pages. Tap the create button.
The new sidebar will be added to your widgets screen. It is empty as of now. We should fill the area using drag and drop feature. Pick a widget from the left side, drag and drop it to your new sidebar. Repeat the step until you are ready to launch the section. Reorder widgets if needed.
Click on the Sidebar Location to configure its appearance. The settings are divided into two parts- single entries and archives. The first part allows you to manage the custom sidebar for certain category based single posts or single pages as a whole. The second part is for archives. You are able to display or hide sidebars on the front page, single pages, categories, tags, author pages, search results, archives etc.
Enable the desired sidebar type and place the cursor in the following blank box to get additional options. Choose your post types, categories, archives type etc and Save.