Easy Custom Sidebars Plugin - A Widget Area Replacement Plugin

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This documentation is a handy guide for our Easy Custom Sidebars Plugin.

Step 1

  • Log into your WordPress Admin Area
  • Select Plugins from the left hand side menu and select Add New.

Step 2

  • You should be on the Install Plugins Screen
  • Select the Upload link.

Step 3

  • Click the Choose File button.
  • Browse to the location where you have extracted the zip file downloaded from the plugin repository and select the file called 'easy-custom-sidebars.zip' and click Open.
  • Click the Install Now button.

Step 4

  • Wait for the plugin to install.
  • Upon completion you will see a confirmation message from WordPress indicating that the plugin has been installed successfully.
  • Click the Activate Plugin link.
  • The plugin has now been installed and activated.

Step 5

  • Once this plugin is activated there will be a new option under the Admin Appearance Menu called Theme Sidebars.
  • This is where you can create / manage any custom sidebar / widget area replacements.

What we will begin with

  • We are going to deactivate the sidebar on the Sample Page called My Custom Sidebar.

What we will end up with

  • The theme will roll back to the default sidebar for this page (Main Sidebar in this case).

Step 1 - Log into the Admin Area

  • Log into your WordPress Admin Area.
  • Go to the Appearence menu and click the Theme Sidebars link.

Step 2 - Select and Deactivate Sidebar

  1. Select the Sidebar you want to edit and click the Select button.
  2. Select Deactivate Sidebar option.
  3. Click the Save Sidebar button

Step 3 - View Widget Screen

  1. Go to Appearence > Widgets on the left hand admin menu.
  2. Notice that the My Custom Sidebar widget area has disappeared but there is now an Inactive Sidebar (not used) metabox. This saves any widgets that were added to this custom sidebar before it was deactivated.

Step 4 - View the Results on the Frontend

  • The theme has rolled back to the default sidebar for this page.
  • Please Note: To activate this custom sidebar again simply select a replacement on the Edit Sidebars Screen. Once the sidebar has been reactivated then it will automatically replace any saved widgets fron the inactive area back into the custom sidebar.

Step 1 - Log into the Admin Area

  • Log into your WordPress Admin Area.
  • Go to the Appearence menu and click the Customise link.

Step 2 - Select Customiser

  • 1. Go to the page/post where the sidebar you would like to edit is located
  • 2. Click the sidebar widget you would like to edit e.g.'My Custom Sidebar' on the left hand side in the customiser

Step 3 - Adding a New Widget

  • 1. The customiser dispalys existing widgets in the new sidebar, these can also be edited.
  • 2. Go to the Add a Widget to add a new widget to the sidebar

Step 4 - Select New Widget

  • Select the widget you would like, in this example I am adding a search widget

Step 5 - Enter Details and Save and Publish

  • 1. The new widget is now in the sidebar. Enter title or any other content.
  • 2. Click Save & Publish to save the changes

Step 6 - New Widget Added

  • As you can see in the picture below the new search widget has been added

Step 1 - Log into the Admin Area

  • Log into your WordPress Admin Area.
  • Go to the Appearence menu and click the Theme Sidebars link.

Step 2 - Select the Custom Sidebar To Delete

  1. Select the sidebar you wish to delete.
  2. Click the Select button.

Step 3 - Delete Sidebar

  • Click the Delete Sidebar link.

Step 4 - Confirm Sidebar Deletion

  • Click OK to confirm deletion.
  • Click Cancel to cancel deletion.

Step 5 - Confirmation Message

  • A confirmation message will appear confirming the deletion of the custom sidebar.

Please Note: Once a custom sidebar has been deleted, any pages/posts etc that previously used this custom sidebar area will automatically revert to their theme default.

What is a Custom Sidebar Replacement Override?

A Custom Sidebar Replacement Override allows you to override a custom sidebar you have created for a specific page / post / taxonomy etc.

For example, if you want to apply a sidebar to all posts but just want one post to have a unique sidebar then you can use the sidebar override feature.

Example

Custom Sidebar Hierarchy Visual Diagram

Here is a visual diagram to highlight the custom sidebar hierarchy.

Summary

  • Sidebar Replacements are applied in name order. E.g if Sidebar A and Sidebar B is applied to Sample Page then Sidebar B will win as it's name comes last alphabetically.
  • The exception to the above rule is if a more specfic sidebar is found. E.g if Sidebar A is applied to Sample Page and Sidebar B is applied to the All Pages Condition, Sidebar A will win even though it's name doesn't come last alphabetically. This is because the sidebar in Sidebar A is more specific.

Screen Tour

  1. Go to Appearence > Theme Sidebars.
  2. Click the Manage Sidebar Replacements tab.
  3. Custom Sidebar Table: This is a table showing all of the Custom Sidebars you have created.
  4. Sidebar Name: The name of the custom sidebar that you have created.
  5. Default Sidebar To Replace: Shows the widget area that this custom sidebar is replacing. To change the widget area that this custom sidebar will replace simply select a new option. The corresponding row will flash green indicating that the replacement has been changed (without refreshing the page, using Ajax).
  6. Edit Link: By hovering over the sidebar you wish to edit click the link and you will be redirected to the Edit Sidebars screen for this sidebar.
  7. Delete Link: By hovering over the sidebar you wish to delete click the link and you will be presented with a dialog box asking you to confirm that you want to delete this sidebar. Once confirmed the sidebar row will flash red and the sidebar will be deleted without refreshing the page (using Ajax).
  8. Delete All Sidebars Link: By clicking this link you will be presented with a dialog box asking you to confirm that you want to delete all sidebars. Once confirmed the whole table will flash red and all sidebars will be deleted without refreshing the page (using Ajax).

Manage Sidebar Replacements Screenshot

Please Note: Please take care when deleting any/all custom sidebars as you cannot retrieve them once they have been deleted.


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