A common request from WordPress users is the ability to use different sidebar widgets on different static pages. A simple solution for this is the Simple Page Sidebars Plugin, which I would like to introduce today.
I'm a fan of simple plugins that serve exactly one purpose as well as possible. Simple Page Sidebars does exactly that. With the plugin, individual widget areas can be created for static pages, which replace the standard sidebar.
Without a lot of complicated options.
Simple page sidebars
The plugin is available for download in the WordPress plugin directory and currently has over 50,000 active installations and almost consistently very good ratings.
Set the default sidebar
After activating the plug-in, the first step is to select the standard sidebar under Settings → Read . The plugin shows all registered widget areas of the theme here.
The widgets of the selected standard sidebar are then replaced by the individual widget areas of the plugin.
Create your own sidebar
The option to create new widget areas fits seamlessly into the WordPress interface. The plugin provides a new metabox when a page is created or edited.
You can choose from existing widget areas or create a new sidebar. You can enter your own name for the new widget area, for example contact.
The new widget area is available immediately afterwards. As long as no widgets have been added, the plugin still shows the widgets of the standard sidebar instead of an empty area.
The plugin does not change anything in the admin interface for widgets. So widgets can be added and removed as normal.
Delete and rename individual widget areas
A frequent question in the support forum and reviews of the plugin is how created sidebars can be deleted or renamed.
The plugin does not offer any extra settings, but cleans up automatically behind it.
To delete a sidebar, you can simply select the standard sidebar for the static page again. If the individual sidebar is no longer used on a single page, the plug-in automatically removes the widget area and no longer displays it in the selection window.
This behavior can also be used to rename a widget area.
A new sidebar can simply be created for this. The old sidebar that is no longer used is then removed from the plugin. The widgets should be cached beforehand in another widget area or as an inactive widget.
Limitations of the plugin
Simple Page Sidebars only works for static pages, as can be seen from the name. It is therefore not possible to create individual widget areas for archive pages, categories or the blog index.
It is also not possible to replace more than one sidebar with its own widget areas.
If you want to replace multiple widget areas or need different widgets not only on static pages, you should take a look at the Custom Sidebars plugin. It is the heavyweight among the sidebar plugins and includes a completely new widget interface in the admin area with a variety of settings.
If you only want to use other widgets on a few static pages, you are much better off with Simple Page Sidebars due to the easier handling.
What is your favorite WordPress plugin for individual sidebar widgets?