Custom Sidebars 1.0

May 8, 2012 3:26 am 98 comments

Update – Check out the all new Custom Sidebar Pro for all your widget, sidebar and footer needs.

Finally a mayor release, Custom Sidebars 1.0 is out! It has a lot of improvements, specially AJAX management. But AJAX relies on javascript, and becouse of that only WP3.3 installations could run the new version of Custom Sidebars.

So if your WordPress is older than 3.3 DO NOT UPGRADE YOUR PLUGIN.

If you already did, just downloading the version 0.8.2 everything should return to normal.

I really would like to explain all the improvements slowly, so I will take my time to update this post, until then, feel free to leave a message.



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My name is Javier Márquez and I have more than 10 years of web programming and web designing experience. If you have a difficult development to complete, maybe you can stop by and see what I can do for you. You can find me on and Twitter.

98 Comments - Leave yours

  • I love your plugin but, I seem to be having a slight issue with the new version. When I try to change the existing widget to indicate which pages it goes on after I click the Where? link I do get the pop up and the popup tile appears but, the contents is completely blank so I can’t assign them to anything. I have tried on the recent versions of both Firefox and Chrome with the same results.

    • MorrisMuseum

      javimarque- Thank you for the great plugin! I am having the same issue, which is SO frustrating! How can I use this plugin if the above described is happening??

      “…click the Where? link I do get the pop up and the popup tile appears but, the contents is completely blank so I can’t assign them to anything. I have tried on the recent versions of both Firefox and Chrome with the same results.”

      What to DO?? Please post a solution, or a response so I know to move on to another option.

      Thanks in advance.

      • javimarque

        Hi Morris,

        You also can define the defaults sidebar in the menu

        Appearance >> Custom Sidebars >> Default Sidebars

        If you want a sidebar in a post or page you can select it in the edition page.

        But it is strange, you said that you get the modal window with the title but not contents in it. Any of you can tell me if you are getting some javascript error?

        • MorrisMuseum

          Yea, thanks. The default settings page is not as specific as I would like. I would prefer to assign specific groups of pages their own specific sidebar.
          Also, once I create a sidebar and chose for it to be substituted, it is not an option in the sidebar box when editing the page.

          no java error.

          I’m going to go ahead and find another option. Thanks for the time and effort that you put into creating this plugin!

          You also can define the defaults sidebar in the menu

          Appearance >> Custom Sidebars >> Default Sidebars

          If you want a sidebar in a post or page you can select it in the edition page.

          But it is strange, you said that you get the modal window with the title but not contents in it. Any of you can tell me if you are getting some javascript error?

        • javimarque

          The Where? error has been solved in the new version of Custom sidebars, 1.1.

          If you need a sidebar for a group of pages, why don’t you make those pages to be the children of other one, and assign the sidebar to that page?

          Anyway, thanks for trying CS and if you find something better, tell me, I am always trying to improve the plugin.

        • thomas

          guys, you have to define the ->default<- (and replaceable) sidebar FIRST in options of sidebar. THEN you could change everything in the widget area.
          needed some time to find out.
          maybe a red blinking notice to define the replaceable sidebar would solve this ;)

          thanks for this very nice plugin :)

  • Pearl

    Okay, I have WordPress 3.3.2 installed but then I have this problem where I can’t see my visual editor ( and apparently it was the custom sidebar problem that made it re-appear by deactivating it…

    • javimarque

      Ey Pearl, I am using WP3.3.2 and everything is ok, maybe is a conflict with other plugin. Anybody happen to have de same issue??

  • Peter

    Hi, I enjoy the layout of the plug in, but when I go to insert the sidebar into the page, it does not show any of my custom sidebars. It only shows the default theme sidebars. Any thoughts?

    • javimarque

      Ey Peter,

      Are you sure you have selected the rights sidebars of your theme for replacement? Try to localize the sidebar that you want to replace and mark it as replaceable in Appareance >> Custom sidebars. Then you will be able to insert any custom sidebar in its place.

  • I can’t make this plug-in work.

    I am trying to establish menus in three different languages, so that the user sees in the sidebar only the pages in his language. You can imagine the structure as being like a tree with three branches. I can make one branch work but the others don’t.

    • Done it – at last ! Its easy to get into s muddle and mix up the standard WordPress menuing arrangements with “Custom Sidebars”.

      Same problem as Peter’s I think.

      Words like “sidebar” are used in several different senses and different context and it is this which makes for confusion.

      Developers beware !

      • javimarque

        Sorry Charles about the confussion but SIDEBARS is the commercial name, everybody search for sidebars. Widget areas would be a much more appropriate name. Also, my English is not as good as I would like….

        I’m glad you could find out how the plugin works!

  • Just upgraded to version 1.1 and when using search site both my menus disappear? Was working perfect before

    • javimarque

      Version 1.1 has a new option to set the sidebars for search up. When the plugin is just installed, sometimes it doesn’t recognize that option and thinks that you want an empty sidebar for search (and date archives).

      The solution is easy, go to Appearance >> Custom Sidebars >> Default sidebars and save the sidebars.

      • Hi javimarque
        I had already done that, i think there is some confusion
        What i mean is my main menus have disappeared when i perform a search, the sidebars are there.
        The menus appear everywhere else, just not when searching
        The menus were there when searching before i updated your plug in – i have not added or changed anything else?

        • javimarque

          It’s difficult to guess without seeing your website. Tell me the address and I’ll have a look.

  • I have WordPress 3.3.2 installed and the custom sidebars were working great until recently. I have about 30 custom sidebars set up and all of the pages are using the default sidebar, which is the right sidebar and also the slideshow in the header. Each of the Location pages has a unique header slideshow, as well as unique information in the right sidebar. Do you have any thoughts on what could be causing this? I have 1.1 installed. The site is

  • stephen

    Where, and how, do you input the sidebar text? I see how everything else works, easy enough, but I have no idea where I can input the text that goes into my sidebar. Thanks for your assistance.

  • I’m experiencing an odd problem, which has occurred only after my update to 1.1. I have 60 or 70 custom sidebars. It’s always been a bit awkward to drag widgets to the custom sidebars near the bottom of this list, and your new vertical scroll bar has greatly improved this. But now, once your vertical scroll bar’s tracking bar is more than 1/4 of the way from the top (i.e. as I scroll down), I lose the ability to rearrange widgets in existing sidebars via drag-and-drop.



    • javimarque

      Yes Wayne,

      I did my tests and there is some strange behaviour related to jQuery drag and drop when there are more than 20 sidebars…

      I working on it and I hope to find a solution soon.

  • on line 436 of customsidebars.php it says this:
    arqex_enqueue_style('cs_style', "/wp-content/plugins/$dir/cs_style.css" );

    you need to change it to this:
    arqex_enqueue_style('cs_style', WP_CONTENT_URL . "/plugins/$dir/cs_style.css" );

    This is because it is possible to move the wp-content folder, i do this myself i move it outside the wordpress folder so i can use wordpress as a git submodule. The WP_CONTENT_URL constant should be used in plugins to get around this issue.

    Thanks :)

  • Kristyn

    Love the plugin and have been using it for a while – I just did the update and came to realize that when I am editing a page or creating a new one – the custom sidebar selector on the right is covering my other page editor options – including the most important one… Publish! Any thoughts on how to fix?

    • javimarque

      Ooops, strange thing!! Did you update the plugin to 1.1? or WP to 3.4? What browser do you use? Are there more people with the same problem?

  • Hi,
    Thanks for the great plugin. I have one question. Is is possible to make it so that I can choose a custom sidebar for each category? By that, I mean individual category archive pages (as opposed to posts).

    When viewing or editing a category, I do not have the option to choose a sidebar.


    • Disregard my last. I found it.

      Did the edits in the Custom Sidebars > Category Archives section last night, and it didn’t work for me. So I thought I was doing something wrong, or that wasn’t the place.

      I tried again just now and it works fine.


  • wpismypuppet

    This plugin is amazing and we’ve used it on a lot of site we’ve created! However, with the new version (1.1) it seems to change the way hierarchy is working!

    Before, the parent page would have a sidebar, the children pages would not unless you went page by page ans specified one, or used the settings area to set a default sidebar…. and all was well.

    Now when the parent page has a sidebar, it filters automatically down to the children pages, even if you tell that child page to not use a sidebar, and you tell the settings area to not specify a default sidebar! If the child page has a manually set sidebar, it’ll use that without an issue.

    Is there some way to turn off the “filter down” feature? I’ve checked the settings and there’s no default actions set there… Was this by design?

    • javimarque

      Ey wpismypuppet,
      Child pages inheritance is a feature that the users has been requesting for a while, that is why I implemented it in the v1.1. I can understand that it can disturb some people using previous versions, but it is a logic behaviour for custom sidebars and it will be like this in the future. I’m afraid that you will have to create an empty sidebar, and set it up manually, to remove the sidebar for those children pages you have.

      Sorry about the change!

      • wpismypuppet

        Couldn’t you just make a checkbox or something to ask if it should filter down to children? You could do it where you create/edit sidebars… “name”, “description”, “check to apply this sidebar down through children” or something?

  • I’ve got a strange issue which is causing me to get a headache here. I’ve got only a few custom sidebars, but I’m unable to choose a default category for them anymore. When clicking the “Default Category” tab, the sidebars collapse, and are unable to be opened up. I think it’s a JQuery thing, but I’m not sure what to do to fix it.

    I have the latest version of the plugin, and the latest version of WordPress

  • Andri


    I just installed your plugin hoping to solve a problem I have. I have a website with a few bloggers and each one of them is an author of their own posts and pages (1 page and some children pages). I need to have a custom sidebar for each author that is only displayed on pages and posts that they are the author of.

    Is that somehow a possibility now or maybe a feature that can be added.


    • javimarque

      Hi Andri,

      You need a personalized customization of the plugin, it can be done but it has to be charged. Send me a message using the contact form if you are interested.

  • I’m tired of doing something that doesn’t work.
    The final point will be always:
    “You can define specific sidebars for the different WordPress pages. Sidebars for lists of posts pages work in the same hierarchycal way than the one for single posts.”

    How do you define it?

    Well this is not to much of instruction:
    Appearance >> Custom Sidebars >> Default Sidebars

    I guess I will try to solve another plugin. Hopefully I will find something that actually works.

    • javimarque

      It’s not difficult to use.

      The first step is selecting what sidebar of your site you want to be replaced by the ones you create. This you can do it in Appearance >> Custom Sidebars >> Default Sidebars like you said.

      The second step is going to Appearance >> Widgets, create your sidebars, customize them, and assign them to a category or wherever.

      If you want the sidebar on an specific post or page, edit that page and select the sidebar you want to appear in it.

  • Hi,
    I have too many custom sidebars,when I upgrade to 1.1,I cannot drag and drop,and cannot delete custom sidebars (I use non english character),could you test it?thank you!

    • javimarque

      There is a problem with jQuery that doesn’t allow to drag and drop the widgets properly when you have a lot of sidebars 20+. The easiest solution is scrolling the page til the bottom, and then you will be able to drag the widgets for the bottom sidebars. The issue deleting the sidebars seems to be a incompatibility with other plugin, do you get any javascript error from the browser?

  • How difficult would it be to add a variation?

    Use different sidebars depending on a visitor’s login status.

    • javimarque

      Hi Bob,

      You need a personalized customization of the plugin, it can be done but it has to be charged. Send me a message using the contact form if you are interested.

  • Do you have a step by step on how to use this.

    I already created a custom sidebar but Im having “There are no replaceable sidebars selected. “

  • I am having the same problem as jdev. I followed your steps but cannot get that dropdown list. only THere are no replaceable sidebars selected. I had already created one to replace default page. I am using U-design theme

    • javimarque

      You can create all the sidebars you want, but you need some sidebars of your theme to be replaced by the ones that you have created. You have to select which sidebars from your theme are suitable to be replaced in

      Appearance >> Custom Sidebars

      under the “Replaceable sidebars” section.

      There is also a custom sidebar videotutorial that explains this first steps.

  • I think I’m going mad. Yesterday I was using a little window to input css to style the menus. Today I can’t find it. Please can someone remind me where it is.

    Thanks for a great plugin – I’ll be using it on sites in the future and recommending it to other designers.

  • After paying a programmer to build a sponsor sidebar and him now not responding leaving me with a 1/2 done solution, i am trying your plug-in. What i did was add a category called sponsors to both posts and your custom sidebar. In posts i added subcategories as well under Sponsor called: Platinum, Gold, Silver and i cannot see where i grab the parent categories and subcategories and assign to the custom sidebar i created with your plug in. Do you have step by step documentation?

    • javimarque

      Hi Sandra,
      First, you must config what sidebars are going to be replaced by the new ones you create. See, there you have some tutorials with images.

      And then, you will set the sidebars for your categories. In the widget admin page you have a “Where” link under every new sidebar. Click it and you will be able to set your sidebars in the posts of that category and the categories archives. Cheers

  • Etiam

    Gracias por el pluging, es una pasada.
    Funcionando bien con WP 3.4.2.
    El único problema que tengo es con personalizar estilos para las barras.
    El post del Sr. -carl hughes- viene a resolver el tema del estilo?

    Entiendo que la ruta Appearance >> Custom Sidebars >>
    solo cambia los parámetros after-before de los elementos y no se trata de eso.

    Lo que quisiera es manejar estilos similar a un menú, color de fondo, tipo de letra, etc.
    En estos momentos adoptó la letra más fea del tema… y la barra no tiene ningún atractivo
    ni relevancia.

    Alguna sugerencia? Muchas Gracias por tu tiempo.

  • Trying your plugin for the first time, however the Default sidebars tab.

    None of the drop downs appear to load. If i view source.

    i get this

    All the Div id’s are set to display none.

    • javimarque

      They are hiddable divs, if you click on their title the section will be visible. I made it that way to search the category you want easily, but it is true that the sections need some interface element that let know that they are collapsed. I will fix it the next version!

  • Great plugin! I’m currently setting it up at my site right now and planning on donating if I get everything set up correctly!

    Two questions:

    1. Can I have multiple sidebars displayed in the same area?
    2. Is there a way to backup our sidebars? I’m putting a lot of work into this and wondering if there is a way to save the data incase something bad happens.

    Thanks again for your hard work!

    • javimarque

      For having multiple sidebars in the same area you have to call them in your theme’s template. For backing up the sidebars just back up your database.

  • Marcel

    Thanks for the great plugin! Have a question.
    I have to use “before” and “after” and I’m getting
    instead of . Please advice!


  • Marcel

    ook! I was trying to explain that it adds a bunch of slashes before and after the class name…

    [pre] [/pre]
    [pre] of [/pre]

    • javimarque

      I think I see what you mean, I have to test the inclusion of unwanted slashes for the new version.

  • Wow! Love your plugin!! I was reading up on all the .php changes that had to be made to the various files on WordPress Twenty Eleven theme and decided to see if a plugin had been created and voilà I found you! Thank you and look forward to creating multiple sidebars for drummer Ty Dennis. He needs to display different media and a standard sidebar for his site and you’ve made this possible. Saved me ton of work. Thanks!!

  • I love the plugin but I have one small issue with it. It would be awesome if you could add an id to each sidebar apart so you could style it uniquely. Is this something that I am just not seeing in the settings or is the plugin not able to do it at this time?

    Thank you!

  • I love the plug-in, soon as someone donates to my ministry I would like to forward you some money for this product its great.

    I wish there was a way to print out a list of sidebars with the widget connected to them — like a table of contents.

  • Hi
    I have a problem editing existing widgets. I can open the widget page, all the custom widgets are on the left and previously I clicked on the arrow at the side of any one to edit but the arrow is still there but it does not open the contents for me to edit a widget.
    Can anyone help?

  • This plugin is great!

    Been looking for something to make it easier to create different and unique pages and posts in WordPress. (without changing core or theme coding)

    This plugin does just that……once you get the steps down, it’s a breeze.



  • I’ve updated to the newest WordPress version — and now the widget page does not work at all. (I can create new custom sidebars, but they don’t display.) Everything on the widgets page is grayed out, and I can’t drag and drop or open widgets. Is there a conflict between your plugin, possibly, and the new WordPress?

    • I have the same problem. I just installed this plugin, never used before. I can create custom sidebars, place in them widget, but no way to select and use them anywhere. They simply do not appear as options in Where? pop up or anywhere. I thought was a problem with my theme or I need to work out some code in my function.php theme file. But it looks strange.
      Thanks for your help!

  • Hello,
    I’m working with an older custom WP template and am unable to get the custom sidebars to appear properly. When I specify a custom sidebar (complete with widgets) to replace a replaceable template sidebar neither sidebar appears. Would it be possible for someone to take a look at the custom coded template to see if there’s a way to get this to work? Apparently the designer created a new template and hard coded the sidebar, leaving me with the option of redesigning the site or continuing to create a new template for each use of sidebars.
    Thank you!

  • Hello Javimarque,

    Thank you for that great plugin, I have been using it for several of my websites. I wonder if it is possible to do a back up of the sidebars already created or if there is a way to keep a copy of them.

    Thanks you in advance!

  • Love the plugin – it saves me so much work.
    All was working well until I moved a branch of pages from Products to Courses.
    The rest of the pages are all OK but I cannot get the custom sidebars to display on the new pages. I have deleted the sidebar and recreated it and reassigned the new one to the moved pages – no joy.
    If I assign another sidebar to any of the pages they function beautifully until I reassign the errant sidebar to one of the pages. If I create a new sidebar with a different name that works well.

    Do old sidebar names hang around to hunt the site somehow?

    • javimarque

      Hi BIll,

      You are right, they are some sidebars created with a previous version od the plugin that make some trouble. They are the ones with special characters in the name like ç or ö, or something like those.

      They were even breaking the plugin with wp 3.5

      I recommend to delete them create them with v1.2, even with special characters, there is no problem now.

      Before version 1.2 it was breaking the plugin

  • Gunta

    I am using Custom Sidebars 1.2, but it seems, that I have a problem mentioned earlier – I have made two sidebars, but, when i click “Where?” or try to choose a sidebar in a page they simply don’t appear. (WordPress version 3.5.1.) Any solutions?

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