Sidebar / Widgets Introduction

Getting to Know your Sidebars & Widgets

Every Digital PTO theme features a portion of the page that never changes, no matter what page you are on. This is called a Sidebar and it is a great location for things you want your visitors to see and access from anywhere on your site. We add content to your sidebar for you when you sign up for Digital PTO, but you may want to make changes to it, add to it, etc.

Most themes contain one sidebar, but some of our more advanced themes (like the Graphene 2.0 theme) can have multiple sidebars that display information in a variety of locations.

What is a Sidebar?


A SIDEBAR is an area on your template that is populated by WIDGETS and typically is visible on multiple pages at the same time. A Theme can have multiple sidebars and they can be located throughout the theme. The Digital PTO Starter themes have one (1) SIDEBAR and it is located on the Right Side of all Pages.

What is a Widget?


While the may sound fancy, WIDGETS are very simple little programs that display information. For example, there is a widget that displays your recent News posts. The only setting is to pick how many posts you want it to display. See? Simple. Widgets live in Sidebars. Sidebars hold Widgets. Make sense?

How to Access your Widgets & Sidebars


To get to the Widgets Page, click on APPEARANCE and then WIDGETS/SIDEBAR. This will open up the main Widget Page with your options and sidebars.

 The Widgets Main Screen


The Main WIDGETS screen consists of three general areas. A list of available widgets, a List of side bars (and active widgets) and a list of inactive (saved) widgets at the bottom. This example shows one side bar, but a theme can have multiple side bars, so be sure to always check the sidebars (WIDGETS) when switching themes as your widgets and sidebars can change when you switch themes. To expand the details of a sidebar, click the triangle on the right side of the title bar.

How to add a Widget (Dragging)


If you need to expand a Sidebar, do so by clicking on the Triangle to the far right of the sidebar’s title. Once you have expanded the sidebar, you can simply click and drag a widgets from the list of available widgets to the sidebar and it will drop into place and activate automatically.

How to add a Widget (Clicking)


Some themes may have a dozen side bar options, so it can get difficult to drag widgets around. If this is the case for you, you can also click an available widget, select the sidebar you want to add it to, and then click ADD WIDGET. This will add the widget to your selected sidebar at the bottom. You can move it around from there.

Adjusting a Widgets Settings


Most WIDGETS have at least one setting (though some don’t!) so you will always want to click the triangle to the far right of a widgets title to expand the widget and look at the options.  In the example above, we are being asked to specify a Title for the Recent News and also determine how many posts we want displayed by the widget. We can also turn the dates of the posts on and off

Moving Widgets Around in the Sidebar


You can move WIDGETS around in the side bars and change their order by clicking on a widget and dragging it to a new location. You can even drag a widget to a different sidebar (as long as it is opened already)

Removing a Widget from the Sidebar


If you would like to remove a WIDGET, expand the Widgets options panel and then click DELETE. This will delete the settings you have specified and return the widget to the list of Available Widgets ready for use again.

Explore and Play with the Widgets

Many WIDGETS are available with Every Theme, but some Premium Themes and Premium Plug In’s add additional widgets to your list and offer even more functionality. Play around with your widgets. Add them, test them, and remove them if you don’t like them. Widgets won’t break your website and they are easy to remove. See what you can do and what will work best for your Parent Groups needs. Have no fear, they are easy to add and remove!

Note about Switching Themes & Widgets

Each Theme handles Widgets and Sidebars a little differently. Be sure to check your Side Bar and Widget settings each time you select a new theme as things may move around. Checking your sidebars and widgets should be a step you take every time you change to a new theme.