Adding Sidebars

Pick up the FREE Checklist to go along with this guide. It gives you step-by-step instructions on how to set up your teaching website (and you’ll get some bonus advice too!)

Having a sidebar helps you keep certain information on all or some of your pages. Most new themes now give you the choice of lots of different sidebars to give a little flexibility. Some websites (and a lot of new websites) don’t use sidebars which is probably due to the influence of

Your theme will usually have an option of a sidebar for you pages. If not, you should be able to add one using your theme options. When you create a new page it will give you the option of including a sidebar, whether you want it on the left or right. My theme looks like this:

Sidebar Option WordPress
I have listed my sidebar as “Main” but have a different sidebar on some other pages.

Customizing a sidebar

Once you have created a sidebar then you can customize it. For this, we need to go to “Appearance -> Widgets.” On the right hand side you will see your new sidebar (or the default one from your theme). On the left you will see the available widgets. Some will have come with your theme and others are WordPress default themes. You can get more widgets under the “Plugins” (we’ll talk about this later in the tutorial.

Here are some of the things that you could put in your sidebar:

  • A picture of yourself with a little bio linking to more information about you.
  • A button that goes to your contact page or to a page where your students can purchase lessons.
  • A Facebook/Google Plus fan box.
  • Recent posts from your blog.
  • Testimonials.
  • A contact form.
  • Your Skype details.

There are many more things that you could put here. Use your theme to see what is available, and if you would like to add something that isn’t there, then look for it in the plugin section, which we are going to discuss next.