10 Free Plugins to Add Custom Content to Your WordPress Sidebar

Wordpress Sidebar - 10 Plugins to customize sidebar content

Do you need unique WordPress sidebar content on…

  • different pages?
  • page templates?
  • posts or post types?
  • category or tag pages?
  • archives?

Well then, here’s a collection of free plugins that enable you to dynamically display different widgets, or entire sidebars, pretty much anywhere you like. Some of them have rather unique ways of displaying custom content in your WordPress sidebar. Check ‘em out, I’m sure you’ll find one that will work for you.

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Dynamic Widgets

WordPress Sidebar - screenshot of Dynamic Widgets plugin admin panelA powerhouse plugin! Dynamic Widgets gives you total control over where individual widgets appear throughout your site. You don’t need to know any php, and you don’t have to fiddle around with conditional tags. Simply tick the checkboxes that apply in the plugin’s admin panel to create any conditions you want. Plugin support is included for Buddypress, Buddypress Group Hierarchy, QTranslate, Pods, WP MultiLingual, WP Shopping Cart, WP E-Commerce.

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Content Aware Sidebars

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Content Aware Sidebars pluginAnother powerhouse! Create and manage custom WordPress sidebars, and assign them to posts, pages, post types, page templates, categories, tags, archives, author pages, anywhere you like really. Merge and nest multiple sidebars to create unique content displays. Schedule sidebars for later publishing. All display options can be selected by simply ticking the required checkboxes in the plugin admin panel.

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Widget Logic

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Widget Logic pluginThis is one of my all-time favorite plugins. Widget Logic adds an extra option field to every widget that enables you to determine exactly where the widget will display using WordPress conditional tags or any general PHP code. Great for those who are comfortable with simple code. One word of caution though: be sure that users of your site who have access to edit widget appearance are trustworthy!

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Widget Logic Visual

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Widget Logic Visual pluginThis is an adaptation of the Widget Logic plugin above. Giving you the same awesome power, it was created for the non-techies among us WordPress users (undeniably the majority). Instead of an extra option field, every widget has an “Edit Visibility” button that, when clicked, launches a popup window where you can point and click to select where that particular widget should display. Simple.

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WordPress Custom Sidebar

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Custom Sidebar plugin admin menuThis plugin takes another approach to assigning different sidebar content. Any number of HTML (text) widgets can be created and edited as custom post types using the WordPress post editor. Then simply drag the Custom Sidebar widget to the sidebar(s) of your choice, and select your preferred sidebar content from a dropdown menu when writing or editing your posts and pages.

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Graceful Sidebar

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Graceful Sidebar custom fieldsAgain, a different approach. With this plugin, each post and page can have custom sidebar content added via custom fields. Any field keys and values added to a post or page will display wherever you have dragged the Graceful Sidebar widget. If all you need is a little extra customized text here and there in your WordPress sidebar, this is an easy way to get it done.

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Simple Page Sidebars

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Simple Page Sidebars pluginThe Simple Page Sidebars plugin enables you to create or select a custom sidebar whenever you write or edit a page (only works with pages, not posts). It also has a unique feature that may come in handy: it includes a widget that enables you to insert the entire contents of one sidebar into another. Plus, you can assign custom a sidebar to multiple pages on the bulk edit screen.

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Per Page Sidebars

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Per Page Sidebars pluginThis plugin adds a Custom Sidebar metabox to the post/page edit screen where you can select to replace any one of your active theme’s sidebars with a custom one. Once selected, a new widget area is created for that post or page where you can drop in all the widget content you want on that specific page/post. If you only need custom sidebars on a few pages or posts, this may be a good option for you.

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Custom Sidebars

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Custom Sidebars pluginAnother simple plugin to create, manage and assign custom sidebars for categories, tags, post types, archives, author pages, etc. You can also assign specific sidebars to individual posts and pages. One of the unique features of this plugin is that you can select to replace multiple widget areas with your custom sidebars for individual posts/pages. Unique widget content wherever you need it!

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Post to Sidebar

WordPress Sidebar - Screenshot of Post to Sidebar pluginAlthough this plugin only enables you to assign custom content to the WordPress sidebar on single or multiple pages (not posts or categories, or anything like that), it has a very unique feature. The widget content you create for your custom sidebar(s) is done through the post editor. That’s right; you create a post and assign that post to your custom sidebar. You have the full power of the post editor to include images, links, code, whatever you need!

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If you know of any other free plugins to add dynamic or custom content to your WordPress sidebar, please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!

Photo credit: Flickr.com

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Comments (3)

  1. Once I’ve created my custom sidebars, is there a way to assign them to multiple pages at once instead of individually? The “bulk edit” doesn’t have the sidebar as an option.

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