[Custom Sidebars Pro] Only one sidebar shows no matter what

Something weird is going on with the plugin Custom Sidebars Pro. I noticed that my categories do not appear on the side of my blog pages anymore and I have tried multiple things to get them to show again. The "Blog Sidebar" widget area has a red delete button on it - I have no idea why.

I have tried creating new widget areas, I have tried selecting just certain categories (which would be great if it was working!)
The plugin doesn't need updating. What's going on? Thanks for your help!

  • Predrag Dubajic
    • Support

    Hi Dandelion,

    Hope you're doing well.

    Since support access is granted I had a look at your site and the section that you see below the widgets ( in Appearance > Widgets panel ), including the Delete button you are referring to, are not actually part of Custom Sidebars, they are coming from your theme.

    Since you have News page selected as your blog page, in order to use custom sidebar on it you will need to expand "Sidebar with categories" click on "Sidebar Location", in popup window expand "For Archives" and check "As Sidebar for selected Archive Types" option.
    In there now select "Post Index", save changes and that should be it.

    Let us know if that is what you wanted to do.

    Best regards,
    Predrag

  • Dandelion
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I do not think you are seeing the same delete button that I saw. If it is still there I will take a screenshot.

    I think I understand what you are saying but please know that I have many categories and different types of blogs and at no point is there just one Blog Page with all posts. Several of the menu items in the site are actually going to category pages. I do not actually want the same sidebar on every post. And I do not want the same categories - or even the categories option at all - to be on every category of post.
    The ability to customize like that is why I started using this plugin.

  • Dandelion
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    OK. I see what you mean re the one with the delete button coming from the theme. So the widget areas on the left are using custom sidebars and the ones on the right are the default areas from the theme? If I do not have any widgets in any of the theme widget areas - can I assume that they are not interfering?

    In the Sidebars with categories area I did expand it and I made the selections you suggested but I saw no change.

  • Dandelion
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Suddenly the setting work - the ones in the bottom part - about archive pages. They didn't seem to be having any effect this morning. Anyway - the top settings are less consistent.

    I thought it was possible to select certain categories to not be included in the category list. Am I mistaken about that?

  • Predrag Dubajic
    • Support

    Hi Dandelion,

    When I checked your site previously there was new sidebar on the right side that had a delete button, that was the one I was referring to, check this screenshot so we can see if we were talking about the same thing:

    You are correct about custom sidebars being in the left column and theme sidebars on the right.
    How Custom Sidebar works is that it replaces the entire existing sidebar that is added by the theme, that's the "Allow this sidebar to be replaced" option that you see in themes sidebars.
    So when this is enabled you can use Custom Sidebars to replace the existing sidebar with a custom one.

    I'm explaining that so that I could properly follow up on next part :slight_smile:

    If I do not have any widgets in any of the theme widget areas - can I assume that they are not interfering?

    Due to the above explanation, it doesn't matter if you have any widgets in theme sidebars or not, Custom Sidebars will replace entire sidebar, regardless if there are or aren't any widgets in it.

    The other 2 custom sidebars seem to be working just as expected. I can't understand what is different about this new one. And I only created the new one because the previous set up stopped working.

    Could you please elaborate this a bit more, by using actual sidebar names because I'm not sure what are the 2 that work properly and which is the new one that has issues, I'm guessing the new one is "Sidebar with Categories"?

    I think I understand what you are saying but please know that I have many categories and different types of blogs and at no point is there just one Blog Page with all posts. Several of the menu items in the site are actually going to category pages. I do not actually want the same sidebar on every post. And I do not want the same categories - or even the categories option at all - to be on every category of post.

    And I would like to have some more info about this as well, could you give me a couple of examples of which sidebar you want to show where?

    I thought it was possible to select certain categories to not be included in the category list. Am I mistaken about that?

    This is not a default option in WP but there are number of free plugins that would allow you this, like this one for example:
    https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-categories-widget/

    I hope I didn't miss anything from above, and if I did please let me know :slight_smile:

    Best regards,
    Predrag

  • Dandelion
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Thank you for your help Predrag!

    Keep in mind that so far several hours pass between the time you write to me and the time when you see my replies. And in the meantime I continued to try to solve the issue myself. So that is why things I describe have changed by the time you see them.

    Let's start fresh and I will try to be mindful of the fact that you may not see this for several hours.

    The current Custom Sidebars Pro sidebars that I am working with are those shown in your screenshot and I won't change that.

    Theme sidebars
    I do finally understand that the 2 columns of widgitized areas are the plugin on the left and the theme's on the right. I also learned how to add and delete the "theme" sidebars if need be.

    I have made sure that the theme sidebars all have the box checked that allows them to be replaced. Regardless of whether the sidebar contains a widget or not.

    Plug-in recommendation
    Thank you very much for recommending a specific plugin to help me choose or exclude categories from a category list! I searched last night for a category excluder and all but one had not been updated in several years. I watched the video for wp-categories-widget and it does seem to be just what I am looking for.

    What I am trying to do
    My most pressing issue, is getting a list of categories to appear in the sidebar. It can be all the categories and it can be every single post. I'd rather have too many than too little right now and I'm frustrated that I can't get them to show up at all – or inconsistently.

    So far I have not been able to get the category list to show. At least with any predictability. The exception is a couple of pages that are using a custom sidebar that I created long ago. Those pages have specifically set the custom sidebar on the page.

    So that explains what is different about the ones that are working right. The ones that work are pages, the ones that do not work are posts.

    Any ideas what I should try next?

  • Dandelion
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Hey there! You know what? I think I finally have it figured out.

    One key mistake I was making was in forgetting that I could set specific sidebars for individual posts, and that, actually that's what I had to do.

    Plus a few other misconceptions that created confusion for myself.

    Thanks for all your help!

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