How to Edit Sidebar in WordPress (Beginner Guide)

Getting Started

If you are familiar with WordPress, you already know that the sidebar is a vital part of your website’s layout. It plays a significant role in the navigation and overall user experience. Depending on your theme, the sidebar may appear on the left, right or both sides of your site. In this guide, we will focus on teaching you how to edit the sidebar in WordPress.

Navigating to the Sidebar Editor

The first step in editing the sidebar involves navigating to the editor in your WordPress admin dashboard. Here’s how to get there:

  1. Log into your WordPress website
  2. From the dashboard, go to Appearance and select Widgets
  3. You will then see a list of available widgets and sidebar areas defined by your theme.

Understanding the Sidebar Widgets

Before altering the sidebar, it’s crucial to understand what widgets are. Widgets are pre-coded elements, such as search bars, recent posts, or custom menus, which you add to the sidebar to enhance user interactivity.

Adding Widgets to your Sidebar

Adding widgets to your sidebar is a customisation that does not require any coding skills:

  1. Choose the widget you want from the left-side column under Available Widgets
  2. Click on the widget and drag to the desired sidebar area on your screen.
  3. Once positioned accordingly, the widget will automatically save.
  4. After saving, visit your site to verify that the widget appears as desired.

Customising Widgets in Your Sidebar

Customising widgets on your sidebar is relatively straighforward:

  1. Click on the widget you want to customize in your sidebar area.
  2. This action will open the widget for editing. Make the desired changes.
  3. After editing, remember to click Save or the changes will be lost.

It’s important to note that widget customisation options will vary based on the type of widget being used.

Removing Widgets from Your Sidebar

If you want to declutter your sidebar or remove unnecessary widgets, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the widget you want to remove in your sidebar area.
  2. The widget will open. At the bottom, you’ll see the Delete button.
  3. Click Delete, and the widget will be removed from your sidebar.

Using Plugins to Enhance Sidebar Functionality

If you want advanced sidebar customisation capabilities, you may consider using special plugins designed to enhance and extend sidebar functionality.

Some of the popular choices include Content Aware Sidebars and Custom Sidebars – Dynamic Sidebar Area Manager.

These plugins allow you to create additional sidebars, control sidebar visibility per individual posts, pages, categories, or tags, and offer many more customisation capabilities.


In WordPress, editing the sidebar can seem challenging to a beginner, but by learning how to add, customize, and remove widgets, you can personalize the sidebar to suit your needs perfectly. For advanced customisation, consider utilising powerful plugins. If there’s any point you’re stuck, refer to the comprehensive WordPress Widget Documentation for additional guidance. Happy editing!

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