An introduction to Sidebar positions for Influential

This theme packs a lot of sidebar positions; currently at 57 sidebars in total. Influential does not have all of them activated, so the purpose of this introduction is to show you how the sidebars work in this theme. To show you a layout of theme sidebars, you can visit the demo site:

Sidebar Positions

The live site does not show all of them, with respect to the WooCommerce, bbPress, and the landing page sidebar groups, the ones you see on the demo are part of the main theme itself.

Inactive Sidebars

When you first activate the theme, the following sidebars will “not” be loaded because not everyone will need them.

  • WooCommerce Sidebars
  • bbPress Sidebars
  • Landing Page Sidebars

The landing page is a unique template because it contains 24 sidebars that you can activate each section individually. In total, there are 6 sections to the landing page, each with 4 side-by-side sidebars. If you only need section 1 and 2, you can activate these two sections, which in turn, will show the available sidebars when you go to the “Widgets” area of your dashboard. 

The reason why I make these sidebars inactive, is because not everyone will use bbPress, WooCommerce, or even the landing page, so why clutter up the Widget admin are with sidebars that will never be used? 

Dynamic Width Sidebars

With regards to the groups of sidebars, the ones that give you up to 4 side-by-side, you get dynamic width. This means they will self-adjust their width based on how many sidebars have widgets published to them. For example:

  • 1 widget = 100% in width
  • 2 widgets = 50% each
  • 3 widgets = 33% each
  • 4 widgets = 25% each

It’s surprising to find that many themes today have fixed widths. This means that if you have 4 sidebars side-by-side with 3 widgets published, you will end up with the 4th sidebar empty and showing as an empty space in your page. This is why dynamic width widgets work best because they will fill that empty space, giving you a far better looking page that is consistent.

Can I Move My Sidebars or Add More?

I’ve had this question a few times with other themes, but the short answer is no. However, if you are using a child theme, you can modify a theme template by moving the sidebar code to the new location you want it to show in. 

As for adding more sidebars, you can do that, but again, this means modifying the code. However, I will be honest in saying that doing this will be a much larger and more complicated job if you’ve never done this before. You would have to modify multiple files and work with HTML, CSS, and PHP code.

WARNING Only attempt this if you are comfortable enough opening and modifying code in theme files, and do it only in a Child Theme.