Using Sidebars As Menus?

It’s an idea proposed by Ipstenu that might just work. The gist of her suggestion is to manage widgets similar to how we manage menus. Instead of all that fancy drag and drop stuff, we switch to a check box approach where users can check which widgets they want to have added to a particular sidebar. Judging by the comments left on that post, a number of people feel that her concept is a great idea and should be considered when the time to rework the widget management area arrives. Drag and drop was cool when it arrived but having 3-5 sidebars with 30 available widgets makes drag and drop not so cool anymore.


6 responses to “Using Sidebars As Menus?”

  1. I definitely run into issues with managing widgets, particularly when it’s pertaining to wanting specific widgets on certain pages — not all widgets on all pages.

    I’ve been using Widget Context to achieve it, and it’s been working really well.

    But I totally agree that the widget area of WordPress needs some love.

  2. @Jonathan – For what it’s worth, Jane’s said before that ‘per page’ widgets need love.

    I kicked that around a few times, but there isn’t (to me) a clear way to handle it that’s obvious for all users.

  3. Sometimes I forget that people actually use widgets…

    I prefer editing theme files directly, and it’s less resource intensive as well. Which means faster page generation times.

  4. The widget panel definitely needs an overhaul, but since it’s been around so long and so many people use it, it’s hard to imagine major changes to it that wouldn’t receive backlash.

    The two key features that are missing are context and classes. I wish I could specify where a widget shows up and any custom classes it has. But like the Menus section, make these advanced options selectable from the Screen Options – the average user probably doesn’t care about them.

    For page-specific widgets, I often build them using metaboxes. I’d love to see the widget page somewhat integrated into the edit post screen. The ability to see a preview of what the sidebar will look like, have sitewide widgets greyed out, and the ability to add page-specific widgets would be awesome.

  5. Great idea!

    I have some clients with 30+ widget areas (don’t ask…), which makes the widget admin screen totally unmanageable.

    I have found the Menu UI to be in need of a usability upgrade, but it would be a great place to start to think about a new widget interface.

  6. I agree that widget location is showing its age and Jane’s idea to match the new menu feature is brilliant (organising and optimising menues has become so much less of a chore).


Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: