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How to Add a WordPress Content Area for Widgets

I searched for a tutorial on this for over an hour the other night.  And failed to find a tutorial that actually gave me the information that I was looking for.  Maybe it was because this is so basic I shouldn’t NEED a tutorial.  Maybe I was using the wrong keyword search…and that’s why I’m writing this blog post about a WordPress content area for widgets.  Just in case someone else searches my way, because I was lucky enough to find this super simple information in the documentation for a WordPress theme that I’m installing.  There it was…like a little miracle set out for me.

And it is dead simple, works like magic, and now I’m going to be dangerous with creating my own widget areas, let me tell you.

  1. Find the includes folder for the theme your using.  wp-content/themes/[your theme here]/includes
  2. Open sidebar-init.php
  3. Add in the content area where you’ll be pulling in widgets (which is how I think of it) or your widget area (which is what everyone else apparently calls it).  Customize the pieces in purple and overwrite your old file.

register_sidebar(array(
  ‘name’          => ‘Your Sidebar Name‘,
  ‘id’            => ‘Your-Sidebar-ID‘,
  ‘description’   => __( ‘A note to tell you where this is going to live.‘),
  ‘before_widget’ => ‘

‘,
  ‘after_widget’  => ‘

‘,
  ‘before_title’  => ‘

‘,
  ‘after_title’   => ‘

‘,
));  

Then it’s just a matter of inserting your content area into your template files and filling it with the appropriate widgets.  Here’s the code to insert it into your template (where you want it to appear, not just at random, yeah.) And the comment is clearly optional but if you’re the organized sort you might want that.

Your Sidebar Name‘ ) ) : ?>
     

Simple.  Cool.  Magic.  And maybe you already knew exactly how to do this, but now that this is on my blog I won’t forget where to find it next time I need it and want to look for it as a WordPress Content Area for Widgets, crazy person that I am.

And here’s a video that talks all about widget areas, and not content areas for widgets.  You might like it too:
http://info.template-help.com/help/files/wordpress/wp-add-widget-area.swf?

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