How To Disable (Remove) Sidebars (Screenshots) 5 ways

Last night, I removed sidebars completely from one of my sites because according to some reports, sidebars may disturb visitors from reading your entire content. And, it can decrease email signups as well.

Personally, I like sidebars, I think you should keep them on your blog, however, if your main aim is to collect as many emails as you can then removing sidebars or disabling them is a better option.

We will discuss more how sidebars affect your blog later in this post.

Now, I have found 6 really cool methods to disable sidebars from your website. Most solutions are beginner-friendly but some require a little bit of coding. So without wasting any more time, let’s jump into it.

1. Disable Sidebars Plugin Method

One of the best ways to disable sidebars without doing any coding is by installing a perfect plugin. A plugin can add the code that will disable the sidebar for you. It is a good option for beginners.

However, I don’t really advise it because installing a plugin just to disable sidebars may increase server usage which might make your site slow.

Instead, you can try out a new theme that gives you the option to hide and show sidebars.

Your site should load within a second, a slow site doesn’t provide a good experience to the users, and Google takes user experience seriously.

But, if you have a decent host that can handle the pressure, or if you haven’t installed too many plugins on your website then try these 4 awesome plugins to disable sidebars.

These plugins mentioned below can help you show sidebars only on specific pages. With these plugins, you can easily hide sidebars.

(A) Lightweight Widget Area Plugin – Content Aware Sidebars

This plugin is available in the Plugins section of your WordPress. Go to the plugin zone and search “Lightweight Widget Area Plugin”, once you find it, click Install Now and then Activate it.

After successful installation, the plugin will ask you to allow data sharing. I don’t recommend allowing it because it increases server usage. However, if you wanna help the developer, you can allow it. With the data, they can make the plugin better and stronger.

The plugin will ask you to take a look at all the features, you can take the plugin tour or skip it, it is totally up to you.

Now click Add New to create a custom sidebar.

Give a name to your Sidebar and choose where you wanna show the sidebar. Click + New Condition Group to see all the pages and categories present on your blog. Select the Page or Category or anything where you wanna show the sidebar.

For example, I just wanna show the sidebar on my About page. So, I’ll select Pages and then About.

Test Sidebar Content Aware Sidebars

Now, from the Menu click Action, select Replace, and select the target sidebar. The target sidebar is the sidebar that you wanna replace with the new sidebar. Leave Merge Position as is.

Turn off Schedule. I don’t think you want it right now. Once everything is set up, click Create. It should look something like this:

Now go to the Widget Area or click the Manage Widgets option to Add Widgets to your new Sidebar.

Just click on the Plus icon to add widgets in your new sidebar.

If the steps are a little confusing to you, then watch this video. It is a little old but it explains it quite well.

(B) Custom Sidebars – Dynamic Sidebar Widget Area Manager

This plugin is quite popular. As you can see it has over 200k active installations with more than 1,000 ratings. However, this plugin is a little heavier than content aware sidebars plugin. Now, let’s check out how to set up this plugin.

First, install and activate it. Go to your plugin section and search “Custom Sidebar”

After successful installation, you’ll see this notification:

Just click on the Close icon.

You’ll also notice an “Important” message, the plugin won’t work until you install the Classic Widgets plugin.

The problem with this plugin is it doesn’t work with new Gutenberg Widgets. So just click the link “Classic Widgets” or search “Classic Widgets” in the Plugins section. Install it once you find it.

After that, you need to visit the Widgets area of your website, click Widgets under Appearance.

You’ll notice something different. You’ll see a Visibility option that you can use to Hide or Show the widget.

Watch this video by Gomahamaya, it explains very well.

(C) Widget Disable Plugin

I don’t recommend this plugin as it is too old, it hasn’t received any updates. The last update was around 7 months back which shows that the developer doesn’t care about this plugin anymore.

However, I found this plugin is really effective in disabling widgets. And, it is very simple to use as well.

Just select the widgets that you want to stop from appearing. You can also click the Select All option if you don’t wanna show any widgets.

Also, may see a lot of options because of your theme. So don’t get confused.

(D) Simple Page Sidebars

Like Disable Widget Plugin, this plugin is also Untested with the current WordPress version. The last update was 11 months ago. So installing it on your site could be a little risky. That’s why I’ve ranked this plugin at number 4.

According to the developer, here are the benefits of using Simple Page Sidebars:

  • No more site-wide, generic sidebars. Each page (or section) can have its own widgets.
  • Complete control over the names of your custom sidebars.
  • Assign the same sidebar to multiple pages.
  • Modify a page’s sidebar without creating an unnecessary revision.

2. Remove Sidebars Using Theme Customization

Most themes come with their own customizations. Themes generally let you choose the template you want for your website. So if I don’t want sidebars, I will simply select the template that doesn’t have sidebars.

For example, I’m using a free Sydney theme on one of my websites, so I’ll click on the Customization button, then Blog, and then under Single Blog Posts, I’ll disable the show Sidebars option.

Blog-Customization

Note: The screenshots shown above are only for the Sydney theme if you’re using any different theme then the steps could be a little different. However, the purpose of showing the screenshots was to give you an idea that most theme does have this feature where you enable or disable sidebars.

3. Change Post/Page Layout

You can also go with this option. Here you need to edit the Page/Post where you don’t wanna show sidebars. Click on the edit page button from the top or go to the Page or Post option in WordPress.

And change the layout to No Sidebars. For example, in the Sydney theme, you will have three layouts, Default, Page Builder Ready, and No Sidebar. So I will select the No Sidebar template as I don’t wanna show sidebars.

Note: Instead of No Sidebars, some themes will have a Full-Width template. So select Full-Width template, it will remove sidebars.

4. Remove Sidebars Using cPanel & FTP

By removing just a line from your template files, you can remove sidebars completely. However, I recommend creating a backup before going fort this method because it involves risk. The steps for FTP and cPanel are almost similar, but make sure to follow them carefully.

Step 1: Log in

Connect your FTP or login to your cPanel by using your user ID and password.

Step 2: Click File Manager

The file manager option is easily visible under Files.

Step 3: Click public_html

public_html is a root folder, click on it open it.

Step 4: Open wp-content

The wp-content folder contains important information about your theme and plugin. Open it.

Step 5: Open Themes Folder

The themes folder will be visible to you click on it and open it. Make sure to open the correct theme folder. For example, if you’re using the Sydney theme then the theme folder name would be Sydney.

Step 6: Edit Template Files

You’ll notice that under the themes folder, there are many files such as home.php, index.php, single.php, archive.php, and page.php, you need to edit all the files one by one.

Open the files and remove the code that contains get_sidebar

Step 7: Adjust Space

Once you have done it, come back to your site and check it. If it is working then you’ll notice something strange, a wide blank space will be there (because you’ve removed sidebars), so to cover that blank space, we need to use some CSS Style.

In the default WordPress theme you can add the following CSS styles to modify the space left by the removed sidebar:

.content-area {
    width: 100%;
    margin: 0px;
    border: 0px;
    padding: 0px;
}

.content-area .site {
    margin:0px;
}

5. Use A Different Theme

There are many free and paid themes available online. You can get any type of theme you want. Wasting your time adjusting sidebars won’t help you as a blogger. It is a complete waste of time.

To save that time you can simply install a new theme. Also, do some research before using any theme, check how fast that theme loads, check how often it gets updated. All this stuff is important for SEO.

Sidebar Vs No Sidebar

To be honest with you, I always prefer a sidebar over no sidebars because it gives me space to show ads, collect email, and show promotional offers. Having No Sidbers is good if you want more reading time because sidebars sometimes distract users from reading your entire content.

You can also tet which one suits best for your website. Do a split test. SHo sidebar for 15 days and then don’t show sidebar for 15 days. Compare the results.

I hope this post was helpful to you!

Checkout More:

How to Fix The Theme Is Missing The Style.CSS Stylesheet Error (Screenshots)

How to Get Sticky (Floating) Sidebar 5 Smart Ways

WordPress Sidebar Missing Fixed (4 Reason)

Sumit
Sumit

Sumit is a regular contributor to Hostinggrow.com. He has 6 years of experience in blogging, and he loves football, his favorite player is - Lionel Messi (GOAT), but he has no hate for Ronaldo.

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