Ever noticed when scrolling a page that the sidebar seems to never end, no white space appears. This is not magic, but a plugin, refereed to as a sticky sidebar or fixed widget for WordPress.
Both plugins are similar in the effect that is created, one by allowing a singular widget or widgets to be made sticky. The other by making any sidebar stick, in both instances the user can visibly see any element that you wish to highlight.
Why use a sticky sidebar for WordPress?
Not only does a sticky sidebar / fixed widget fill the white space that is created at the end of your sidebar. It is also provides additional opportunities to up-sell a product, by cleverly placing a call to action in front of the user.
Most banners, advertisements and subscribe widgets, appear only for a few seconds. As the user scrolls they disappear out of view and out of mind.
By defining one element that stays with the user no matter how far he scrolls, dramatically increases conversion rates!
- Make your sidebars always visible
- Use your existing sidebars
- Display call to action
- Add any widget and make it stick
- Works with most themes
Q2W3 Fixed Widget
One of the more popular plugins for adding a sticky widget in WordPress. The plugin has 100,000 + active installs with 4.7 rating out of 5.
Simply enable the “Fixed widget” option in the widget settings and it will always be visible when scrolled up or down. You can fix / stick more than one widget, even located in different sidebars, depending on your theme.
After installing the plugin, hover over Appearance and select Widgets in the drop down. Add any widget that you wish to make sticky to your sidebar, each widget now has additional option added. Tick the box “Fixed Widget” to make the widget stick when scrolling.
I found the plugin to work very well when using the default sidebar from my theme. Unfortunately the plugin conflicted with custom sidebars plugin that was allocated on my About, FAQ and Contact page, so, had to be removed.
Had I only used the plugin with my default sidebar, then I expect there would have been no compatibility issues.
Theia Sticky Sidebar for wordpress
Moving onto a premium plugin, Theia sticky sidebar for WordPress. With 805 sales to date, and an average rating of 4.47 out of 5.
Greatly increase your sidebars visibility and engagement with Theia. Make any default sidebar stick and permanently visible, regardless of how much the user has scrolled down.
Theia sticky sidebar features
- Make your sidebars always visible
- Permanently display calls to action
- Use your default sidebars
- Mobile responsive
- Eliminate white space
- Compatible with most themes
- Detailed documentation and support
Theia is compatible with most themes out of the box, with no additional configuration required. Simply click on the link below, download the plugin to your desktop and then upload to WordPress and ‘Activate’.
After installation, check your current default sidebars for any compatibility issues. If further configuration is required, you can find detailed documentation in the link provided, theia sticky sidebar for wordpress getting started.
I installed and tested Theia with Generatepress theme and Custom Sidebars. I found Theia to be compatible with both theme and custom sidebars plugin.
Support for the plugin is excellent, in the one inquiry I made in regards to compatibility with custom sidebars. I was assured that, had the plugin conflicted and no resolve could be found, a full refund would be issued.
To sum up, I was a little bit disappointment with Q2W3 compatibility with other plugins, especially custom sidebars. If you are looking for a free fixed widget plugin and only using your default sidebars that come with your theme. Then Q2W3 is definitely worth testing.
Although Theia sticky sidebar is a premium plugin, the results speak for themselves. Not only did the plugin increase the functionality of the default sidebars associated with GeneratePress, but also proved to be compatible with custom sidebars.
You can see a working demo of Theia on Simplifytheweb
In addition, I performed a speed analysis test, to gauge if the plugin had an impact on page load speed, using the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler. I found Theia to be one of the fastest loading plugins, having no negative affect on page load speed.
I hope you found the information in this article helpful, please let me know if you found any other plugins that have helped you transform your sidebar.
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