Sidebar menu – a simple guide


sidebar menu - a menu pictureSidebar menu can be used for several purposes. You may want to put there some items from the main menu (like privacy policy page) in order to save space in the main menu.

Or you may want to make visible your important posts, so you display them on the sidebar in a separate custom menu.

When you do not have enough space in the main menu of your growing site, you may put some of your pages on the sidebar. Here I describe how to do this.

[J.S. Bach: Kunst der Fuge, Contrapunctus 9]

Below you see my main menu before changes. It contains pages, categories and posts. The  procedure of making such a main menu is described in my another post. Here, I am going to move my Privacy Policy page to the sidebar, as I did in my another site as well. From this procedure you will learn how to put any post or page into the sidebar menu widget.

sidebar menu-before modification

First, it is necessary to have created the menu you want in the sidebar, and second, to include it into a sidebar widget.

Creating custom sidebar menu

1. In the WordPress Dashboard, I go to Appearance and Menus as you see in the screenshot below:

custom menu -appearance and corresponding submenu

2. Now I want to create a new menu:

custom menu - tab showing how to create new menu

I shall call it ‘sidebar1’, see the picture below, and this name is only for me as an administrator to avoid confusion because in time I might have several sidebar menus.

sidebar menu -new menu sidebar 1

3. Next, I am going to add pages to this menu. So I choose Privacy Policy page (see below left) and click Add to Menu. Also, for demonstration only, I click on Posts and choose one post which I want to appear explicitly in the sidebar menu (see below right). Again, Add to Menu:

sidebar menu -added privacy policy page into manusidebar menu - added post into new menu







So my sidebar menu is now ready, with two items added to it:

sidebar menu -ready new menu

Creating sidebar menu widget

4. I now go to Appearance and then Widgets (see the picture in the item 1 above). When I click, I see available widgets as on the picture below. So I choose Custom Menu widget and drag-and-drop it in the sidebar, on the position where I want it to be.

sidebar menu - making widget for the new sidebar menu

5. When I have set it into the sidebar, I click on it and it opens a drop-down menu, see the picture below left, so I choose the one that I want, i.e., ‘sidebar1’. For my present purpose I do not need a title, but you may want to have one. In this case just type it in the box and it will appear on the sidebar above the new menu.

sidebar menu -chosen

6. So now I save the job, refresh the page, and visit my site. On the sidebar I have my menu as shown below:

sidebar menu -finished

7. Next step is just to remove the existing Privacy Policy page from my main menu, and this is the job done.

So I hope you have enjoyed this demonstration. As you realize, the procedure of creating sidebar menu is simple, and it allows you some creativity and improvement on your site.

Read more about how to start your own online business here, and how to build your site in my separate post. Please leave your comments in the box below.



    1. Hi Zhanna, thank you for reading my text. Regarding the question: this should be done following the second part of the instructions in my text, about adding the widget. The difference is that you can use Text widget now. So this would be then some text with the list of items where each of them can have links. For example you see that I have my photo in the sidebar and a few lines of text below it. You will notice that I have a link in these sentences. So you will do something similar. All about links I have written in another text but I am sure you are familiar with it. Let me know if you have managed, if you have problems I shall help.

      Perhaps another option could be that you add this list in the sidebar menu as a list of ‘pages’, as I described in the first part of my text. But now url’s of these ‘pages’ should be the links which you have. This is an interesting question indeed. You might like to try it that way too and see what is better.

    1. Thanks Annie, I did all these steps myself when I was building my sites, so this is the first-hand experience. Great that you find it useful. Jovo

  1. Hello Jovo,
    Very detailed instructions here on how to add WordPress sidebar menu.
    You make it very simple and step-by-step easy to follow for beginners .
    Well done 🙂


    1. It is great to read your comment Edy. I write instructions in the shape I needed when I was learning about it. Thanks. Jovo

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