Posted on March 24, by Randy A. Thankfully, a little bit of troubleshooting is all it takes to fix it. A new theme A recent post Recent changes in code Some of the fixes are simple. Others may take some time to go through the code and remedy. Start with any recent additions or updates like code, themes, and plugins. Some of these might seem obvious to those with lots of WordPress experience, but even someone that has used WordPress for years might not have encountered them.
Widgets Disappear with New Theme Sometimes the solution is as simple as needing to place widgets when you change to a new theme. Themes have different widget layouts and when you go to a new theme they have to be set up. In this example the widget areas are in place but there are no widgets within them. Post Layout Settings Many themes have extra settings that you might need to check.
For example, Divi gives you an extra set of post settings. On the right side of the screen across from the posts title is a box called Divi Post Settings.
Full Width turns off the sidebars for that post. If you have sidebars on some pages or posts and not on others this could be the issue. WordPress and themes are the most important for this issue. Sometimes you might have to reinstall WordPress or the theme. Modifying Themes One way this problem happens is through modifying the theme and then updating it. Once you update the theme all of your custom code is lost. There are two ways around this: Use a child theme.
Save your custom files and paste them back in after updating the theme. Code Sometimes we make mistakes with code. Sometimes this is caused by an error in the code that keeps the code from executing further. It can even be code within a post. When this happens, you can see the sidebars on every page except the page with that post. Before you start experimenting and making changes with your code, make sure you have a recent backup. In fact, always make a backup before updating WordPress, themes, plugins, or making modifications to your code.
If there are any issues, you can restore it to the original version. Code Within Posts Pasting code into posts can be tricky. I once killed my sidebars by pasting Amazon affiliate code from Word.
Typically random pieces of code within a post will move the sidebar to the bottom of the page. This can make the theme respond as if the sidebar were outside the div element wrapper. Also check for an unclosed div element.
Another possible cause is the category span is too wide and it pushes the content of the sidebar to the bottom. This can also be caused by plugin issues or setting the width in CSS too high. In this example the sidebar moved to the footer and the comments submission login moved to the sidebar location.
It only does this on this post or a screen that includes this post. To find the problem go to each post individually until you find the specific post with the issue. Next go into edit mode for that post.
To troubleshoot I went to the post and selected the Text tab. I removed the code and the sidebar moved back to its proper location.
It looks for missing pieces and will highlight all of the problems so you can troubleshoot them further. You can type in the URL you want it to check, upload the code as a file, or paste the code in as a direct input.
It will then test the code and give you an analysis. I pasted in my URL and it gave me a list of errors to troubleshoot.
This can get confusing and time-consuming though if there are lots of errors that are not part of the problem. Scroll down and click on Stylesheet under Styles. You should see code that looks like this: I found that the float and margin positions had been swapped. The code should look like this: Other issues that can cause this are using the wrong width percentage and pixel size.
You can experiment and see what works best for your theme. This is mostly seen in free themes where the programmers place links back to their companies. Changing this one line from the id to the name moved the sidebar below the content.
Changing it back to the id moved the sidebar back into place. The widgets themselves could be the issue. Open your text widgets and look for missing or misplaced code. Extra tags can cause problems within widgets just like they can within posts. Alternately, you can remove them all to see if the problem is fixed, and when it does, you can add them back one at a time until you find the widget with the bad code. An empty text widget can sometimes be enough to keep the rest of your widgets from loading.
Delete all unnecessary widgets; especially those without content. Adding a Sidebar to a Theme Some themes are designed without sidebars. Final Thoughts The WordPress missing sidebar issue can be a nuisance and make your site look wonky until you find the right fix. Taking a quick look at your settings and code will find most of the likely problems quickly and help get your site back up and running properly.
Have you had the WordPress missing sidebar issue? What was the cause? Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments. He's a longtime WordPress enthusiast and loves learning new things and sharing information with others.
If he's not writing or reading, he's probably playing guitar.