To show a sidebar or not?
Before I do, let’s take a look at why? Well, sidebars are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. People are becoming blind to ads and a blog sidebar in general.
Visitors want the information they have requested from the search engine of their choice. They want it now, and they don’t care about seeing adverts in your sidebar.
If you need to show adverts and get a users attention, what better way to do it than in your actual post/page content.
I use a sidebar on the archive pages here on LyrWP, but that’s as far as I go with them. Don’t get me wrong they are useful, but from a user, engagement perspective having a full-width post/page is better.
It will allow visitors to focus on your lovingly crafted content, the stuff you took hours pouring over.
Examples of no sidebar content
Both are excellent examples of making the article content the focus point.
GeneratePress custom post/page width tutorial
This tutorial will be using the premium version of GeneratePress, which essentially is a plugin enabling more functionality in GP.
Time needed to complete this guide 10 minutes.
10 minutes is being generous. Will probably be a lot less than that!
- Navigate to > Appearance > Elements
In the choose element type, select layout. Told you this was going to be easy!
- Name your layout element
You can see from the above, I have called my element “Post Layout”. This will help me identify the element if I had loads of different ones. It’s worth naming the element to keep track of things.
The first section deals with the sidebar layout. Now if you want your post to look like my one, then choose “Content (no sidebars)”
- Content width of your post/page layout
I have a container width of 1180px (pixels) on LyrWP. I know this as I have set this through the native WordPress customizer under the Layout option, which incidentally is only available through the premium version of GeneratePress.
To complement this 1180px width, I have set my content width to 850px, in the content width box. I’ve also left the content area setting as default. If you choose full-width or contained, it will remove the padding and could see your text/images looking, well, a bit squiffy.
- Where to show this new layout?
This is the most critical step of all. The “Display Rules,” this is where you can set where to show your new post/page layout. Be it on a specific post or page, all posts, etc.
I have chosen to show it on all posts, to do this select a post on the “Location” and once the next drop down box is populated, select all posts.
Now, this next one is essential. “Exclude” this deals with where you DO NOT want the new layout to be applied. I don’t want to show this on pages, so I chose, “Page” then from the next drop down, “All Pages.”
So the new layout will be applied purely to posts, no pages whatsoever.
That, as they say. Is it. Now go visit an article to see it working!
It doesn’t end there though.
Thanks to how generally awesome GeneratePress premium is, you could create a wealth of different post layouts, with specifics. For example:
- Landing pages for Google ad campaigns
- Newsletter signup pages
- Redirect pages from contact forms
- + Much more!
Benefits of having a full-width post layout
With a full-width layout, you have the users undivided attention. No pesky sidebars getting ignored, place ads in your post, calls to action in between paragraphs, a newsletter signup form in the mix, basically the things you have in your sidebar currently.
Place them in your full-width content, intersperse them in a way that flows with the post, draw a users attention to them in a subtle way. If the content you have created is of use to users, and your newsletter signup is the next block down, why wouldn’t they sign up?
Better than popups?
Using this method, you can draw a visitor in, hit them with something of interest or a newsletter form, without showing them a popup, you have them at your content.
Let them decide to signup for something without forcing it down their gullets.
*This post contains affiliate links, they are to help me keep the lights on here at LyrWP.com and do not affect you in anyway through any purchases you make through them.