Graceful Sidebar

* Update June 22nd, 2012 – Version 1.0.14 Released – IMPORTANT NOTE – This release fixes a bug which caused your custom sidebars to be deleted… please backup your database and update to version 1.0.14 Available from


Here’s a WordPress plugin created to enable you to control and customize the sidebar content for pages and posts. To use the plugin, unzip the contents into your wp-content/plugins/ directory. It will create a directory called graceful_sidebar.

Once installed, and activated, create custom fields for a page or post called graceful_title and graceful_content. When you view the page or post, a sidebar will display showing the content of the title and content fields.

Or – use the newly created Graceful Title and Graceful Content boxes that are now (as of version 1.0.4) a part of the plugin installation… this allows you to supply the title and content for your custom sidebar right in the post or page edit screen – without having to create a custom field and remember the custom field names.

Next, simply visit the widgets page and make sure you drag the Graceful Sidebar widget to one of your theme’s sidebars.

Download from

Are you using this plugin for your site?  If so, leave a comment and tell me about it.  Also, please remember to rate the script on the WordPress plugin site.


45 thoughts on “Graceful Sidebar

  1. […] displayed.  Well – it seemed logical so I dug in for a few minutes and came up with the Graceful Sidebar Plugin.  The plugin is very simple – but accomplishes the initial goals.  To use the plugin, […]

  2. Mike says:

    Hi, thanks for this great plugin! Works fine for me! MANY THANKS!

  3. Just the widget I was looking for to give me the ability to change photos on the sidebars with different pages.

  4. Peter says:

    Hi Mike,

    Great plugin! I just modified the gs_widget function in order to avoid an empty box appearing on pages for which no graceful menu has been defined:
    function gs_widget($args) {

    global $post;
    if (is_single() || is_page()) {
    $gs_widget_options = unserialize(get_option(‘gs_widget_options’));
    $title = get_post_meta($post->ID, ‘graceful_title’, true);
    if($title) {
    echo $before_widget;
    echo $before_title;
    echo $title;
    echo $after_title;

    $content = get_post_meta($post->ID, ‘graceful_content’, true);
    if($content) {
    echo $content;
    echo $after_widget;

    • mike says:

      Thanks Peter! The only issue here is if someone doesn’t supply a graceful_title – but does supply a graceful_content custom field the sidebar won’t appear. The question is – Should sidebar’s appear if they don’t have a title? Perhaps we need an option for this which will enable folks to set a default title…?

  5. Shaliza says:

    This plugin is something I’ve been looking for for so long! I have a question though: is it possible to insert the code for it manually in the template instead of adding a widget under “Appearance”?

  6. Christopher Wulff says:

    Just curious, why not use the existing Justin Tadlock My Snippets plugin?

    Seems easier than remembering custom field names.

  7. Li-An says:

    Using the fields provided by the plugin does not work for me. I have to manually select the custom fields…

  8. Adam Gold says:

    I am getting a lot of flukey things happening to my site where my graceful sidebar data is disappearing when I randomly update a plugin, manage comments, etc.

    Any ideas?

    • mike says:


      I think it may have something to do with the way I’m saving the meta data… I need to do some testing… What version of the plugin are you using?


  9. Adam says:

    Thanks for the response Mike. I am using version 1.06.

    • mike says:

      Adam, I’ve updated the plugin to version 1.07 after some testing. I replace the way I’m storing the values for the title and content and this should clear up and problems…. fingers crossed.

      A possible cause was that I was using standard custom fields to store the values. This meant that they displayed in the post edit screen in both my custom field input fields AS WELL as the standard custom post fields.

      Version 1.07 should be out of testing shortly and available for upgrade through the automated process from Wordress.

      Sorry for the issues – and please let me know if the errors persist.

  10. Grace Grillo says:

    Hey! Congrats on the new job! I *stupidly* upgraded to WordPress 3.0.4 and now the sidebar doesn’t really work super well… Well, it works sometimes, and other pages I keep putting it in and saving it and it never comes through. You can check out my test site to see what the hell I’m talking about: here is a page where the sidebar is working: and here is one where it isn’t working anymore: Any idea what I am doing wrong? Thanks Mike!

  11. J LEWIS says:

    This plugin solved a frustrating Kubrick sidebar issue wherein the page list inclined rightward per page title; this created a long, awkward looking oblique slant down my blog page. I tried a lot of sweat-busting, cuss-causing remedies, but all failed. This had been ongoing since last spiring. Today, on this wonderful 12th day of 2011 CE, I found GRACEFUL SIDEBAR— a simple and effective solution.

    The issue is completely solved. I have a beautifully straight and neat blog page column on my website. THANK YOU FOR THIS PLUGIN !

  12. J LEWIS says:

    The problem actually was a WP parent page listing issue rather than a Kubrick issue.

    • mike says:

      Thanks for the feedback! Not sure if you’ve updated yet but I just released 1.0.10 today which solved a nasty bug related to saving and post revisions.

      • J LEWIS says:



      • mike says:

        The problems were related to the fact that wordpress actually executes the plugin save code multiple times based on the number of revisions in the current code. My code incorrectly tested for content conditions and deleted the graceful content / title under certain circumstances. This manifested itself in a condition where content would simply disappear when you edited pages and didn’t update the graceful content / title.

        If you’re not experiencing this – you should be fine. Apologies for the problems.

  13. Nice.. thanks a lot for the plugin.. will definitely come handy with Widget Logic.

  14. […] found Graceful Sidebar Plugin on Mike’s Blog. Automatic installation (upload in WordPress) does not work, and you have to follow the […]

  15. Joern says:

    thanks for pointing to your plugin, that’s an easy way to display content in the sidebar

  16. Ari Salomon says:

    The custom fields graceful_title and graceful_content work just fine in regular posts, but those custom fields are not showing up in a custom post type. should be easy to add?

  17. Chris says:

    I can not get short codes to work within the content field at all.

  18. Alex says:

    Was wondering if there’s a way to add a second instance of Graceful Sidebar to the same page (i.e. – two sidebar areas in a template). On top of that, does the Graceful Sidebar only accommodate text content or is it possible to feed it with posts in a specific category?

    • Mark says:

      I 2nd that comment. How about the ability to add a second sidebar to the same page?. That would be fantastic, along with the ability to use this in ad categories and specific ads in the classipress theme. If this can be done i would be willing to pay.!

  19. Alan says:

    I just logged on to a site I’m working on for a client, and all of my custom sidebars are gone. The Graceful panes within the posts are blank. I’m talking two days worth of coding these custom sidebars for dozens of posts. If ANYBODY has any idea what could have happened and if these are recoverable, it’d be hugely appreciated.


  20. Sheryl says:

    I love the ability to customize pages. However, I still do want to show Recent Posts and Categories for my blog posts. How do I do that? I do not want these items to show up on my web pages; only my blog posts. Thank you!

  21. Debbie says:

    This is JUST what I’ve been looking for. Can’t wait to try it out. Am I right in thinking that there’s no way to put a Graceful title/content box on the home page (unless it’s set up as a static page)? I can live with that; I just want to make sure I’m not missing something obvious.

  22. Debbie says:

    Found a small bug. When I put an apostrophe in the Graceful Title, all the text from the apostrophe onward appears in the title but doesn’t save to the field, so if I update the page in the future but don’t notice the text that’s been wiped from the Title field, my title will appear truncated from that point on (or until I edit the field again).

  23. Erin says:

    Can I use code in the custom field? like..

    I havent gotten it to work so far.

  24. Alex says:

    Thanks for your plugin, i’ve been searching a long time for it!

    I’m trying to use shortcode but it’s does not work, with the plugin JW Player. The plugin’s shortcode is [jwplayer …].

    It works when i use it in a post.

    Thanks for your help.

  25. Paola says:

    Hi, thank you for this amazing plugin!
    Just one issue: I’m using a multilingual plugin (qtranslate) which enables to have different languages for each page. But with Graceful Sidebar I can customize only one language per page… is there any chance I can have the sidebar of a page different for each language?

    thank you in advance!


  26. pankaj says:

    Its a nice plugin and works well for Pages and Posts…but I have custom post types as “Ads” …. can you please tell how to make it work for custom post type…


  27. Nick says:

    Please work with custom post type!
    I’m using a template that has portfolio pages … which uses custom post type … at the moment graceful sidebar doesn’t work with those types of pages …..

    I can see quite a few asking about it … please could you let us have an update on progress to fixing this?

    I Love this Plugin … what really what to use it on current site. thanks

  28. Becky says:


    I’m using the current version 1.0.13 and having the issue of disappearing content, that I see others have complained about here and on the WP forum. Any info I can share that will help you solve this issue? It’s quite a problem, please let me know.

    • mike says:

      Please backup your database and update to version 1.0.14… while this will not recover any previously lost data – the issue will no longer recur. Apologies for the problems.


  29. Willie says:

    Hi, I liked Graceful Sidebar very much as it is versatile and does what I want.
    Unfortunately there are quite some occasions where Graceful Sidebar COMPLETELY LOSES ALL CONTENT.

    So hours of assembling pictures with proper links under it are gone.

    Last time was when I updated WordPress.

    Also in the wordpress backups there is no graceful sidebar content to be found.

    PLEASE HELP and explain how to prevent this from happening. It’s not only frustrating and time consuming, I also lose ad income whenever this content gets lost.

    Any help is appreciated.

    • mike says:

      Ok – so I found the cause of the missing content and I am truly sorry for the loss of your time and effort. The plugin originally stored the content for the graceful sidebars you create in standard custom fields. I changed that to use post meta fields which don’t appear in the custom fields list around version 1.0.4 or so… When I made that change I tried to be clever and remove the custom field version of the sidebars and move it into the post meta fields. I have removed that portion of the code to prevent any possibility of deletion.

      Again – I am sorry for your lost time and effort. Please remember to always back up your database before updating your plugins so that you can revert to prior versions in case something goes wrong.

      Thanks for the feedback and I hope this solves your problems.


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