Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Making the sidebar responsive

From: WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

Video: Making the sidebar responsive

Most WordPress themes come with sidebars. I've started designing WordPress themes without sidebars, but every now and again you need them. For that reason, the Anaximander theme has a sidebar on the default index page. The sidebar poses some new challenges when it comes to responsive layouts. Do you shrink the size of the sidebar by percentages or do you leave it a fixed width? And if so, what happens when the sidebar gets bigger than the main content? My philosophy here is to leave the sidebar a fixed width until its width is equal to that of the main content.

Making the sidebar responsive

Most WordPress themes come with sidebars. I've started designing WordPress themes without sidebars, but every now and again you need them. For that reason, the Anaximander theme has a sidebar on the default index page. The sidebar poses some new challenges when it comes to responsive layouts. Do you shrink the size of the sidebar by percentages or do you leave it a fixed width? And if so, what happens when the sidebar gets bigger than the main content? My philosophy here is to leave the sidebar a fixed width until its width is equal to that of the main content.

At that point, I either hide the sidebar or I shift it down below the rest of the content. If you look at how I laid out this page, you'll find something you may be surprised at. Instead of simply floating the content left and right, which is the common thing to do, I've decided to use a backwards version of the technique we used to create this responsive header and also the responsive single posts. If you look at this regular-index section, you'll see that here we have a margin on the right that's -320 pixels, and in regular- content, we have another margin of 320 pixels.

So basically, what's happening is we are shifting the content to the right and then shifting it back to the left, leaving a large space in which the sidebar can slide in. So you see that space in this orange area here. That means if we want the content to span across the page and the sidebar to shift below the page, we need to reset these two styles. But first we need to decide where we want that breakpoint to occur. If I resize my browser here, you'll see that at the second breakpoint, we pretty much have that situation I was talking about, where the content and the sidebar are of equal width.

That means I want to use that breakpoint as the breakpoint for moving the sidebar below the content. Knowing that, I'm going to go into my media queries and apply these specific styles. So I'll go to my style sheet, scroll all the way to the bottom, where I know my media query is. It's right here. It's the one for max-width : 719. Let's scroll to the bottom and here I'll create my new styles. So the first one was regular-index, and here I want to remove the float, so I'll float.

And then I also want to reset the margin to 0. Then I have to apply the same approach to the regular content container, so again, I'll say margin: 0. So just to reiterate, what we're doing here is finding regular-index, and here you see we're currently floating regular-index to the left and the margin on the right is -320, so we are resetting regular-index to float: none and margin: 0, and then we are also resetting regular-content's margin to 0.

I'll save this, reload this page in the browser, and you see the sidebar disappeared, and more importantly, when the window size increases, the sidebar reappears. But it didn't really disappear; the sidebar moved to the bottom of the page. So if I again make it disappear and scroll down, you'll see the sidebar is now here on the bottom. But you'll also see that the sidebar looks odd, because it's shifted to the right. What I have to do now is create new styles that affect the sidebar only in this situation so the sidebar looks nice when it's at the bottom of the page.

If you go to the code_snippets for this course, you'll find all that style code. It's not all that much, so you just copy it, go back to your media query, and paste it in. When you save this and reload the page, you'll see we have a new nice sidebar area down here at the bottom that's formatted to fit better with a layout for being on the bottom. And if we increase the size of the window, we're back to the regular sidebar. Before I wrap up, let's just take a quick look at what we just pasted in.

If I place my browser here on this side and we go down and take a look at the sidebar widgets, you'll see that the new sidebar widgets have a solid gray background, which you can find here, sidebar .widget, and the background is right here. They're also spanning across the entire width rather than floating to the right, and that's done here in the sidebar style. We set float to none, overflow to inherit, and then the width to 100%. You'll also notice that inside sidebar widget we now have width at inherit, which means this style is inheriting the width of the containing style, which is sidebar.

In other words, your sidebar widgets are now 100% wide instead of having a fixed width, as they did before. The rest of the styling is made to match the footer widget styling that you see on the bottom of the page here. Sidebars require special consideration when designing responsive themes. I personally don't like flexible sidebars, so I showed you how to leave them with a fixed width. You can use the same technique, but with percentages to make the sidebars flexible if you like. There's no right or wrong here, so it's completely up to you.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for WordPress: Building Responsive Themes
WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

39 video lessons · 17200 viewers

Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 27s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 34s
  2. 8m 36s
    1. What is responsive design?
      4m 16s
    2. The different faces of WordPress on mobile
      1m 55s
    3. Exploring the finished Anaximander theme
      2m 25s
  3. 9m 38s
    1. Getting and installing the Anaximander theme
      1m 53s
    2. Configuring basic theme options
      7m 45s
  4. 23m 51s
    1. Deciding what screen sizes to design for
      4m 11s
    2. Thinking responsively: Designing for many different screen sizes
      6m 23s
    3. Visualizing content realignment for better markup
      4m 35s
    4. Designing menus
      4m 52s
    5. Adding responsive images and videos
      3m 50s
  5. 26m 8s
    1. What are media queries and how do they work?
      4m 18s
    2. Exploring CSS3, progressive enhancement, and graceful degradation
      3m 27s
    3. Understanding best practices for media queries
      3m 57s
    4. Creating a responsive frame
      5m 12s
    5. Customizing media queries with the Chrome Developer Tools
      5m 28s
    6. Taking device width into account
      3m 46s
  6. 11m 1s
    1. Resizing the site title and the description
      8m 22s
    2. Adding media queries to the header
      2m 39s
  7. 11m 22s
    1. Making the menu responsive
      3m 35s
    2. Creating a different menu design for small screens
      7m 47s
  8. 19m 22s
    1. Making a responsive single-post layout
      6m 11s
    2. Making images responsive
      4m 37s
    3. Making videos responsive by including FitVids
      8m 34s
  9. 7m 45s
    1. Making the sidebar responsive
      5m 10s
    2. Hiding sidebars on mobile
      2m 35s
  10. 7m 28s
    1. Dealing with footer widgets
      5m 11s
    2. Adding navigation links that return to the top of the page
      2m 17s
  11. 12m 54s
    1. Using FlexSlider to create a responsive slider
      6m 2s
    2. Creating a loop to show sticky posts in a featured slider
      6m 52s
  12. 24m 37s
    1. What is jQuery Masonry?
      3m 41s
    2. Installing jQuery Masonry
      4m 45s
    3. Configuring the index page with Masonry
      7m 0s
    4. Using CSS to finalize the Masonry layout
      6m 17s
    5. Adding media queries to the Masonry index
      2m 54s
  13. 9m 11s
    1. Exploring hidden features of the Anaximander theme
      5m 51s
    2. Where to go from here
      3m 20s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed WordPress: Building Responsive Themes.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.