It is a million dollar debate whether to have a sidebar or not in a WordPress site. with Core Web Vitals, AMP and other speed improvements, sidebars losing the fame unlike earlier days. However, sidebar widgets are most powerful way to use as a call to action. In addition, making the last widget as sticky and floating can skyrocket your click through rate. In this article, we will explain how to add sticky floating widget in WordPress sidebar.
Full Site Editing and Widgets
Before you try to completely rely on the sidebar widgets, be aware of the latest trend in WordPress development. Full site editing is the next big update waiting for bloggers which will completely change the way you use sidebars and widgets. This will change the widgets section under “Appearance” menu to use blocks similar to Gutenberg block editor interface.
When this changes are released, you need to use Gutenberg based editor in widgets area. If you still sticking to the old Classic editor or any other page builder plugins, it’s high time you switch to Gutenberg and get familiarized.
How Sticky Widget Can Help You?
Since the sticky widget is visible during most of the reading time, you can make use of it in the following ways:
- Showcase popular content on your site to drive traffic.
- Display advertisement so that you can earn more (remember, some advertising programs like Google AdSense does not allow you to use sticky widget).
- Show affiliate coupon or deal so that users can purchase through your link and you can make money from affiliate commission.
- Sell a popular eBook from your own store from Amazon and try to convert the clicks in to potential earning.
- Display a countdown timer to press users for taking an action like purchasing a product on limited time offer.
The possibilities are endless and you will clearly see the impact when using stick floating widget compared to normal widget.
Add Sticky Floating Widget in WordPress
There are multiple ways to add sticky floating widget to your WordPress sidebar. If you are super geeky, you can try out your own CSS with fixed position for the last widget on your sidebar. However, let us focus on the readymade solutions that normal users will be looking for.
1. Q2W3 Fixed Widget for WordPress Plugin
This is the most popular option available for WordPress bloggers as it is super easy to implement. Go to “Plugins > Add New” section in your WordPress admin panel and search for “q2w3”. You can find the Q2W3 Fixed Widget for WordPress and install it on your site.
After activating the plugin, go to “Appearance > Fixed Widget Options” section. Here, you can adjust the settings of the plugin like margins and where do you want to stop the floating by providing the stop ID. In general, you do not need any changes here and leave the settings as it is.
Now, go to “Appearance > Widgets” section and you can see an addition checkbox below each widget. You can enable the “Fixed Widget” check box for the item you want to show as sticky floating.
Save the widget and check your live site that the widget is sticky when scrolling the content. For example, we add a search widget as a first item and make it as fixed widget. It will look like below when you scroll the content on the published site.
We recommend using sticky floating widget for the last item in the sidebar so that it will not affect the user experience by avoiding overlapping of elements. If you are using the full site editing in future, the widgets will have similar option with a “Fixed Widget” option like below.
2. Themes with Fixed Floating Widget
Many magazine themes on the WordPress marketplaces like themeforest offers in-built option for adding sticky widgets. For example, you can make the widget fixed in most popular Newspaper theme. You can choose the option in theme’s panel without additional plugin. However, you will have problem when switching a theme. Therefore, the lightweight Q2F3 widget is a good options unless you are planning to use a magazine style theme for long term.
3. AdSense and Other Advertisement Partners
If your primary focus is making money with AdSense or any other display advertising program then check out the AdSense alternative programs. There are marketplaces like BuySellAds that offer sticky ad on the sidebar. If you are a member of any such program, demand them to create a stick floating widget for you. It can multifold your earnings with other ad technologies like ad rotation and anti-adblocking.
As you can see, there are multiple options to add sticky floating widget in WordPress sidebar. However, the solution depends on your purpose and the current setup you use. The easiest way is to use Q2W3 Fixed Widget which will work seamlessly with any theme. You can test how the sticky widget works for you and measure the performance of call to actions to decide continuing the sticky option or not.