Graceful Sidebar

* Update December 24th, 2012 – Version 1.0.15 Released – IMPORTANT NOTE – This release fixes a bug which caused your custom sidebars to be deleted when editing multiple posts using the bulk edit feature… 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

Plugin Statistics (Dynamically Updated from

[wpws url = “” selector=”div .col-3 p” cache=”60″ timeout=”3″ error=”cache”]

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.

55 thoughts on “Graceful Sidebar

  1. 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;

  2. 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”?

    • Adam,

      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?


    • 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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 !

    • 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.

        • 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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?

    • 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.!

  7. 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.


  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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!


  13. 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…


  14. 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

  15. Mike,

    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.

    • 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.


  16. 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.

    • 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.


  17. Hi,

    This is a nice plugin and I was wondering if this would resolve most of my issues. It worked as I thought. However, my expectation was to use wysiwyg editor for this and also image and custom css codes for this. Well, you know I am expecting too much, but it is what I was wondering if happens.

    I have a review site where each product will have overview in sidebar. If this helps me get what I want, then it is really a blessing.


  18. Hey, it’s still losing the content for me, whenever I manually update tags via the quick edit feature in the post view. Disabling other plugins doesn’t change it – so not a plugin conflict. If I add, change, delete a tag in quick edit, graceful dumps the content on save.

    • I replied to this a few weeks ago, but message seems to be missing.

      If I click Quick Edit for a page, the Graceful Sidebar content is deleted. I really hope this bug can be fixed. Thanks. Will make a donation as soon as this bug is fixed, as I can then use the plug-in on sites with multiple editors.

  19. There seems to be an issue when “Widget Logic” is installed as well:

    Warning: Illegal string offset ‘number’ in C:\wamp\www\wordpress\wp-content\plugins\widget-logic\widget_logic.php on line 233
    Call Stack
    # Time Memory Function Location
    1 0.0020 362120 {main}( ) ..\widgets.php:0
    2 1.1512 38056336 wp_list_widget_controls( ) ..\widgets.php:384
    3 1.1513 38056264 dynamic_sidebar( ) ..\widgets.php:80
    4 1.1546 38076248 call_user_func_array ( ) ..\widgets.php:904
    5 1.1546 38076568 wp_widget_control( ) ..\widgets.php:904
    6 1.1549 38078216 call_user_func_array ( ) ..\widgets.php:196
    7 1.1549 38078616 widget_logic_extra_control( )

    Graceful Sidebar still works, but you might want to check.

  20. ..and a suggestion:
    Since you can copy/paste html code and include it with Graceful Sidebar (with everything in it, galleries, various shortcodes, and so on: works nicely), it would be nice to add the tinyMCE editor to the Graceful Sidebar Content field.

    A workaround right now is to first create the desired content in the main post field, then cut & paste the html in the Graceful Sidebar field. Does not make it easy to edit, though.

    I have also noticed that the widget is only available once and cannot be duplicated in different sidebars: I can’t use it for both posts and pages if they have different sidebars, for instance.

  21. …here’s a bug:

    If the title field contains an apostrophe, the apostrophe is deleted and all words after it as well when updating the post.
    For instance: Scarlett O’Hara becomes Scarlett O

    No such problem within the text field, though.

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