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Sidebar, Themes, Widgets

Non widget-aware themes
Update July 09: post obsolete – all themes except Monotone have become widget-aware.
(The descriptions below still apply, but only to the themes’ default, i.e. what you get if you don’t activate any widgets.)

Almost all themes allow you to add widgets in order to customize the contents of your sidebar(s) or bottombar. The ones listed below aren’t widget-aware:

Green Marinée
Supposedly Clean
Sweet Blossoms

Most of them, however, do have a sidebar or bottombar with a few standard items.


Bottombar, with

• Categories
• Archives
• Links

You mustn’t use subcategories, as they show up as normal categories (not indented or otherwise differentiated).


Sidebar (left), with

• Links
• Meta

Green Marinée

Sidebar (right), with

• The Search
• The Associates [= links]
• The Storage [= archives]
• The Categories
• The Meta

No link categories.


Bottombar, with

• About Page
• Pages
• Monthly Archives
• Category Listing
• Recent Entries
• Blogroll

A unique case: the bottombar is customizable (under Appearance > Hemingway Options): you can add any of the above (or none, or all), in any order you want, and you can send each one to the left, middle or right column of the bottombar.



Supposedly Clean

Sidebar (left or right), with

• About author
• Search
• Pages
• Categories
• Links
• Archives
• Feeds [= RSS for posts and comments]

No link categories.

“About author” is a real rarity: it displays the Biographical Info you may have filled in in your Profile page. (Ιf you’ve put nothing there, you get the message “the author does not say much about himself” in the sidebar.)

Sweet Blossoms

Sidebar (right), with

• Search
• Pages
• Categories
• Links
• Meta
• Calendar
• Most Recent Posts

No link categories.



10 thoughts on “Non widget-aware themes

  1. I’ve been thinking about changing my theme, so I tried Fadtastic because it has the excerpt function for categories and archives.

    But is is odd. It appears to have 2 useable sidebars. But in fact it has one sidebar and one bottom bar that a user can add widgets to.

    The second sidebar is set in the theme and can not be modified. You get: About (which is actually your tagline), RSS, and Meta. The only thing you can edit in that sidebar is your tagline.

    Maybe this is irrelevant, but it’s something to consider if one wants to change themes.

    Posted by Tess | August 7, 2009, 06:15
  2. Right – I should have included Fadtastic here as an intermediate case. Too late now.

    I don’t like Fadtastic: don’t like the colors, don’t like the functionality. Which blog are you thinking of changing?

    Posted by Panos | August 7, 2009, 09:36
  3. The cooking one: it looks; it’s so cluttered. Maybe just change the header, and dump some of the stuff in the sidebars. Why? Do you have an idea?

    I thought that maybe I could live with the ugly colors if I could have the pictures in my (text) category widgets running down the middle of the 2 sidebars.

    But having only one post with titles on the front page, the bottom sidebar, the non-functional sidebar… the only thing to commend Fadtastic is the excerpt function. IMO

    Posted by Tess | August 7, 2009, 18:51
  4. Truth is I never liked Digg 3 either. You’ve improved it with the beautiful background, but still I cannot stomach those green tabs.. (By the way, I don’t like my blog either: I only chose Garland because I could change the colors!) But I don’t know if you should change your theme now that you’ve got so many visitors.

    Anyway, excerpt-enabled themes? Here’s what I think:
    Albeo, Blix, Fadtastic, Fauna, Spring Loaded, Sunburn, Vermilion Christmas: don’t like the looks of them. Flower Power, Hemingway, Neo-Sapien, Supposedly Clean, Sweet Blossoms: style won’t do for your blog. Misty Look: so-so, overworn. 2813, Unsleepable: no custom header. Day Dream: clean look, but… bottombar? So if I were you I would only consider Pressrow or maybe Sapphire: they are too neutral, but with your colorful posts I think that’s an advantage.

    Posted by Panos | August 8, 2009, 03:04
  5. Digg3 was great when I was a n00b: 3 columns and a customizable header! Sans-serif font. What else could I want (then)?

    Oh, I like your theme here. Nice colors, fills the screen. Plus the source code is full of things, should anyone look, but that is you and not attributable to the theme…

    Do you really think that changing my theme would affect my readers? I’m not sure they care? I don’t think there are very many. Or if there are, they don’t comment.

    Me changing just the header on Digg3 makes those lime green tabs look even worse… so

    I’m now working on changing to Pressrow. I’d passed over it before because of the font with serifs. But really, serifs are nice! And it has some quirks. (Sapphire is nice too, but narrower than Digg3. As is 2813—not married to having a header pic anymore)

    Exported the blog to a new private blog and now can see some problems. My “colorful” backgrounds need some padding or something. My text widgets need the background color that the theme generated ones have. And the theme widget titles (recent posts, archives, blogroll, etc.) are too close to the info.

    It is a lot to ask, I know, so feel free to beg off, but help would be much appreciated? Obviously, I’ll change the privacy so you can look. Yikes! What sisu!!!


    Posted by Tess | August 9, 2009, 05:56
  6. I’ll gladly help if I can – send mail.

    No I don’t think changing theme would “affect” your readers; it’s just that the appearance of a blog is sort of a trademark.

    Pressrow: grey bg in widgets is easy to simulate. But if you don’t like the spacing of the widget titles, then maybe you should forget the theme.

    Didn’t expect you would also consider themes with no custom header. Then why not Unsleepable? (Black header doesn’t fit your blog – but you can change that!)

    Posted by Panos | August 9, 2009, 10:00
  7. Cool site, love the info.

    Posted by [Link removed - P.] | September 3, 2009, 21:35
  8. Yeah, right…

    Posted by Panos | September 3, 2009, 22:33
  9. Hello,

    I read the top half of this post about inactivating widgets on the sidebar. I’m trying to get rid of both sidebars on my site I tried the option of blank text as well as blank RSS feeds but both keep the sidebar in place. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks a ton


    Posted by Taha Jiwaji | March 16, 2010, 19:10
  10. @Taha: Hi; I think your comment was meant to be on this post:

    Yes, blank widgets result in sidebar blank but firmly in place… For a blog, there are a couple of themes that allow you to really deactivate the sidebar, and a few that display no sidebar in static pages; see here:

    But the site you linked to is a (self hosted) blog. I’m afraid I can’t advise you on that, because the software is different – I’m only experienced in blogs.

    Posted by Panos | March 16, 2010, 20:29


author's avatar panos (justpi)

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