How to Remove a Sidebar in WordPress: A Complete Guide

WordPress, a powerhouse in website creation, relies on various elements to structure content. One pivotal component is the sidebar – a vertical section offering a canvas for WordPress widgets, navigation menus, and additional functions. While sidebars offer versatility, there are models where users may seek a more minimalist or spacious design.

The decision to remove a WordPress sidebar is driven by specific needs. Whether desiring a cleaner aesthetic or aiming to allocate more room for primary content, the impact on design and user experience is substantial. A sidebar-free layout can enhance readability, focus on key elements, and provide a more immersive browsing experience. We’ll explore these considerations in detail to help you make informed choices tailored to your website’s goals.

From assessing theme settings, employing full-width templates to removing sidebar widgets and diving into theme code modifications, each step will be covered. Additionally, we’ll border upon the use of CSS and plugins as alternative methods, empowering you to choose the approach that best aligns with your WordPress expertise and preferences.

What is a Sidebar in WordPress?

WordPress web design, the sidebar constitutes a vertical column adjacent to the main content, offering a valuable province for additional features and content placement. Understanding its function is pivotal for optimizing your website’s layout and enhancing user experience.

  • Widget Display: Sidebars serve as prime locations for widgets, facilitating the display of different types of WordPress widgets, such as search bars, categories, or recent posts, enhancing user engagement.
  • Navigational Hub: Often home to menus, the sidebar aids in seamless navigation, allowing users to explore different sections of your website effortlessly, contributing to a user-friendly experience.
  • Call to Action Space: Leveraging sidebars for calls to action or subscription forms can strategically capture visitor attention, fostering increased interaction and potential conversions.

Comprehending the role of a WordPress sidebar empowers you to make informed decisions about its utilization on your website. Whether prioritizing simplicity or aiming to boost engagement, the sidebar stands as a versatile tool for shaping your site’s functionality and aesthetics. For a strategic placement aligning with the current web design layout, you can consider getting assistance from a well-experienced firm backend with a proven track record of theme design and development services.

Common Reasons Behind Removing WordPress Sidebar

While sidebars in WordPress offer valuable space for additional content and features, there are compelling reasons why website owners might consider their removal. Understanding these motivations is crucial for making informed decisions about your site’s design and functionality.

  • Streamlined Aesthetics: Removing the sidebar contributes to a cleaner, more streamlined website design, placing a focus on the main content and creating a visually uncluttered experience for visitors.
  • Increased Readability: A sidebar-free layout can enhance the readability of your content by providing a wider space for text, reducing distractions, and allowing users to concentrate on the primary information without peripheral elements.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Eliminating sidebars can enhance the mobile responsiveness of your WordPress website. It helps in ensuring a smoother and more visually appealing experience for users accessing your site on various devices.
  • Content Emphasis: Without a sidebar, the main content takes center stage, allowing for a more prominent display of key information and reducing the chance of users overlooking critical details amidst sidebar distractions.
  • Adaptive Design: Removal of sidebars enables a more adaptive design, making it easier to tailor your website to different screen sizes and resolutions, providing a consistent and optimized experience across devices.

The decision to remove a WordPress sidebar is often rooted in a desire for a cleaner, more adaptive, and reader-friendly website. By understanding these common motivations, you can strategically enhance your site’s design to align with your specific goals and user preferences.

Measures to Consider Before Removing a Sidebar in WordPress

Before taking the step to remove a sidebar in WordPress, it’s crucial to consider several measures to ensure a smooth transition and maintain the functionality and aesthetics of your website. These precautions will help you anticipate potential challenges and make an acknowledged decision about the layout adjustments.

1. Evaluate Impact on Widgets

Preceding the removal of a sidebar in WordPress, it’s essential to assess the impact on widgets, as sidebars commonly host these dynamic elements. Understanding how this adjustment might affect the display and functionality of widgets is crucial for a seamless website transition.

  • Widget Relocation: Take note of the widgets currently residing in the sidebar. Consider whether these elements can be relocated to other areas of your website, such as the footer or within the main content, to maintain their functionality.
  • Widget Dependency: Some widgets may be closely tied to the sidebar’s structure. Evaluate if removing the sidebar will impact the performance or visibility of these widgets and explore alternative placement options.
  • Responsive Design: Ensure that widgets adjust appropriately to the removal of the sidebar, especially on mobile devices. Verify that the chosen widgets remain visually appealing and functional in the absence of the traditional sidebar space.

A careful evaluation of how removing the sidebar will affect widgets is paramount. While strategically planning the relocation or adaptation of these dynamic elements, you can maintain a cohesive and functional website design even after eliminating the sidebar.

2. SEO Implications

Considering the impact on your WordPress web SEO is a crucial step before removing a sidebar. Search engine optimization is intricately tied to website structure, and modifications can influence how search engines perceive and rank your content.

  • Indexing Changes: Removing a sidebar alters the structure of your pages. Understand that search engines may reindex your content based on the revised layout, potentially affecting search rankings. Monitor changes in indexing patterns to address any unforeseen SEO consequences.
  • Keyword Placement: Sidebars often include keywords relevant to your content. Analyze the keywords present in the sidebar and ensure their strategic placement within the main content or other SEO-friendly areas after removal. This preserves the semantic structure crucial for search engine algorithms.
  • Internal Linking: Evaluate the linking building strategy employed in the sidebar and ensure that these links are appropriately redistributed within the main content or other navigational elements, maintaining a well-connected website for SEO.

When contemplating the removal of a WordPress sidebar, the SEO implications extend beyond indexing and keywords. Consideration of internal linking strategies is essential for preserving or improving your site’s search engine performance. Strategically managing these aspects will help mitigate potential SEO challenges associated with the removal of a sidebar.

3. Performance Optimization

Optimizing website performance is crucial for delivering a seamless user experience. Before removing a sidebar in WordPress, it’s essential to consider the impact on performance to ensure that your site maintains its speed and responsiveness.

  • Reduced HTTP Requests: Sidebars often contain widgets and elements that generate additional HTTP requests. Evaluate the impact of removing these elements on the overall number of requests. Streamlining the page by reducing unnecessary requests can significantly improve loading times.
  • Caching Strategies: Assess your WordPress caching strategies, especially if your site relies on caching plugins. Removing a sidebar necessitates adjustments to caching settings to ensure that visitors receive updated and optimized versions of your pages, preventing potential inconsistencies.
  • Image and Content Optimization: A sidebar-free layout may present an opportunity to revisit images and content revamped. Ensure that images are optimized, and content is efficiently deployed, contributing to faster load times and improved overall performance.

Understanding the performance implications of removing a sidebar is essential for maintaining a fast and responsive website. While addressing reduced HTTP requests, optimizing caching strategies, and enhancing images, you can ensure that your site continues to deliver an optimal user experience post-sidebar removal. 

In case you’ve changed your mind about removing a sidebar in your WordPress site then you can skip the next section and hop on the ‘Alternatives You Can Consider Instead of Sidebar Removal in WordPress’ portion to make your web look aligned to your requirements.

How to Remove a Sidebar in WordPress?

Whether you’re opting for a more streamlined design or restructuring your website’s layout, removing a sidebar in WordPress involves a strategic process. By carefully navigating to the mentioned methods, you can achieve a sidebar-free layout that aligns with your design preferences and user experience goals. In the events where you are unfamiliar with complexities or have broken down the web layout – you can straight consider getting WordPress experts’ assistance to ensure rolling up your web as it were.

1. Utilize Theme Settings

One of the most straightforward methods to remove a sidebar in WordPress is by leveraging built-in theme settings. Many WordPress themes provide customization options that allow users to toggle the visibility of sidebars with a few clicks. This user-friendly approach ensures a hassle-free transition to a sidebar-free layout without delving into complex coding.

Steps to Remove a Sidebar in WordPress Using Theme Settings

Simplifying your WordPress site’s design by removing a sidebar is made effortless through the use of theme settings. These intuitive options empower users to personalize their website’s layout without delving into intricate coding, ensuring a seamless transition to a sidebar-free interface.

  1. Access Theme Customizer: Begin by logging into your WordPress admin dashboard, then navigate to “Appearance” and select “Customize.” This opens the Theme Customizer, providing a live preview of your website.
  2. Explore Layout Options: Look for layout-related options within the Theme Customizer. Commonly found under sections like “Layout” or “Site Identity,” these settings are tailored to control the overall structure of your site.
  3. Locate Sidebar Settings: Once in the appropriate section, search for settings specific to sidebars, often labeled as “Sidebar Layout” or “Sidebar Position.” These options dictate the presence and placement of your sidebar.
  4. Toggle Sidebar Visibility: Depending on your theme, there will be an option to either toggle the visibility of the sidebar or select a layout without a sidebar. Adjust this setting to align with your desired website structure.
  5. Save Changes: After making adjustments, ensure to save your changes within the Theme Customizer. This action finalizes the new layout, effectively removing the sidebar from your WordPress site.

Removing a sidebar using theme settings is a user-friendly process, providing website owners with a quick and efficient way to enhance the visual appeal and functionality of their WordPress sites. This method requires no coding expertise, making it accessible to users of varying technical backgrounds.

2. Employ Full-Width Templates

For those seeking a more expansive and immersive layout, utilizing full-width templates is a strategic method to remove a sidebar in WordPress. This approach transforms your website’s design, maximizing the available screen space and creating a visually impactful browsing experience.

Steps to Remove a Sidebar in WordPress by Employing Full-Width Templates

Achieving a more expansive and visually striking layout on your WordPress site involves utilizing full-width templates. This approach allows you to remove sidebars selectively, providing a canvas that maximizes screen space and enhances the overall browsing experience.

  1. Access Page Attributes: When creating or editing a page in WordPress, locate the “Page Attributes” meta box on the right side of the Gutenberg editor screen. This box contains essential settings for individual page configurations.
  2. Find Template Dropdown: Within the “Page Attributes” meta box, identify the “Template” dropdown menu. This dropdown presents various template options, including the crucial “Full-Width” or similarly named choice.
  3. Select Full-Width Template: Choose the “Full-Width” template from the dropdown menu. This selection instructs WordPress to use a template that spans the entire width of the content area, effectively excluding any sidebars.
  4. Review Content Placement: After selecting the full-width template, review the placement of your content to ensure it aligns with the new layout. Adjustments might be needed to optimize the presentation without sidebars.
  5. Update or Publish Page: Click the “Update” or “Publish” button to save the changes and apply the full-width template. This final step solidifies the new page layout, removing the sidebar and providing a visually impactful design.

By employing full-width templates in WordPress, you can strategically remove sidebars and craft a dynamic, expansive layout for specific pages. This method allows for customization without altering the overall theme settings, offering flexibility in presenting diverse content on your website.

3. Remove Sidebar Widgets

When looking to streamline the content presentation on your WordPress site, a direct approach involves removing sidebar widgets. Widgets are dynamic elements often housed in sidebars, and their removal can contribute to a cleaner and more focused layout, optimizing the user experience.

Steps to Draw Sidebar Widgets Instead

Aiming for a more streamlined appearance on your WordPress site, strategically drawing sidebar widgets can be an effective approach. While considering the removal of specific widgets, you can declutter your site’s layout and create a more focused design, tailored to your content priorities.

  1. Access Widgets Section: Start by navigating to the WordPress dashboard and selecting “Appearance” > “Widgets.” This section serves as the control center for managing and customizing the widgets on your site.
  2. Identify Sidebar Widgets: Within the Widgets section, locate the widgets currently residing in the sidebar. Widgets commonly include elements like categories, recent posts, or custom content blocks.
  3. Drag Widgets Out: To remove a widget from the sidebar, drag it out of the widget area. This simple action detaches the widget from the sidebar, preventing it from being displayed on your site. Alternatively, you can delete widgets if they are no longer needed.
  4. Review Widget Placement: Evaluate the placement of remaining widgets in the sidebar. Consider rearranging or prioritizing widgets based on their relevance to your content and design goals.
  5. Save Changes: After adjusting the widget configuration, click the “Save” or “Update” button within the Widgets section. This ensures that your changes are saved and reflected on the live version of your site.

Strategically drawing sidebar widgets in WordPress offers a streamlined method to declutter your site’s layout. By selectively removing or rearranging widgets based on their relevance, you can create a more focused design that enhances the overall user experience, aligning seamlessly with your content priorities.

4. Modify Theme Code

For users with a deeper understanding of WordPress customization, modifying theme code provides a robust method to remove a sidebar. This approach involves direct alterations to the theme’s codebase, offering a high level of control over the layout and structure of your website.

Steps to Remove a Sidebar in WordPress Editing Theme Code

For advanced users seeking granular control over their WordPress site’s layout, the process of removing a sidebar involves editing the theme code. This method requires a solid understanding of coding practices and provides the flexibility to tailor the website’s structure to precise specifications.

  1. Access Theme Editor: Begin by logging into your WordPress dashboard, then navigate to “Appearance” and select “Theme Editor.” This tool grants access to the theme’s underlying code, allowing for direct modifications.
  2. Identify Sidebar Template: Within the Theme Editor, locate the template file responsible for rendering the sidebar. This file, often named “sidebar.php” or equivalent, contains the code defining the appearance and content of the sidebar.
  3. Backup Code: Before making any changes, create a backup of the sidebar template code. This precautionary step ensures that you can revert to the original state in case of errors or undesired outcomes.
  4. Remove Sidebar Code: Carefully delete or comment out the sections of code responsible for generating the sidebar. This typically involves HTML and PHP code that structures and displays the sidebar content.
  5. Save Changes: After removing the sidebar code, save the changes within the Theme Editor. Ensure that there are no syntax errors by checking for any highlighted areas or error messages.

Navigating the Theme Editor empowers experienced users to craft a bespoke design, aligning intricately with their preferences and overarching design objectives. This meticulous process ensures a unique and finely-tuned layout that reflects the user’s expertise and vision for their WordPress site.

5. Edit CSS

For those aiming to modify the appearance of a WordPress site without delving into the intricacies of theme code, editing CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) provides a versatile and user-friendly alternative. This method allows users to make stylistic adjustments, including the removal or customization of sidebars, without directly altering the core theme files.

Steps to Remove a Sidebar With Revamping of CSS

When seeking a visual transformation for your WordPress site, removing a sidebar through CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) offers a flexible solution without the need for intricate coding. This method enables users to revamp the appearance of their site, enhancing aesthetics and optimizing space for a more tailored design.

  1. Access Theme Customizer: Begin by logging into your WordPress Dashboard and navigating to “Appearance” > “Customize.” Locate the section labeled “Additional CSS” or “Custom CSS,” depending on your theme.
  2. Inspect Sidebar Elements: Using browser developer tools or theme documentation, identify the CSS styles associated with the sidebar. Understand the classes or IDs governing its appearance to target them effectively.
  3. Craft CSS Code: Within the “Additional CSS” section, write custom CSS code to target and modify the identified sidebar styles. For instance, use display: none; to hide the sidebar or adjust other properties to revamp its visual presentation.
  4. Live Preview: As you write and save the CSS code, the Theme Customizer provides a live preview of your changes. Continuously monitor the impact on the sidebar’s appearance, making adjustments to achieve the desired visual effect.
  5. Save & Publish: Once satisfied with the revamped design, click the “Save & Publish” button within the Theme Customizer. This action applies the CSS modifications to your live site, seamlessly removing the sidebar and presenting the updated visual layout.

Revamping CSS to remove a sidebar in WordPress empowers users to create a visually distinctive design without diving into intricate coding. With these steps in the Theme Customizer, users can achieve a more tailored and aesthetically pleasing website layout, optimizing space and enhancing the overall visual appeal.

6. Consider Plugins

When simplicity is key in altering your WordPress site’s layout, utilizing plugins provides an accessible solution for removing sidebars. This user-friendly approach allows individuals with varying technical proficiency to make impactful changes without delving into complex coding processes.

Steps to Remove a Sidebar in WordPress With Plugins

Simplicity is key in altering your WordPress site’s layout, utilizing plugins provides an accessible solution for removing sidebars. This user-friendly approach allows individuals with varying technical proficiency to make impactful changes without delving into complex coding processes.

  • Plugin Search and Installation: Begin by accessing your WordPress Dashboard, go to “Plugins” > “Add New,” and search for a suitable sidebar removal plugin. Popular examples include “Widget Options,” “Simple Page Sidebars,” or “Custom Sidebars.”
  • Activate the Plugin: Conduct the plugin installation process, and activate it from the WordPress Plugins page. The activation process is typically straightforward and ensures that the plugin’s features are now accessible within your site.
  • Explore Plugin Settings: Access the plugin settings or customization options, usually available in the WordPress dashboard. Plugins may provide settings for layout adjustments, including the removal or modification of sidebars.
  • Configure Sidebar Removal: Utilize the plugin’s user-friendly interface to configure and specify the removal of the sidebar. This could involve toggling a switch, selecting specific pages, or adjusting layout settings according to your preferences.
  • Preview and Confirm Changes: Preview your website to ensure the sidebar removal is accurately reflected. Plugins often offer live previews, allowing you to confirm the changes visually before finalizing. Check different pages to ensure consistent results.

While removing sidebars with plugins in WordPress, users can easily customize their site’s layout, enhancing the overall user experience without the need for advanced technical skills. These straightforward steps, illustrated with examples as mentioned, ensure that the desired layout adjustments are efficiently implemented, providing a visually appealing and user-friendly website design.

Alternatives You Can Consider Instead of Sidebar Removal in WordPress

While removing sidebars is a common practice in WordPress customization, there are alternative approaches to enhance your site’s layout and user experience. Exploring these alternatives allows for a more nuanced and strategic approach to design without completely eliminating the sidebar.

  • Customizing Widget Content: Instead of removing the entire sidebar, consider customizing the content of sidebar widgets. Tailor them to display relevant information, calls-to-action, or dynamic content that complements your main content.
  • Implementing Collapsible Sidebars: Introduce a collapsible sidebar feature, allowing users to expand or minimize it based on their preferences. This provides flexibility without sacrificing the potential utility of sidebars.
  • Utilizing Sticky Sidebars: Make your sidebar sticky, ensuring it remains visible as users scroll down the page. This persistent visibility allows for continuous engagement with important widgets while maximizing the main content area.
  • Creating Conditional Sidebars: Implement conditional sidebars that display specific widgets on certain pages or posts. This allows for targeted and contextually relevant information, optimizing the user experience for different sections of your site.
  • Incorporating Multi-column Layouts: Instead of a traditional single-column layout with a sidebar, explore multi-column layouts. Distribute content across multiple columns, providing a balanced visual presentation without entirely removing additional content areas.

Considering alternatives to sidebar removal in WordPress opens the door to a more nuanced and user-centric design. Customizing widget content, and implementing collapsible or sticky sidebars can strike a balance between an engaging user interface and the utilization of additional content areas.

FAQs About Removing Side in WordPress

How do I remove sidebar in Elementor?
To remove a sidebar in Elementor, go to the page you want to edit, open it in the Elementor editor, and navigate to the page settings. Under the "Layout" tab, choose "Elementor Canvas" or "Elementor Full Width" to eliminate the sidebar from the page.
How do I edit my sidebar in WordPress?
To edit the sidebar in WordPress, access the WordPress Dashboard, go to "Appearance," and click on "Widgets." Here, you can add, remove, or rearrange widgets in the sidebar area. Additionally, you can customize the appearance and content of individual widgets to tailor the sidebar to your preferences.
How do I remove the sidebar in WordPress Astra?
To remove the sidebar in WordPress Astra, navigate to the page you want to edit, open it in the WordPress editor, and locate the "Page Attributes" section. In the "Template" dropdown, select the "Full Width" option. This will override the theme's default layout and remove the sidebar from the selected page.


Discover the various methods to remove or modify sidebars in WordPress, whether through theme settings, code editing, or plugins. Ensure your website’s layout aligns with its goals for an enhanced user experience without sacrificing functionality.

  • Theme Settings: Explore your WordPress theme’s customization options to easily toggle the sidebar on or off.
  • Code Editing: For advanced users, modify your theme’s code to precisely control the appearance and functionality of sidebars.
  • Plugin Solutions: Utilize plugins like “Disable Sidebar” or “Widget Options” for a user-friendly, no-code approach to managing sidebars.
  • Consider Goals: Align changes with your site’s goals to maintain a cohesive and purposeful design.
  • Periodic Review: Stay attuned to evolving trends and user expectations by periodically revisiting your website’s layout for freshness and relevance.

Concerned about the complexities of revamping your web design? Don’t you worry! Leverage the extensive expertise of our team in both WordPress design and development, collected over 5 years. We understand the complexities and preciseness of creating a captivating online presence. Reach out to us and entrust your vision to professionals who not only comprehend the technicalities but also bring creativity to the forefront.

Mehul Patel is a seasoned IT Engineer with expertise as a WordPress Developer. With a strong background in Core PHP and WordPress, he has excelled in website development, theme customization, and plugin development.

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