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So What exactly is the Advanced Sidebar Menu?
As the web grows so does the size of website’s sitemaps. As these grow to be 30, 100, 0r even 500 pages, the traditional single navigation becomes too cluttered. We try to make it a little cleaner by adding an additional navigation in the sidebar, but we can’t display every page the site has in the sidebar. We could create custom menus for each page or section and register different widget areas but this ends up being way too much work and impossible to maintain.
This is where this handy little plugin comes in:
The advanced sidebar menu creates normal widgets that can be added into a widget area like any other. Once on the page it will display only the pages that are parents of the page you are currently on or children of the top level parent of the page you are currently on. I know this sound like a mouthful.
Here is an example:
Let’s say you have a page called “About”, this will be our parent page. We have 3 other pages “Contact”, “Services”, and “Hours” . Each of these will be set to have “About” as the parent page. We add another level of pages “Office”, and “Field” and we assign “Contact” as the parent page for these two.
We now have structure that looks like this.
If you put the widget in a widget area that shows up on these pages it will work in the following ways:
- If you are on page (i) this will display pages (i), (1), (2), (3).
- If you are on page (1) or (3) this will display pages (1), (2), (3).
- If you are on pages (2), (a), or (b) this will display pages (1), (2), (a), (b), (3).
This process will continue on any pages the widget is on. Just like that, it makes your huge sitemap manageable and easy for your viewers to navigate.
This works the same way for categories. By selecting the Advanced Sidebar Categories Menu widget you can have the same parent and child generated menus for your categories. Any categories the widget is on will automatically generate the menu. You may optionally select to have the categories show up on your single posts as well.
Once this plugin is installed and activated you will find two widgets available for use within your sidebars or page builders. “Advanced Sidebar Pages Menu” and “Advanced Sidebar Categories Menu”.
As the names suggest, use the Pages widget to generate menus using your page hierarchy and the Categories widget to generate menus using your category hierarchy.
Both widgets are smart enough to only display when there are available menu items.
Advanced Sidebar Pages Menu
- Display highest level parent page – When checked the menu will display the top level parent page on all menus. By default, if only the top level page would be shown, the menu will not display unless “Display menu when there is only the parent page” is also checked.
- Display menu when there is only the parent page – Display the menu even if a single menu item will be shown. May only be used when “Display highest level parent page” is also checked.
- Always display child pages – Be default only the levels above the current page and one level below the current page will be shown. Use this option to show a set number of levels always.
- Maximum level of child pages to display – Used when “Always display child pages” is checked to specify the number of levels to display. You may also select ” – All – ” to display every available level always.
- Order by – Used to specify the order of the menu items.
- Pages to exclude – You may exclude pages from all menus based on their id by adding them to this option. Ids must be comma separated.
Advanced Sidebar Categories Menu
- Display highest level parent category – When checked the menu will display the top level parent category on all menus. By default, if only the top level category would be shown, the menu will not display unless “Display menu when there is only the parent category” is also checked.
- Display menu when there is only the parent category – Display the menu even if a single menu item will be shown. May only be used when “Display highest level parent category” is also checked.
- Always display child categories – Be default only the levels above the current category and one level below the current category will be shown. Use this option to show a set number of levels always.
- Levels of child to display – Used when “Always display child categories” is checked to specify the number of levels to display. You may also select ” – All – ” to display every available level always.
- Display categories on single posts – Be default the menu will only display on category pages. Use this option to also display the menu on post pages. When on a post page, the menu will generate based on which categories are assigned to the current post.
- Display each single post’s category – Used to specify how the menus will be generated when on a post page that is assigned to multiple categories. Only available when “Display categories on single posts” is checked.
- In a new widget – Each assigned category will have it’s own separate widget structure and will display in the sidebar as if it were a separate widget.
- In another list in the same widget – Each assigned category will display as part of the same widget with a separate list structure.
- Categories to exclude – You may exclude categories from all menus based on their id by adding them to this option. Ids must be comma separated.
- Page and category widgets.
- Option to display or not display the highest level parent page or category.
- Option to display the menu when there is only the highest level parent.
- Ability to order pages by date, title, or page order.
- Exclude pages or categories by entering a comma-separated list of IDs.
- Option to always display child pages or categories.
- Option to select the levels of pages or categories to display when "always display child" is used.
- Option to display or not display categories on single posts.
- Ability to display each single post's category in a new widget or in the same list.
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- Option to display only the current page's parents, grandparents, and children.
- Ability to customize each page link’s text.
- Click-and-drag styling for page, category, and navigation menu widgets.
- Styling options for links including color, background color, size, and font weight.
- Styling options for different levels of links.
- Styling options for the current page or category.
- Styling options for the parent of the current page or category.
- Block styling options including borders and border colors.
- Option to choose from 7 bullet styles or no bullets.
- Accordion menu support for pages, categories, and navigation menus.
- Accordion icon style and color selection.
- Accordion option to keep all sections closed until clicked.
- Accordion option to include highest level parent in accordion.
- Ability to exclude a page from all menus using a simple checkbox.
- Link ordering for the category widget.
- Number of levels of pages to show when "always display child pages" is not checked.
- Ability to select and display custom post types.
- Ability to select and display custom taxonomies.
- Option to display child page siblings when on a child page (with or without grandchildren available).
- Ability to display the widgets everywhere the sidebar displays.
- Ability to select the parent page/category when using the "display widget everywhere" option.
- Ability to display assigned posts or custom post types under categories or taxonomies.
- Ability to select which levels of categories assigned posts should display under. * NEW *
- Ability to limit the number of posts or custom post types to display under categories.
- Support for custom navigation menus from Appearance -> Menus.
- Ability to display the current navigation menu item's parents and children only.
- Option to display the top-level navigation menu items when there are no child items or not viewing a menu item.
- Priority Support with access to members only support area.