Sidebars and Footers

Both the Sidebar and Footer areas are very customizable in this theme. These areas can be individualized on pages, meaning different sidebars or footers per page as desired. On blog pages, the default “Footer” is used and a special “Blog Index Sidebar,” which can be customized is used.

There are 3 steps to customizing sidebars and footers.

1. Naming the sidebar or footer

In the Appearance > Theme Options section, there is both a Sidebars and a Footer Settings section. Each has a text box for entering the name of an additional widget area. On a new line in the text box, enter a descriptive name for the new widget area, e.g., “About us sidebar.” Remember to click the “Save all Changes” button at the bottom of the settings tool.

The “Blog Index Sidebar” and the default “Footer” widget areas will not show in this list. They cannot be deleted, though they can be customized in the next two steps.

Text box for adding a new Footer widget area.


2. Adding content to the sidebar

Once the widget area is named, go to Appearance > Widgets and find the widget area you created. Now you can add widgets and content to the widget area. You will notice that there are widget areas that were not listed in the Theme Option settings. These are “Default Sidebar,” “Footer” and “Blog Index Sidebar” and they are defaults for the theme that cannot be deleted. Each has default widgets in them that are not visible here, but you can add more widgets to these areas if desired.

New widget area in Theme Options > Widgets


Default Sidebar

The Default Sidebar is used for your primary menu location if you set your global navigation to Left Vertical in the Appearance > Theme Options > Navbar settings. Any widgets that you add to this widget area will appear below the Left Vertical navigation. If you use a Top Horizontal navbar layout, the Default Sidebar won’t be used. In this case, you have complete customization capabilities for sidebars on the left or right.

Blog Index Sidebar

This sidebar is used on the blog index page only; archive blog pages (individual post pages, archive of categories, etc.) use the Default Sidebar. The default for the Blog Index Sidebar widget area is to include Latest updates and Categories. To customize this widget area, drag and drop the widgets you want to appear. Any new widgets you add will overwrite the default widgets, so you would need to add Latest updates and Categories to keep them in a customized sidebar for your blog pages.


The default Footer widget area uses four widget areas — this can be changed to 3 widget areas from the Appearance > Theme Options > Footer settings. You can change the logos or add menus to the widget areas, however, the Guidelines for the UIC Theme¬†specify that the 4 links for Disability Resources, Emergency Information, Privacy Policy and a Contact Us link must remain part of the footer.

3. Assigning the sidebar to the page

Once you have populated your sidebar with widgets and content, you can assign the sidebar to a page or pages. Find the page in Pages and open it. In the UICNetwork Page Settings box, you can select what sidebar you want to use for each page and on what side of the page it will appear. Go to either the Left Sidebar or Right Sidebar dropdown list and find the sidebar to use on the page. You can preview the page before you Update or Publish it. To change the Footer, go to the Select Footer dropdown and find the Footer to use on the page.