Switching Up the Sidebar

On your website, you may not want the sidebar's contents to match at every page. You may want to switch it up a little bit. Or have one sidebar that's not like the others. No problem. You can do that with Sandvox.

In this article, we'll share guidance for how to turn off (or on) objects in the sidebar for any particular page. What do we mean by the sidebar? Part publishing term, part interface element, when it comes to a website the sidebar lets you present ancillary information or navigation choices. 

But on a single website, not all sidebars need to be the same. If you didn't realize you could change the way content appears on each page in this area, check out this article for a quick walk-through of the steps to do it. Enjoy!

You can easily change the display of objects in the sidebar of a Sandvox website, on a page-by-page basis.

Of course, some people use the sidebar to put information that they absolutely want repeated on every page of their website. For example, retail businesses may list their hours and their location information in the sidebar on each page.

Basics: Website Sidebar

To see how it works, create a New Site document in Sandvox. When you first create a new Sandvox document, you will see a Sandvox badge graphic. If you wanted to remove it, just select it and then hit delete. Of course, we won't mind if you'd like to leave the badge there!

Let's add a couple more objects to the sidebar while the home page is selected in the Site Navigator.

From the "Objects" menu, choose "Text Box". Replace the contents with something meaningful, such as the hours and location of your business.

Next, let's allow your visitors to contact you via a form in the sidebar. Select an item in the sidebar (so that Sandvox will know to place the contact form above that item in the sidebar, rather than in the main part of the page). Then choose "Contact Form" from the "Objects" toolbar item. Drag-and-drop it up or down to reorder it in the sidebar if you wish. Go to the Inspector, select the Object object inspector segment (in the upper right corner of the Inspector). Type the email address where you want your visitor's message to be delivered, and hit the return key to set the email address. (You can also customize the form fields using the Inspector.)

Because you added these objects to your sidebar while the home page was selected, you just populated the sidebar for the entire website!  Go ahead, make some new pages (each with a sidebar) and notice how the objects you created are shared across multiple pages.

There are other nifty objects that can be used in the sidebar. For example, the Amazon List object lets you drag Amazon URLs into it which then automatically displays information about those products. Look through the menu in the "Objects" toolbar for some ideas on what else you might add to your site.

Depending on what you have selected in the Site Navigator, adding an object to the sidebar means it will appear on that page and — if that page is a collection that contains other pages, such as a blog, a photo album, or the website's home page — on the pages contained therein.

Customizing the Sidebar for a Page

It is also easy to customize the sidebar for a specific page of a Sandvox website. Start by selecting the page you want to work with in the Site Navigator.

In the inspector, choose the page inspector Page inspector — second icon from the left — then go to the Appearance tab.

Here you'll see a list of objects in the sidebar. To show or hide an individual object on the page, simply select or deselect its checkbox in the list.

How might you use this? Let's say you have a blog. On your main blog collection page you can have a blog archive object, but you might not want the archive object on any other page. To do that, choose the Appearance tab in the page inspector. Then, either deselect just the Blog Archive object, or deselect the sidebar entirely for each of the other pages in your blog collection.

What if you want to change it later? No problem. Just repeat the process. You can also select multiple pages in the Site Navigator to have your sidebar choices affect more than one page.

We hope these tips have helped you quickly learn more about the flexibility Sandvox provides with its standard features. If you have questions about working with Sandvox, please check out the forum for information on the topic, and let us know  if you don't find the information you're looking for!