Use a Custom Sidebar on a Custom Post Type

I’m working on a site where I’ve created a “Jobs” custom post type (or CPT). I wanted to display a different sidebar on my single job post pages without using a custom post template.

I found my answer after getting a push in the right direction from this post by Travis Smith. I’ll post my solution here if you’d like to use a custom sidebar for your custom post type!

1. Register Your Sidebar


For starters, I registered a sidebar to use on my single job pages. You could put this code in functions.php (or wherever you add your custom code). I’m using the Genesis Extender Plugin (aff link), and dumped the following into my Extender Custom functions area.

Note: If you need a lot of custom sidebars for a site, you might want to use the Genesis Simple Sidebars plugin instead of individually registering each one.

// Register new sidebar
genesis_register_sidebar( array(
	'id' => 'job-single-sidebar',
	'name' => 'Single Job Sidebar',
	'description' => 'This is the sidebar for single job pages.',
) );

Side note for people using the Genesis Extender Plugin:

Genesis Extender Effect Admin

If you’re using Genesis Extender to register your sidebar, be sure you have checked the little box that says “Effect Admin.” That enables the code you enter there to literally affect the WordPress admin area. If you don’t check it, you’ll be banging your head against a wall wondering why your sidebar hasn’t shown up in the widget area. 🙂

2. Call in the Sidebar Conditionally on Your CPT

Here comes the fun part. Go back to the place where you add your custom code and insert the following:

function cd_change_genesis_sidebar() {
    if ( is_singular('jobs')) { // Check if we're on a single post for my CPT called "jobs"
        remove_action( 'genesis_sidebar', 'genesis_do_sidebar' ); //remove the default genesis sidebar
        add_action( 'genesis_sidebar', 'cd_do_sidebar' ); //add an action hook to call the function for my custom sidebar

//Function to output my custom sidebar
function cd_do_sidebar() {
	dynamic_sidebar( 'job-single-sidebar' );

3. The End Result

Since the “jobs” site is still a work in progress, I can’t post a live link. But here are a couple of screen shots to show a regular page with the default sidebar and my single custom post type page with a custom sidebar.

Example of default sidebar
This is a regular page with the default sidebar.
custom sidebar example
Custom post type page for CPT “Jobs” sporting a custom sidebar.

By the way, go ahead and get a little jealous that I’m pulling in post data on the custom sidebar. That’s an example of something easy to do with the WP Types and Views plugins (another aff link, sorry). I’ll save a write-up on using post info outside the loop for another day.

Try it Out

If you’re working with custom post types and want to take this code for a spin, please let me know how it worked for you or if you would recommend any tweaks. Have fun stormin’ the castle!

62 thoughts on “Use a Custom Sidebar on a Custom Post Type”

  1. Hi Carrie… thanks for this post – saved me from using one more add-on than I needed to (was using widget logic before to determine what was displayed in a single sidebar depending on the page… it was a nightmare to maintain!) This should be much easier 🙂

  2. Hi Carrie! Great post. I’ve been looking for this for a while. I have a question though. Is there a set of guidelines on when to use an archive page (archive-$customCPT.php) vs. a template page (say template-$customCPT.php). Why didn’t you want to create a custom post template in the first place? I’m curious because I’m going to start coding a website and would like to know what’s the best approach. Thanks!

    1. Hi there,
      It really just depends on your objective. If you use a template-$whatever.php, you’ll need to create an actual post or page and set it to use that template.

      On the other hand, if you use archive-$whatever.php, it will automatically be applied to that archive page (no “page” creation necessary). I know the terminology sounds kind of confusion. This codex page is terrible, but it might shed some light for you ->

      In the end, either way is appropriate, it just depends what you’re wanting to accomplish.


  3. Hi Carrie,

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I was just wondering if you’ll be posting the other tutorial you teased at the end – about how to use WP Type and Views to pull custom fields into the sidebar – anytime soon?

    1. Hi Ben,
      I’m clearly running behind. 🙂 I still intend to post it, just haven’t had a chance to write it yet. You might check over at – Jonathan, who runs the site, is a big T&V user. Maybe he has something helpful in the mean time!


    1. This is what I’ve tried to apply a sidebar by author.

      //Add Custom Sidebar to Posts by Author
      function cd_change_genesis_sidebar() {
      if ( is_single()) {
      global $post;
      if ($author_id == ‘Author’); {
      remove_action( ‘genesis_sidebar’, ‘ss_do_sidebar’ );
      add_action( ‘genesis_sidebar’, ‘cd_do_sidebar’ );
      } }

      //Function to output my custom sidebar
      function cd_do_sidebar() {
      dynamic_sidebar( ‘Author’ );


      Not quite there. It’s applying the same sidebar to all posts. Any ideas?

  4. Pingback: Conditional display of Primary and Secondary Navigation Menus and Sidebars in Genesis - Sridhar Katakam

  5. Carrie, once again one of your tutorials saved me hours of ridiculousness. My client love the Metro Pro theme but wants a different sidebar on the front page than the rest of the site. I was feeling like a plugin would be overkill in this situation, so I used your code on the front-page.php file (except, of course the “register sidebar”). The only thing I did differently was remove: [code]if ( is_singular(‘jobs’)) { // Check if we’re on a single post for my CPT called “jobs”[/code] because I’m not looking for a CPT in this case. Worked beautifully. Again, thanks so much – please, Code Goddess, keep it up!!!

  6. Hi Carrie, Great post. This is exactly what i need. I too am using Types & Views, but I am not using Genesis, I am creating my own theme from scratch (based on the _s theme) and am not proficient in PHP at all. Do you know how i would modify this code in order that it would work in my theme?

    function cd_change_genesis_sidebar() {
    if ( is_singular(‘jobs’)) { // Check if we’re on a single post for my CPT called “jobs”
    remove_action( ‘genesis_sidebar’, ‘genesis_do_sidebar’ ); //remove the default genesis sidebar
    add_action( ‘genesis_sidebar’, ‘cd_do_sidebar’ ); //add an action hook to call the function for my custom sidebar

    //Function to output my custom sidebar
    function cd_do_sidebar() {
    dynamic_sidebar( ‘job-single-sidebar’ );

    1. Hi,
      The only thing Genesis-specific about that code is ‘genesis_sidebar’ and ‘genesis_do_sidebar’. Genesis child themes don’t use sidebar.php (it pulls from the parent framework), so I’m not sure what best practice would be when it comes to underscores. You can likely just edit sidebar.php directly to display content conditionally.

      I’d skip this tut and look for better examples of conditional or custom sidebars. 🙂


      1. Ah OK. I’ll see if I can decipher that 🙂 I am using the Custom Sidebars plugin which si great for indivdual pages, but not for entire post types. I’m hoping to find a solution that means i don’t have to create a custom template for each post type. I’ll keep searching 🙂

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