We’ve all seen those gorgeous blogs with their pretty sidebar menus. I love them because they look so in-sync with your brand, and they’re completely customizable. You can have a menu featuring anything you want: specific posts, categories, webinars, sponsors, ecourses, or whatever your heart desires. I have even found the easiest, non-technical, coding-free way to do it. I call it the cheater’s way to add an image menu to your sidebar.
I’ll start off by saying that for Mother’s Day I had a few special posts I wanted to feature. I knew I wanted them in my sidebar, so I made cute little miniature featured images (300px x 150px) for each post. (Yes, I’m a Canva addict! It’s my one blogging indulgence!) Then I went to my Jetpack plugin, and added an image widget for each one, linking it to the post. It was super easy to do, but the sidebar didn’t look anything like I wanted it to. There were huge gaps between each image, and the spacing made everything look random and unrelated.
On to technique number two. I did my research on Pinterest and found a handy code where you put the link the the image’s url and a link to the page, and magically it will be there. Nope. I checked my coding at least fifteen times, and all I ever ended up with are three sad little blue question marks on the sidebar. Obviously I was doing something wrong, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.
So third time’s a charm right? WordPress is actually so easy to use when it comes to adding an image to a post. You just select it from your media library, add the link you want, and you’re done. Why can’t it be that easy for your sidebar? It is! And that’s where I came up with the the easiest way you’ll ever see to add an image menu to your sidebar!
How to Add an Image Menu to your Sidebar – The Cheater’s Way!
- Go ahead and make sure your images are uploaded into your media library. Add all the usual meta tags and info if you’d like.
- In your WordPress dashboard, open up a new post. Don’t worry, you won’t actually be publishing it.
- Using the visual mode, add each image to the fake post. You’ll get a little preview of what the menu will look like.
- Make sure the images are linked to the desired page.
- Tab over to the text mode and delete the spaces between the photos.
- Copy that text!
- You can save this post as a draft, but I wouldn’t discard it until you’ve got the sidebar set up how you want it.
- In a separate window (I love tabs on my browser!), go to your dashboard and select Appearance-> Widgets. Add a text widget to the sidebar wherever you want your menu to be.
- Add a title to the text widget if you like.
- Paste that copied text into the content box and hit save!
- Go view your site and admire the gorgeous menu you just made!
That’s all it takes! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to do once I got unfrustrated enough to calmly think things through. (There’s a life lesson for us all!) Once you’ve made sure the images go to the correct links, you can delete that fake post, or you can save it as a draft for easier editing in case you decide to change things up again in the future.