How to Add an Image Menu to Your Sidebar

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to add an image menu to your sidebar. No coding, no fancy plugins - this is the easiest way you'll find!

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. 

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to add an image menu to your sidebar. No coding, no fancy plugins - this is the easiest way you'll find!

  • Make sure the images are linked to the desired page.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to add an image menu to your sidebar. No coding, no fancy plugins - this is the easiest way you'll find!

  • Tab over to the text mode and delete the spaces between the photos.
  • Copy that text!

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to add an image menu to your sidebar. No coding, no fancy plugins - this is the easiest way you'll find!

  • 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!

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to add an image menu to your sidebar. No coding, no fancy plugins - this is the easiest way you'll find!

  • Go view your site and admire the gorgeous menu you just made! 

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to add an image menu to your sidebar. No coding, no fancy plugins - this is the easiest way you'll find!

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. 

I hope this saved you time and frustration! Make sure to share this post with your blogger friends and save them too! Happy blogging!

Like this post? Join the VIP List!

You'll get access to the VIP Perks page with loads of free goodies including The Step-by-Step Guide to Rocking Your Goals and more! You'll also get exclusive content, new posts, and other great stuff straight to your inbox!

About Samantha

I am a SAHM to three kids and a menagerie of pets. I love coffee, books, crafts, wine, cooking, and more coffee. Seriously, I couldn't function without coffee. Read more about me!

31 Comments

  1. Oh ok, yes, I love being able to create html and copy it into a text widget. I guess this requires creating the special sidebar images though separately. What I’m hoping for, but haven’t found a plugin to do yet, is take my top posts or posts selected in a category, and cycle through those featured images, just scaling it to be a thumbnail or something. I guess I should do something manually though cause having sidebar teasers for top posts has been working well for people.
    Julie S. @ Fab Working Mom Life recently posted…Fun Uses for Baby Cereal #CookingwithGerber #sponsoredMy Profile

  2. O have to pin this and reread it later, when I don’t have two toddlers demanding more cereal and a target trip! Thanks for the info girl!
    jessica recently posted…Spring Sprouting Threads, Stitch Fix for Toddlers!My Profile

  3. Saving this to read and study more later, very helpful.
    candy recently posted…Sandy Mash Roast BeefMy Profile

  4. Woah what?!?!? This is awesome and I had NO IDEA! Thank you so much for this post. My blog is going to be beefed up a bit because of you !! Xo

  5. I did not know this. Helpful tip I may have to use.

  6. Great guide on how to do this!

  7. Great tips. I use Blogger, but I still like the helpful info. If I ever switch I can use it, and even if I don’t, I can try to emulate it in Blogger 🙂
    Kristin Cook recently posted…Where Striving and Trusting CollideMy Profile

  8. Finally a step by step tutorial! Thanks for the post!

  9. Wow, this is definitely much simpler than the way I had been doing it! Bookmarking this for the next time I go to spruce up my sidebar. Thanks!
    Lisa – BadMammy.com recently posted…5 Fathers Day Gift Ideas for the Less OrganisedMy Profile

  10. thank you for this! Ive seen this and I really want to add one to mine! Thank you thank you!!
    Kristen Kavan recently posted…To my best friend on her wedding day; 21 things I want her to know.My Profile

  11. Oh wow! I didn’t know that! I must try this! Thank you so much for this tip!
    Healing Mama recently posted…Make Cleaning Your Ministry +Devotionals for Moms Who Despise CleaningMy Profile

  12. Haha wow! I actually don’t do this, but totally should! I code everything myself right in the sidebar. This is way easier!
    Summer @ Coffee With Summer recently posted…8 Reasons Why We Chose To Have A First LookMy Profile

    • It just seems like a total time-saver and headache avoider to me! I don’t know what I was doing wrong with the coding the first time, but it was not working for me! Now it’s much easier!

  13. Such an awesome hack! Totally needed something like this.

    xoxo, Jenny
    Jenny recently posted…2016 Blogging Goals RevisitedMy Profile

  14. This is so super useful. It looks great and really ads to your website. I’ll be sharing this for sure!
    Dia All The Things I Do recently posted…Why You Need to Update Old Blog PostsMy Profile

  15. Pingback: 3 Strategies to Increase Traffic for Christian Bloggers - Part 2 - Do A New Thing

  16. this really helped a lot. I enjoy having a blog with pictures especially on mine. I’m just having a difficulty in the whole meta description coz I really don’t know how to do that or locate that.

    • I’m so glad I could help, Marian! My best advice for the meta description is to download the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s free and it makes everything so easy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge