A friend of mine that is learning how to use both WordPress and Artisteer, the theme design software, sent me a question about what appeared to be a broken sidebar option within WordPress. 

John of TransformativeLifeCoaches.com asks

I am wanting to install an Aweber autoresponder Sign Up Box (for a Giveaway report and a series of autoresponder emails) on our site. 

I believe the best way to do that is to put the Sign Up box in Sidebar 2 which doesn’t appear to be activated on our TLCoaches site. 

I went  to Widgets on the WP control panel to drag the "text/HTML" widget onto Sidebar 2 but it wouldn’t drag nor do any other widgets
Can you tell me the best way to get the autoresponder box on every page of our site?

In reality, WordPress and the sidebars on the site were not broken.  Here’s a quick snapshot of the site as of the date of the question.


This particular site only has 1 sidebar programmed into the theme.  With Artisteer (as of Sept 2009) at most you can design themes with 2 sidebars.  You can add more than 2 sidebars to the themes after export but that is another topic for a different day.


In this case, with only 1 sidebar designed in the theme, when a user logs into WordPress, they can only activate/use/drag and drop widgets to the sidebar that actually is turned on an enabled within functions.php of the theme they have created.

Two sidebars do show up sometimes, but only 1 will work when your theme has just a single sidebar activated.image

The Solution

In this case if John wants to utilize a second (new) sidebar, all he has to do, is open up his theme in Artisteer and make a 5 second change to his layout, adding a sidebar where he likes, and then export and upload the updated theme to his website.

Piece of cake!


If you read the comments below, you will learn that the original solution and trouble shooting didn’t quite fix this problem.  the solution was a little easier, but also more hidden.

To fix this, John learned that he needed to click on the screen options button at the top right hand corner of every wordpress admin screen.



On WP widgets page, I went to screen options and hit “enable accessibility mode”-simple solution, just didn’t know it was there.


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