How to Fix Sidebar Drop Down in WordPress [Visual Tutorial]

A sidebar that drops below the content can be a puzzling problem to fix. In WordPress, you can have sidebars that appear on the left and/or right side of your post content. These sidebars usually hold widgets and are easily customizable. However, sometimes things go wrong with the blog layout and the sidebars will be in the wrong place, or sometimes the sidebars are at the top but the post content has dropped lower.

The problem is usually an HTML or CSS error. The most likely culprit is an extra DIV tag or a missing one. Some blogs have hundreds of DIV tags, so troubleshooting can be a real pain.

This is how I attack such a problem.  Maybe these step-by-step instructions will help you.

First, if you recently installed a WordPress Plugin, try disabling it. If disabling the plugin fixes the problem, then the plugin is the cause. If you want to still use the plugin, you’ll have to edit the code manually.  Wordpress plugins are written in PHP so you’ll need to understand PHP programming to fix the plugin.  If you need help, I’m available for freelance work and I can fix it for you.

If disabling a plugin doesn’t fix your problem, the next step is to look at your blog’s source code.  I like to use the Firefox web browser.  You can try to look at the code with other browsers, but Firefox displays the information in the most user-friendly way.

In Firefox, I right-click on the problematic sidebar and click on “Inspect Element.”

This will show me the source code.  Now, all I do is move my cursor over the different “Div” tags and Firefox tells me exactly what each “Div” tag references.  Here’s a photo to show you what I’m talking about:


Troubleshoot sidebar layout problems with Firefox Inspector
Inspecting a WordPress Blog Source Code in Firefox

See that blue line in the photo above?  My cursor is hovering over that DIV tag.   When I hove over it, Firefox highlights the section of the website in blue that the div is referring to.  It also tells me the CSS class that DIV belongs to, which is .row.column-content-wrapper   That tells me my problem. In many wordpress themes content-wrapper divs are used to hold the content.  There is an extra div that is closing the content too early.  Now I just have to go into the WordPress theme files and remove that div.

How will I know which file to edit?  It depends on the theme and which pages the error occurs on.  In my example case above, my error was only occurring on one post, so the extra DIV was actually in that post. However, if it occurs on most or all of the pages, then it’s probably in a theme page.  If it’s only on single posts, then the error may be in single.php.  If it only occurs on pages and not posts, then the problem may be with page.php.

I hope that helps.  If you think you fixed it, be sure to check out your site on multiple devices to see if it looks correct on your phone, tablet, and desktop.  This issue can happen for mobile users only, or for everyone.  It all depends on your WordPress theme, plugins, and customization.

If you would like expert assistance, I will gladly help.  I have solved problems like this for as low as $15.  Contact me and I’ll be glad to help.

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