How To Fix Sidebar Below Content Error In WordPress

The layout of your WordPress site can take a lot of time and effort, but it is essential for User Experience (UX) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Because of this, it can be annoying when a seemingly random error, such as the sidebar below content error, disrupts your site’s display.

Here, we’ll look at the most common causes of this error and I’ll show you three simple steps to fix it.

So let’s get rid of the sidebar below content error in WordPress!

Side bar example

Sidebars dropping below WordPress content: Common causes

 WordPress sidebars typically contain widgets, sign-up forms, links to related content, or similar content that you’ll want across your site.

Occasionally, your sidebars may appear at the bottom of the page rather than to the left or right, due to bugs or errors. It goes without saying that this can make even the best-designed website look bad.

This can happen mostly for three reasons:

  1. Adding a new plugin or making an update that affects your page’s layout.
  2. Your page contains an unclosed tag. It’s also possible for the sidebar to appear outside the main wrap container if you place an extra closing tag in your page.
  3. The float and width settings in your CSS are wrong.

Fixing the WordPress Sidebar Below Content Error

Now that you have identified the potential cause of this error, you can fix it. The following three steps should be followed in order; if the prior one failed, move on to the next. Just in case, make a backup of your site before you get started.

1. Undo Your Most Recent Changes to Solve Sidebar below Content Error

When your sidebar moves after adding a plugin, custom code, or anything else to your website, simply undo the change. By reversing your action, you will get back to the original layout and isolate the problem.

If you go back and undo the change, you will see the sidebar in its proper location. If that is the case, you can then look for potential issues with the changes you made. For instance, if you installed a new plugin, look for alternative options.

If you’ve modified or added to your site’s code, look for typos or syntax errors.

2. Fix Unclosed or Extra Closing Div Tags

In many cases, the WordPress sidebar is the result of an unclosed or extra <div> tag.

Your website is divided into sections by these HTML tags. Getting them incorrectly placed can cause the site to render incorrectly (hence the wandering sidebar).

<div class="container">
  <div class="footer"></div>
  <div class="Header"></div>
  <div class="Content"></div>
  <div class="Sidebar"></div>
</div>

In this example, the <div> tag is properly closed.

<div class="container">
  <div class="footer"></div>
  <div class="Header"></div>
  <div class="Content"></div>
  <div class="Sidebar"><div>
</div>

In this example, there is no forward slash before what should be the closing <div> tag. Consequently, the browser doesn’t understand that the element is meant to be closed, and the content that should be outside is now inside.

Look for missing or extra tags in any template files you’ve modified to fix this. The error is usually found in your theme’s “template parts” files. To access it, go to Appearance > Theme Editor in your WordPress dashboard.

Pick the correct theme in the drop-down menu at the top of the page, and then navigate to the template parts section in the sidebar.

theme editor WordPress

Pages and posts are typically generated by templates under the content section. From the list, find the one you need, check it, and make any necessary corrections.

When you have finished editing the file, click on Save to save it.

3. Troubleshoot CSS Issues

CSS might also plays a significant role in causing this error.

Custom CSS can be added to your WordPress site using the Additional CSS section of the theme editor.

By using this feature or editing the CSS by another method, you may have messed up the formatting. The “width” property is usually at fault for moving sidebars.

Make sure the sum of the widths of the Content and Sidebar elements does not exceed the Wrap element’s width. When this happens, the smaller element will be pushed downwards.

Sidebar Below Content Error: Final Thoughts

WordPress is an amazing CMS offering people numerous customization possibilities. But every time that you add or modify something, there is a small chance that your website break.

If you are a total novice in coding, I’d strongly advise you:

  • Not to use the Plugin/Theme/CSS editor;
  • To install the fewest number of plugin possible;
  • To always backup your website;

This will diminish the number of errors and bugs.

I hope you have found this article helpful in fixing the ‘sidebar below content error’ in WordPress. You may also want to see my article on how to Fix “Missing a Temporary Folder” Error in WordPress.