Can’t Drag Widget into Sidebar 2 on Artisteer Designed Theme?

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.

image

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.

image

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!

UPDATE

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.

image

Then

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

image

Comments

Response So Far...

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for the prompt answer. Quick clarification. The original version of our website theme (stored on our desktop)has the widgets set up differently than on the current theme on the website.

    Do I add second sidebar to the original theme and upload it (and will that change the widget arrangement on our site?).

    Or is there a way to download the current version of the theme from our website to Artisteer to add the second sidebar to?

    Thanks,
    John

  2. says

    What I’ve been trying to say is I can’t drag widgets to or from Sidebar 1. Sidebar 1

    I also understand I can’t populate sidebar 2 until I add it to the theme on Artisteer.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    John

    So your next step is to figure out if this is a WordPress error or a theme error.

    1. Activate the default theme (you can use classic theme as an alternative)
    2. See if you can drag and drop widgets with the default theme activated.
    3. If you can , then it is your theme.
    4. If you can not, then this is a WordPress issue that you will need to trouble shoot.

    btw when I looked at your widgets, I did encounter the same behavior you describe but you will need to do the deactivating/activating trouble shooting steps. :)

  3. says

    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for all your time on this. It seems to be a WP issue. I activated the default theme on WP like you suggested and widgets don’t drag for it or any other theme. How do I troubleshoot this on WP? I already upgraded to 2.8.4, not sure what to do next…

    Thanks again.

  4. says

    Hey Brett,

    The widgets were not dragging before I upgraded to 2.8.4.. The main reason I upgraded WP was to hopefully resolve the widget problem-didn’t work.

    I have uploaded the 2 sidebar theme I created on Artisteer and it is currently on our TLC site. No matter which theme (with 1 or 2 siderbars) I activate, the widgets do not drag.

    With the current widget configuration, I cannot put our autoresponder sign-up box on our site which is why I am pursuing this.

    I feel overwhelmed at the prospect of searching online for a specific solution for these WP widgets that I will be able to understand well enough to apply but I guess that’s what I’ll do.

    John

  5. says

    Wow!

    I think I figured it out. Searching online was easier than I thought. Found hint buried in blog response to similar problem. On WP widgets page, I went to screen options and hit “enable accessibility mode”-simple solution, just didn’t know it was there.

    thanx,
    John

  6. says

    Beautiful!

    Never heard of that option before. Learn something new every day. With WordPress more often than not, someone else has ‘asked’ the question and google has indexed it so you can find it. :)

  7. says

    Hi Brett,

    FYI, I’m talking about the “screen options” link in the upper righthand corner of every page on the WP control panel. On Widgets page, it enables and disables accessibility to the widgets.

    I’m very happy to be getting our website in good shape for it’s first phase. Thanks for all your help along the way! I could not have done it without you. ;)

    John

  8. says

    Hi Brett,

    I’m wondering what is the best way to track traffic to our site? I’m guessing that there are plugins that are good for tracking traffic. Do you have any recommendations on this?

    Thank you!

    p.s.~ Do you recommend WP’s Security Scan?

  9. says

    I recommend Google Analytics. For WordPress installations you can easily ad a Google Analytics plugin, AFTER you have set up a free Google Analytics account (go to google.com/analytics to do that). Once your google analytics account is setup, you can search out the wordpress plugin for google analytics.

    I also run a plugin call ShortStats in wordpress, that gives me a quick birds eye view of what is going on within my site.

    Separately, you can monitor stats through your cpanel, which has very comprehensive statistic information. these can be a little on the technical side and you might get more understand and benefit from google analytics

  10. says

    Hello Brett,

    Thank you for the Google Analytics tip. :) I opened an account with Google Analytics, then I downloaded and activated the Google Analytics plugin (that one specifically, there were many to choose from).

    Now, on the Google Analytics site, it says “copy the following tracking code block into every webpage you want to track just before the tag”.

    Does this mean to enter this tracking code block at the end of the content at the bottom of each page? Or do I need to have a footer location or other specific place to put the tracking code?

    Specifically, where is the tag?

    Thanks,
    John

  11. says

    Do I add second sidebar to the original theme and upload it (and will that change the widget arrangement on our site?).

    You need to open up the file in artisteer (should end with a .artx extension I believe) and edit that to look however you like including in this case a second sidebar, located where you want it to be.

    Then export that theme to your hard drive, and ftp upload that theme from your hard drive to your website. Then activate this new (updated) theme on your website. If you are over writing an existing theme file name on your hard drive or on the website, you may need to inactivate the theme real fast (by activating the default theme-> theme titled default). Then activate the theme you just uploaded again.

    Or is there a way to download the current version of the theme from our website to Artisteer to add the second sidebar to?

    There is no current way to download any theme from the web (even themes generated from artisteer) and pull them back into artisteer. Which is why you have to keep your working file on your hard drive. You can think of this as a bit of a protection. Ergo no one can easily copy your website by downloading it to their computer and then uploading a clone of your site.

    That said, I would like to see some version of this functionality in artisteer some day. :)

  12. says

    A couple things could be possible at this point, but prepare yourself for some troubleshooting.

    I do not know the right course, as I haven’t run into this issue before, but would recommend Googling for an answer. The support community covers millions of issues every day and has been for years. Just because I haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t.

    In addition, I have a suspicion that maybe when you did the upgrade, one of the files did not install completely, so the fix might require doing something to fix an incomplete program file in wordpress.

    Alternatively, try uploading and activating a theme that DOES have 2 sidebars. Its possible that at one time you had a 2 sidebar theme live on your site, and maybe that 2nd sidebar was populated with widgets. Later when the site was switched to a 1 sidebar theme (I’m stretching here), the 2nd sidebar was inactivate with widgets still in it and somehow got stuck like it is now.

  13. says

    Thanks, I just added a couple screen shot images to help show others how this works in case they run into it. As I was looking for this, I almost missed the fact that you HAVE to be on the widgets page to find the accessibility mode option, even though the screen options tab shows up everywhere (there are unique screen options for each admin page apparently).
    :)

  14. says

    If you are using a Google analytics plugin, you should not have to add code before the body tag.

    Typically, the plugins, just ask for the id number ( might be formatted to look like this – UA-######-#

    Each plugin might be a little different, so follow the installation and setup instructions for the plugin and you should be able to get it to work

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