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How to Display a List of Blog Categories in the Sidebar

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In this session we show the different options for how to display a list of blog categories in the sidebar using the Categories Widget. We also show how to use the Widgets Reloaded plugin to set some additional settings that the default categories setting doesn’t allow you to do.

Video Transcript

Member: So I want to know how to set up my category menus and that sort of thing so when people go to the blog page, they can see you know, the categories and what’s you know, find their way around the blog.

Rick: And where you want those categories… I mean, what do you mean by category menu?

Member: Well, like to be able to look in the sidebar and to look at the… how the blog is organized in terms of categories and you know… a menu for…

Rick: Sure. You have a couple of different options here. You have the default categories widget that you can find under Appearance and Widgets.

Member: Okay.

Rick: And in fact, I’m using that. Am I using that or am I using a… no, I must be using that. So in my footer row… no. Let’s see, where am I using that here? Just a second. Too many sidebars, I don’t know where I’m using this thing. Categories so it’s in row… footer row 1 widget column 2.

Member: How did you just open up that other page? Like you just clicked on something right now that just opened up another tab so that you weren’t…

Rick: Everything, any link like this you can just hover over it, right click on your mouse and say open in a new tab.

Member: Okay, yeah. Okay.

Rick: It’s way easier to you know, switch back and forth between tabs than it is to refresh every time.

Member: Yeah, yeah for sure.

Rick: So here’s my categories widget. You just give it a title. You can decide whether or not it should show up as a drop down list, whether or not it should show post counts and whether or not it should show hierarchy. So if we give it a… made it a drop down and showed post counts and saved it then this is what it looks like. There is your drop down. There’s too much conflict here between these two things but you know, here’s the drop… this one looks like it’s a drop down list and it shows you you know, how many posts are in this category and or you know, you could show post counts and show hierarchy but not display as a drop down. I never like it as a drop down. I don’t think it’s prety useful but…

Member: Okay.

Rick: But here it is as a drop down. I mean, here it is as a regular layout plus it’s got the post count showing. And if I use it the way I just generally use it just like this with just the title and just let it shake out, then here’s what it looks like.

Member: Now unfortunately, this displays the category uncategorized. So what you could do instead of this is you could use a plugin called Widgets Reloaded. And the Widgets Reloaded plugin adds a bunch of settings to those plugins. So let’s see, Widgets Reloaded and I have videos on the site on how to use Widgets Reloaded. But what it does is it replaces… install now. It replaces the default widgets with its own and then has these… which has these options. And so I think I probably have lost this widget now or did it just substitute? Yeah, I did lose that widget.

But if we come over to the Appearance and Widgets now and that was footer row 1, widget column 2. And so we’ll grab my categories, new categories widget, pull it down there and we’ll go ahead and leave the category title as categories. I did something funky. Okay, categories. You can select the taxonomy which in this case is category. You can select the style. You can select its order. You can select the names. You can exclude and… well actually, we have to first, save this. And then once we saved that, now we can exclude from this list those categories we want excluded so we’ll go ahead and exclude uncategorized. So now, it won’t show up. We’ll come back over here and refresh this. Now we have the categories laying like this. I wish I remembered what else was on this page.

But anyway, it allows you to set some additional settings for this plugin that the default categories menu doesn’t allow you to do.

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