You’d like some elements on this side of the page and some on another. Columns or sidebar? Let’s have a look.
Let’s take the About page. You have the photo and some basic bio content on the left, but on the right, you’d like, say, contact information. Great. So, do you use a column layout or put that information in a sidebar? The answer, of course, is, it depends.
In a nutshell, a column is a layout option that is on the same page. A sidebar is separate from the page content and lives in Appearance –> Widgets. Let’s look some more at pros and cons of both.
- Editing: content all on same “page” so that you can edit it all in one place
- Set up: Fairly easy to lay out (using column shortcodes)
- Layout: can change from e.g. 3 columns to 1 column to 5 columns on a single page (a sidebar will be that layout for the entire length of the page)
- Duplication: Content only on that page, can’t repeat it on other pages (without duplicating).
- Duplication: easy to put this same content on many pages.
- Widgets: can add widgets and repeat those widgets (yes, there are in-page widgets)
- Editing: Need to go to widgets to edit text.
- Formatting: Text not as easily formatted (e.g. no WYSIWYG editor, although there are plugins)