WordPress - Virtual Sidebar

This section covers the Virtual Sidebar plugin for WordPress that I maintain.


This plugin was created to allow the inclusion of widgets within post/page content.

So, what does it do? Well, quite simply, it allows you to create virtual sidebars that can be included in post/page content by way of the shortcode 'VS'. The plugin provides a configuration page (accessible from the 'Plugins' menu) that allows you to maintain the list of virtual sidebars that can be created via the shortcode.

For each one you can specify a name, description and some wrapping elements for wrapping the title and content. The system provides you with an ID that is used with the shortcode to generate the content and pop it into the post/page content. Once created, you can add widgets to the virtual sidebars using the standard widget configuration tools.

NOTE - You should be mindful of widgets that use the main WordPress queries as these may break the main loop (this is an issue because the widgets will be running inside the main loop and not every widget can do this without having an adverse effect on the loop itself - a typical example would be that the widget uses the main queries and possibly results in a never ending page).


To the best of my knowledge, VS will work with versions of WordPress that provide the required APIs, namely the plugin, widget and sidebar APIs. However, I only run WordPress 3.0.1 so I can only guarantee that it will work with version 3.0.1 and above.

Current Version

The current version of Virtual Sidebar is 0.1.1, released on 30th October 2010.

Bugs and Features

This wiki is not the place to report bugs or request features, instead go to the Outer Reaches Studios issue tracker (the location is provided by the plugin information displayed in the plugin manager of WordPress), register an account and use that to record any bugs you find or feature requests you may have, that way, all the bugs etc. relating to the widget can be kept in one place.

There is a list of known issues included here only for convenience. This list may not be complete and it may not be 100% up to date, so for the complete picture, you are advised to check out the issue tracker.