WordPress: Sidebar Shows at Bottom of the Page

I am a heavy user of WordPress. On several occasions I have had a problem where the right-sidebar has fallen to the bottom of the page. I have wasted hours trying to figure out why this happens and on each occasion I have encountered it, I have found different problems. I have gained a bigger understanding of what causes this problem. Here are some steps you can check.

  • Happens on only one of the pages that is not an individual post (i.e. main page, category page or any page that uses index.php to display the page)  – The problem might be with one of the individual posts displayed on the page. This happened to me when I copied and pasted a post out of Microsoft Word. The post turned out to have an unclosed </DIV> tag because when you use the READMORE option, it doesn’t close it out properly on the main index pages. I’ve found that this is the most common problem when the sidebar falls to the bottom. It’s common in Firefox, but IE tends to not care. Try temporarily setting each post on the page to Unpublished to see which one is causing the issue.
  • Does the problem happen if you try to use a different theme – The theme may not be compatible with the version of WordPress you are using. Solution: Change theme.
  • Happens on more than one page  – Check the Previous Page and individual/single posts. Check different pages that use different templates to display the page. If it does happen on all of your pages, the problem may be with the sidebar.php. This file loads on multiple pages. Perhaps a </DIV> tag is missing somewhere. Also test and see if there is a problem with one of the widgets you have loading in the sidebar. One of them may be too wide for the sidebar. Try disabling all widgets except for the META one to see if you can trace the problem down to one widget. This is a common problem in IE, but may not happen in other browsers like Firefox.
  • Happening on individual posts ONLY – Check single.php for a missing </DIV> tag or another problem. Also try looking in the HTML of the actual post to see if there are any unclosed <DIV> tags.

Well that’s my experience with this issue. I hope that some of my rambling has clued you in on some of the things to try to solve the problem.

Published by Mitch Bartlett

I've been doing things on the Internet since 1994. Former dot-com era IT guy. Currently I provide technical solutions to people for fun and test software for a growing software company.

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