Genesis is a reliable and powerful framework with so many great benefits. One of our favorite features is the ability change your page layout by choosing whether or not you want a sidebar on each individual page.
This may seem small, but if you’re using your website strategically for business it can be huge. Many themes don’t come with different page layout options, so having the ability to choose not to have a sidebar on your sales page while having one on your blog is huge.
Today we’ll go over a simple tutorial to show you how to change your page layouts in Genesis. But first, let’s touch on why this option is so powerful.
Why you’d want different layout options on your website
If you run an online business, your website is your 24/7 sales tool. You don’t have to be talking to potential clients or even be awake for it to work it’s magic.
The problem with a lot of websites is that they’re not as effective as they could be. Calls-to-action aren’t placed strategically, distractions are placed in areas where an audience should be focused, and visitors aren’t being led on a journey that makes them likely to make a purchase.
Having the ability to choose different layout options per page and knowing which option to choose can play a big role in fixing some of these issues. For example, your blog is a place where you’re working to build trust with an audience member and you want to do what you can to keep them on your website as long as possible. For most of us, when someone is reading our blogs, there are other things we’d also like them to think about doing like opting-in to our email lists, thinking about our products, or learning more about us. Because of that, the Blog page and individual blog posts are a great place for a sidebar.
On the other hand, your Services page is somewhere you want potential clients to be completely focused. If someone is interested in your services you don’t want them being distracted by your bio, social media links, or email opt-in. Because of that, Services pages are a great place to forgo a sidebar and have a full-width layout instead.
If you’re ever unsure of what type of page layout to use, ask yourself if you’d be okay with a visitor being distracted by what’s in your sidebar. If you don’t like the sound of that, it’s probably a page where the layout should be full-width.
Choose your default layout
If you have a new theme or didn’t know the option was available to you, start by choosing your default page layout. This is the layout that will be used automatically when you create a new page.
To choose your default layout, go to Genesis > Theme Settings and scroll down to the Default Layout section.
From there, click the image that corresponds with the default layout you’d like – right sidebar, left sidebar, or no sidebar/full-width. From the above screenshot, you can see that our default here on the Coded Creative website is a right sidebar layout.
If you change the current layout option, be sure to take a look around a few pages of your website to make sure everything looks good. Even though Genesis supports these options by default, it doesn’t mean the creator of your child theme remembered to take it into account. If anything looks off, you can always go back and change it to the previous default setting.
Choose your layout on each page
After you’ve selected your default layout, you have the option to have separate layout options on each page.
To do that, either create a new page or open up the page you’d like to update. Under the main content section for the page, you’ll see a section similar to the one we saw in the previous section called Layout Settings.
From the Layout Settings, you can select the layout you’d like used for the current page and click either Update or Publish. When you preview the page you’ll see that the new template has taken effect!
What page template is the best for you?
If you’re using a Genesis theme and have been using the same layout on each page of your website, take some time to go through and consider which layout is really best for each of your main pages. Make the appropriate changes to make your website even more effective!
If you don’t have a Genesis theme or you find that the child theme you have doesn’t support these options, take a look at our themes in the shop! You’ll find that many of our theme demos support both a sidebar and no-sidebar layout option to give you the freedom to make the best choice for your business.