For example, I want Sidebar A to display nothing but one text widget and Sidebar B to display anything but text widgets. How can I do that?


  • Please, show your research efforts when asking a question. You'd had found this.
    – brasofilo
    May 30, 2013 at 19:06
  • @brasofilo Thank you, but it's not what I'm after. I need to restrict (a way to allow/disallow) widgets by type, not by numbers.
    – Luigi
    May 30, 2013 at 23:17

2 Answers 2


It is possible to hook to sidebars_widgets and find which widget is in which sidebar.

function dump_sidebar($a) {
  echo '<pre>'.var_export($a,true).'</pre>';
add_action( 'sidebars_widgets', 'dump_sidebar');

By checking that array you could eliminate particular widgets.

function limit_sidebar_wpse_101279($sidebars_widgets) {
  if (!empty($sidebars_widgets['sidebar-1'])) {
    foreach ($sidebars_widgets['sidebar-1'] as $k =>$v) {
      if ('pages' == substr($v,0,5)) {
  return $sidebars_widgets;
add_action( 'sidebars_widgets', 'limit_sidebar_wpse_101279');

That works front end, and back end, but does not prevent a widget from being dragged into the wrong sidebar on the back end. That is, you can still drag a widget into the wrong sidebar and have it appear to work, but it will be removed on next page load. To solve that issue you will need to construct some Javascript to prevent the drag or issue some kind of warning.

  • Thank you, this is almost what I need. You're right - I need to find a way to "filter" widgets, and not just exlude them from the sidebar; I need to restrict certain widgets from dragging into the "wrong" sidebar. Looks like my original message was a bit cloudy.
    – Luigi
    May 30, 2013 at 23:25

WordPress admin panel has three widgets area:

  1. all available widgets
  2. registered sidebars
  3. inactive widgets

In order to set a widget undroppable when it's coming from "all available widget" or "inactive widgets" to a "wrong" sidebar simply use .widget class and an id to identify it. I need to set the "Custom Recent Posts" widget undroppable so:

Drag from: available widgets area, inactive widgets area

$('.widget').on( 'dragcreate dragstart', function( event, ui ){
  id =  $(this).find( 'input[name="id_base"]').val();
  if( id == 'custom_recent_posts' ){ //check if the widget is the right one
      connectToSortable: '#primary-sidebar, #wp_inactive_widgets'//limit drop event only to these sidebars

That's ok, but what's happen with the active widgets? These widgets are not affected by "drag", but "sort". This part was little tricky, it is possible that my solution is not cool, but it works : ) I need to set "Custom Recent Posts" widget not sortable ( you do a drag, in jquery logic is a sort ):

Drag/Sort from within the active widgets:

$( '.widgets-sortables' ).on( 'sortactivate sort', function( event, ui ){
  id = $(ui.item).find( 'input[name="id_base"]').val();
  if ( id == 'custom_recent_posts'){//identifying the wrong or right widget

      if ( $(ui.sender).attr( 'id' ) != 'primary-sidebar' ){// if it's coming from a sidebar that is not his "right" place, set 'connectWith' option to this sidebar and the inactive widgets area
        $(this).sortable('option', 'connectWith', '#primary-sidebar, #wp_inactive_widgets');
      }else{//else set 'connectWith' to false
        $(this).sortable('option', 'connectWith', false);

  }else{// else default behavior 
    $(this).sortable('option', 'connectWith', 'div.widgets-sortables');

I needed the same logic within my project, I'm testing now and it seems to work like expected try it : ) Hope it helps

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