Pros/Cons of RW Sidebar versus Stacks 2-Column

Does anyone know of a post or article that discusses the pros/cons of using a 2-column stack in RW rather than a theme sidebar (i.e, hide the sidebar)?

Essentially, I’m looking for reasons I should not use a 2-column stack.

I think it depends on whether you’re using a free-form theme like Foundry or a pre-designed theme, like Ruby. If it’s the former, you can style the Stacks-based ‘sidebar’ however you like. If it’s the latter you’ll find that the theme developer has probably changed the look and feel of the sidebar to sit pleasingly alongside the main content. It just saves you from having to style the two differently to help distinguish between them, lead the visitor’s eye etc.

But essentially there’s nothing to stop you from using a two col stack to create your own. It’s just that with a pre-built theme it’s already been done.


I would use a response 2 column stack for a stacks page, as it gives you a lot more flexibility. For non-stacks pages you would have to use the sidebar options built in to the theme.

If you do choose the stack route - I’d consider the Blueprint Sidebar from Big White Duck. It’s essentially a two column setup but designed with a sidebar in mind and gives you some more options

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I second the Blueprint Sidebar. I’m currently converting one of my sites from a Foundation two-column stack to Blueprint Sidebar. It just works much better. Despite the name, it is a true 2-column stack and not restricted to creating sidebars; you can nest several Sidebar stacks inside each other.

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In newer themes, a sidebar is normally marked-up appropriately in ‘aside’ or ‘section’ structural tags, which can sometimes bring some benefits from a perspective of SEO and improved accessibility.


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