How to Show 2 Column Categories in Sidebar of Thesis Theme?

In this tutorial I will explain about how to display your categories in sidebar with 2 columns. By default, you want to show your categories in sidebar means just drag and drop in sidebar 1 or sidebar 2. While I doing thesis theme customization one of my client ask me to display all the categories in 2 column in single  sidebar. So I created for himand I want to share this tutorial here. It will helpful for you also.

There are so many ways to display your categories in your website. You can show your categories in any one of the method which you like.

  1. Footer of thesis theme.
  2. Drop down categories in Nav menu.
  3. Show your post by related category.
  4. Show your category before pages in Nav menu.
  5. Show your category in sidebar 1 or sidebar 2.
  6. Show two column categories in sidebar.
  7. change page and category order in Nav menu.

The first 4 methods I already explained in previous tutorials. The 5th method is you already known by using drag and drop the categories in sidebar1 or sidebar 2. Now we are going to discuss the last method here.

Do you have more than 10 categories in your site; I suggest you the sixth method which might be very helpful because it avoids the page length and visitors easily recognize all categories.

I explained the procedure in this video below or keep reading rest of the post.

Go to Thesis option click custom file editor select custom_functions.php or you can use the FTP also.

Add this code into custom_functions.php

/*paste in custom_functions.php  */
/*sidebar two-column categories  */

'name' => 'Sidebar_cat',
'before_widget' => '<li class="widget %2$s" id="%1$s">',
'after_widget' => '</li>',
'before_title' => '<h3>',
'after_title' => '</h3>'

function sidebar_cat() { ?>
<div id="categories" class="sidebar">
<ul class="sidebar_list">

<?php thesis_default_widget(5); ?>

<?php }
add_action('thesis_hook_after_sidebar_1', 'sidebar_cat', '1'); 

Add this code into custom.css

/* paste in custom.css file */

.custom #categories ul.sidebar_list li.widget ul li { width:45%; ; float:left;} 

After adding this code Go to appearance click widgets.

Now you will see sidebar_cat widgets drag and drop the categories into sidebar_cat and click save.

Now refresh your site you will see the two column categories. It will look like below screenshot.

Two Column category

I hope this post is helpful. Do you want to show your categories in any other method? Share your questions below. Do you have any trouble while using the above code? if any  post below in comment section?. For more checkout our all Thesis theme tutorials..


How to Show 2 Column Categories in Sidebar of Thesis Theme?

{ 15 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Chethan January 10, 2010, 12:11 AM

    wonderful! as i m thesis user.. all these tips i can experiment

  • wahyu March 4, 2010, 8:14 AM

    Hello, I have a plan to use thesis theme on my blog, but I want to customize it first with my own taste. first that I want to customize is the sidebars. is there possible to create 6 widgetized sidebars. the design that I want you can see on
    please give some advice

    • Suresh March 4, 2010, 9:51 AM

      hai wahyu,

      You can select three column in thesis theme..middle content both sides. left side of the content sidebar1 right side of the content sidebar2. In sidebar1 you can use two widgets each having the width of half of the sidebar1(46%-50% width of sidebar1). to achieve this use the corresponding sidebar_1 the similar way widget 4 and 5 as per your image use the same procedure like sidebar_1.

      • wahyu March 4, 2010, 2:16 PM

        thanks for the answer, I’m going to try it now. if you don’t mind, I want to consult more about thesis theme customization that not covered in your book.
        may I have your email?

        • Pascal March 4, 2010, 3:35 PM

          we have more tutorials in our youtube channel. if it is not available you can contact us.

  • Valerie Warner April 8, 2010, 9:21 PM

    Fantastic e-book I have learnt alot – I am completely new to word press and webdesign.
    I have experimented alot using your e-book.
    Regarding columns…is it possible to customise Thesis so that on pages I specify there are no columns at all? On some of my pages I want them to be all content orientate so I do not want and comumns/sidebars at all, it needs to display as one page?
    Many thanks

    • Suresh April 9, 2010, 2:28 PM


      To remove sidebar in single pages.. In wordpress admin.
      go to edit options under the pages tab..
      here in the attribute section we have drop down menu for template . In template select no sidebars for pages..

  • Will June 17, 2010, 3:15 PM

    I have followed the instructions in the video below several times and I get the message below on my sidebar. What am I doing wrong?

    Default Widget

    This is Sidebar 5. You can edit the content that appears here by visiting your Widgets panel and modifying the current widgets in Sidebar 5. Or, if you want to be a true ninja, you can add your own content to this sidebar by using the appropriate hooks.

    • Suresh June 18, 2010, 2:54 PM

      hai will,

      Inside your widgets panel you have already sidebar_1 and sidebar_2 widgets.
      so now this is the third widget..
      In the above custom_function.php code it shows thesis_default_widget(5)

      change this 5 into 3 in custom function.php code mentioned in the above post..
      the it will work fine..

      Inside widget panel if you already have 3 wigets then change this widget as 4.

  • Ramzi JANATI October 25, 2010, 12:31 AM

    first I’d like to say thanks for all the information you are sharing.
    I used this article along with other articles on your site (to change the sidebar background) to customize my website, however, I have a little issue which I presume is CSS rlated and your help and advice would be much appreciated:
    On the categories (sidebar) the background color don’t show the same way as for the other widgets, instead I can see a tiny line just above the categories listing, here is the code I used:

    /* paste in custom.css file */
    .custom #categories ul.sidebar_list li.widget ul li { width:44%; ; float:left; }
    /*side bar widget area link style */
    .custom li.widget ul li{
    border: 0.1em solid #e6f1f3;
    /*side bar widget bacground*/
    .custom li.widget ul {
    border: 0.1em solid #e6f1f3;

    what I’d like to do is have the widget background applied to the categories as well (the blueish color)

    All this can be viewed at:

    your help would be very much appreciated and by the way your website is one of the most valuable as for information regarding the thesis theme and wordpress.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Ramzi JANATI

  • winwimo February 8, 2011, 5:39 PM

    thank you for the tips

    • admin February 9, 2011, 7:52 AM

      Thanks for comment.

  • Sumon Khan April 6, 2011, 2:52 AM

    I followed your information successfully but my Categories widget is not showing on my site. Why?

  • Kamal Patel October 18, 2011, 1:09 PM

    Same …i just tried …i follow as video said….i got that Sidebar also in widget column …but didnt get updated in my live one….also trying to find some solution for that…anyone can help me out on that ???

  • Dave December 13, 2011, 1:57 AM

    Works great. Thanks for the tutorial. I have a lot of categories, so having them in two columns really helps. You would think this would be a built-in widget feature. Thanks again.