We here at MLSP have been asked many times if there is a way for sites users to control which widgets show up on which categories and pages. Thanks to the Jetpack plugin (created by wordpress themselves) the answer is YES! And we're going to go over that right here.
The first thing you want to do is to make sure you have the Jetpack plugin activated, and that you have it integrated with your WordPress.com account (which is free to set up and you need one to get all of the power out of jetpack). Now, jetpack is kind of like 19 plugins in one, in that you get 19 modules within the plugin that you can turn on or keep off, and the one we are going to use here is Widget Visibility. So, the next step is to go to Jetpack -> Settings and turn on Widget Visibility (it's all the way down at the bottom).
To control the visibility of your individual widgets, expand the widget and click the Visibility button next to the Save button, and then, choose a set of visibility options.
For example, if you wanted the Archives widget to only appear on category archives and error pages, choose “Show” from the first dropdown and then add two rules: “Page is 404 Error Page” and “Category is All Category Pages.”
You can also hide widgets based on the current page. For example, if you don't want the Archives widget to appear on search results pages, choose “Hide” and “Page is Search results.”
What's really great about this visibility functionality is that if you choose to hide or show a widget on a page or category, you can just select it from the drop down menu rather than having to go searching for ID numbers all over the place. They're really made this plugin extremely powerful and easy to use!
So how can you take advantage of this?! Well, for instance, let's say you have a category that is specific about, I don't know, Facebook Marketing. Wouldn't it be great if you could show offers, calls to action or even forms SPECIFIC to facebook marketing when a user is looking at that category or even a post within that category? With this plugin, you can!
So take control over where your widgets show up and start using Widget Visibility from Jetpack today!
NOTE: While you can't control widgets for INDIVIDUAL POSTS, you can control what is shown on posts in and individual CATEGORY by controlling the visibility of the widget for that category.