• Thinking of using the plugin?

    If you just take a moment to read this, it may save you a ton of pain.

    EDIT :

    Dev SaidCustom Sidebars is not designed for creating/using with dozens of the sidebar in shared hosting.

    Foreford :

    Firstly, this plugin is a great, easy peasy way to create a multitude of sidebars, add widgets to each and then, target your posts with ads and stuff.


    Great right? Just what you have been looking for right?

    But hang on there muchacho, there’s problems in them there hills!

    Shared Server :

    If you are a ‘shared server’ (you will know if your are if your paying small $bucks) and intend to use this to create a ton of sidebars > DON’T USE THIS!

    What I did :

    I setup just 20 sidebars, placed three widgets in 10 and 1 in each of the remaining 10.

    Result :

    When I tried to then load > ‘Appearance > Widgets section –
    BOOM! – site ground to a halt, awful of devices and soon after…503 > Offline.

    However, when I managed to get it to load, which was approximately a mind boggling 6 minutes, even then, very hard if not near impossible to configure anything?

    Checked with Host :

    So had a chat with our Host of some 5 years who checked and said that because of the many sidebars created and widgets loaded into each, the plugin was using a ton of processes all at the same time, depending of course on the traffic to the site.

    Result :

    It will drag your server down to a grind and your site will go offline with tons of 503 resource errors.

    But how can that be?

    So I disabled the plugin and voila, all back to normal.

    Explanation :

    You see, if your on a shared server, hundreds if not millions of other sites are using the exact same server in which your site resides.

    Put simply, your Host, seeing your dragging that server down, will not only get extremely pi**ed off, they will ‘throttle’ your website. And in case you thought its a manual thing, no it isn’t, the server config detects the problem and will ‘automatically’ kick-in restricting/throttling your site back, thus saving your host a ton of grief from other site owners/users. Imagine if you were selling online – lost sales?!

    Concept :

    Now don’t get me wrong here, the dev did a nifty job in making this plugin which to be fair is not a million miles off from ‘woosidebars’; but surely they should have seen this problem coming?

    Now to be fair, there a lot of people using this plugin but how many sidebars have they actually created? How many widgets have they added to each? How many on a ‘shared server’ as opposed to a ‘dedicated server’? All crucial information…

    So to conclude :

    If your on a ‘Shared Server’ and intend to use this to create a ton of sidebars – Don’t use it

    If your on a ‘Shared Server’ and a ‘small site’ and just want to create say, 2-3 sidebars, this is perfect for you!!

    If your on a dedicated (Own) Server great BUT, check with your host first because contrary to belief, not all dedicated severs are created equally i.e. don’t have same CPU resources. And even then, be very careful, fire of a message to the dev first to check it will meet your needs but will NOT drag your server down!

    Development/Fix :

    I very much doubt, that I can see, of a ‘workaround’ for sites needing more than say 10 sidebars as I do because I’m targeting posts with certain ads, but saying that; IF the dev is able to configure another route to solving this problem I would be the first to test it for them!

    Like I said, great in principle which is why I have invested time to both test and post this review.

    Note to Dev :

    (if it helps, I tested over 6 hours against 28 installed plugins, all turned off and one by one, reactivated each one and watched via Hosing CPanel, all resources die within minutes when I tried to load ‘Appearance > Widgets which took 6 minutes to load or timed out.)

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Hey @rik0399,

    I hope you’re well.

    Thank you for your very detailed feedback about Custom Sidebars. I am understanding your situation and the issues you faced.

    Custom Sidebars is not designed for creating/using with dozens of the sidebar in shared hosting. I think even UI is not good for that purpose. So you are right, if you want to use for a lot of sidebar in the shared host, maybe Custom Sidebars is not a good choice for you.

    I forward all your words to our developers, to check is there any quick way to achieve that. Your feedback is valuable to us, so really thank you again for that.


    Thread Starter Rik0399


    Hi Oguz,

    As I said, I like the idea in principle but for me, I cannot use it as creates a ton of 508’s.

    I would suggest that you state in the description :

    ‘Custom Sidebars is not designed for creating/using with dozens of the sidebars in shared hosting’

    Hope you are able to find a workaround because I do like it 😉



    Was about to install, but I’m glad I did my due diligence. Thanks for the heads-up, Rik!! Your post saved me a LOT of headache.

    Rik, please let me know if you found a safe alternative.


    Thread Starter Rik0399


    Hi @ronw7,

    Your welcome,

    So far, not heard a word from the developers since I raised the issue.

    In terms of finding a suitable sidebar plugin replacement and having looked for weeks, sadly there is nothing out there that would do the job for those using ‘Shared Servers’.

    Regards & Seasons Greetings

    Thanks Rik! Please give me a holler if something good comes along. Really appreciate it!


    Thread Starter Rik0399


    Hi @ronw7, @wpmudev-support8

    Okay, I’m now experimenting with WP Super Cache as I have tried many other without much success.

    So far, on the front end, it does have a positive impact in that the page appears to load faster.

    However and on the backend, the issues still persists in that it takes and absolute age to load IF you have over say, 10 sidebars.

    There maybe a solution IF the Dev tried looking into WP’s ‘heartbeat’ which MAY help. There is a plugin for ‘Heartbeat’ but not too sure if this is the route forward. Also, I can see that you can disable WP’s default heartbeat but again, not sure if that would help either.

    Other than that, I think WP users are dead in the water if they want to create multiple custom sidebars, targeting specific posts or categories 🙁

    Seasons Greetings

    Hi Rik,

    Thanks for the update. I’ve decided I’m not going to use Custom Sidebars in any case. I just find it bizarre that a plugin called Custom Sidebars says “Custom Sidebars is not designed for creating/using with dozens of the sidebars in shared hosting”. To me, that’s like saying “Our plugin is not designed to do what it’s supposed to do”.

    To the creators of Custom Sidebar, I mean no offense. If it works for some people, I’m happy for them.

    Personally, I won’t touch anything if it has functional and performance issues. I won’t go near it.

    Rik, as far as speed goes, I use WPRocket.

    Appreciate the correspondence! Keep in touch.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    Thread Starter Rik0399


    Hi @ronw7,

    I’ll give WPRocket a go 😉

    Appreciate the correspondence! Keep in touch.

    Merry Christmas to you!

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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