The Best of WPQuestions #1

As regularly as we can, we will be posting a “Best of WPQ” which re-publishes recent Expert contributions that we think are especially innovative, useful or noteworthy.

Currently, expired questions are only visible, via the control panel, to people who participated in them. Eventually we will implement a subscription-based plan for users who want searchable access to the entire archives, plus other valuable features.

The Question

On Saturday afternoon, I ran across an issue and rather than tinkering with the code myself, I thought it would be a great candidate for WPQ. The question received 10 possible answers, most of which contained potentially usable solutions, while some plain didn’t work.

Question: How do I insert this conditional inside my widgetized area?
For my Gravy theme, I’d like to insert some optional widgets in the footer. And I need all of them wrapped in a bounding div (“footer-widgets”), but only if widgets are activated.

In theory it would be something like this:

<?php if ( !function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar('Footer Widgets') ) : ?> <div id="footer-widgets"><!--widget stuff--></div> <?php endif; ?>

But that obviously doesn’t

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work. Any ways to do this with minimal code?

The Answer

Justin Tadlock posted very soon after the question went live, and while his code and reasoning were correct, another user had to clarify exactly how to implement it. I decided to split the prize money. Since Justin answered first in the thread, he received a bigger portion. When the answers were combined and explained,

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they worked great, and here’s the solution (paraphrased):

An ID would need to be included when registering the sidebar and executing is_active sidebar. It can be a simple integer, like the number ‘1’. So this can be added to functions.php:

if ( function_exists('register_sidebar') ) register_sidebar(array( 'name' => 'Footer Widgets', 'id'=> '1', 'before_widget' => '<div id="%1$s" class="widget %2$s">', 'after_widget' => '</div>', 'before_title' => '<h3 class="widgettitle">', 'after_title' => '</h3>', ));

While the template code in your footer will be like this:

<?php if ( is_active_sidebar( '1' ) ) { ?> <div id="footer-widgets"> <?php dynamic_sidebar( 'Footer Widgets' ); ?> </div> <?php } ?>
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