I'm converting a static html site to drupal. We have some pages that have content and a sidebar and some pages that just have content without a sidebar.

I plan on simply adding a new field called 'sidebar' to the article and base page content types. I can then modify the theme to render this field.


Is their any reason why adding this new sidebar field to the content type is considered bad practice?

If I want to place a block in the sidebar region it could simply be after or before the data entered into the sidebar field correct?

I'm a total newbie to drupal, I understand these are basic question but I couldn't find a definitive answer on the web regarding this.


1 Answer 1


In Drupal, themes have regions. The sidebars are regions, just like the header, footer, conternt etc regions. Over simplifying a bit, content is places in blocks, then the blocks are placed in the regions, and changing the theme usually requires the blocks to be allocated again. Fields are part of the content, not the theme. There is no 'sidebar field'.

I would suggest that you set up a drupal test-bed, and play with it for a while before you take the leap of trying to migrate a site. Drupal is powerful, but there is no way to bypass the learning curve. You need to roll up your sleeves and work with it for a while.

Good luck.

  • Thanks for your input. I can create a new field on content types though. Creating a 'sidebar' field was something I was proposing, not re-using an existing 'sidebar' field that doesn't exist. If the sidebar is a region where can a person enter data for that region? By using blocks? Where does the data for a block come from? If i'm editing a page on my site and I have to enter the content in one section and then the sidebar that exists on that same page (and only that page) in a different section that feels like a pain.
    – RDotLee
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 21:05
  • If your 'sidebar' is a part of your page content, then that is where you would maintain it. Just make sure your input format is set to Full HTML so you do not filter out your formatting. Drupal sidebars are independent of the page content, like menus. I suggest you review the Theming Guide and other documentation on drupal.org.
    – Triskelion
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 21:14
  • One of the things I want to do though is minimize the amount of html someone entering has to know. By making the 'sidebar' part of the page content (I assume you mean the body field) then the user has to know how to style the sidebar. What classes to add to the content to break it out. I was wanting to minimize the html someone is going to have to enter, which is why I was going to create a new field type and add it to the content types article and base page. I'm coming from other CMS tools and this is what we did.
    – RDotLee
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 21:32
  • Sidebar is probably the wrong term to use here. It is probably confusing the discussion. Think of a page with two columns where one column is large and the other is smaller. If that has to be all maintained in the body field, that is fine, it just means editors have to know more html then i was hoping for with drupal.
    – RDotLee
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 21:36
  • Editors don't need know HTML (almost) to maintain content on a Drupal site. Content-types can have different types of fields to minimize this. It would be no problem at all to have a another body-field in your content type. In your template-files or just with css you would organize them side by side. But there are a lot of ways to achieve this with other methods as well. Really, make a test-installation and play around, use stackexchange to answer your questions and after a little while you'll probably feel the power of drupal...
    – Volker
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 22:30

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