Sidebar issue with Genesis theme after updating to WordPress 4.7

A number of my clients have brought this problem to my attention – in their Genesis-based site, suddenly their right sidebars had moved to the left of the content, and they had a new ‘Secondary Sidebar’ pop up at the bottom of the old sidebar.

If you go look at Genesis > Theme Settings, you’ll see it’s missing the Layout information completely. Below is what it should look like:

Genesis default layout

This is easy to fix. You’ll need to download a fresh copy of Genesis from StudioPress (even if your version of Genesis is completely up to date).

Make a backup of your site so you can roll back if needed. Then switch from your active child theme to a different theme (any theme like Twenty Sixteen will do).

Then, delete the Genesis theme (don’t worry, your settings will be saved!). After that you’ll want to upload the zipped Genesis file.

Once it’s uploaded, reactivate the child theme, and go check Genesis > Theme Settings. Your layout options should be back and the sidebar issue fixed.

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    1. Look in the “functions.php” file in your child theme and see if there is code that includes “genesis_unregister_layout”:

      genesis_unregister_layout( ‘content-sidebar-sidebar’ );
      genesis_unregister_layout( ‘sidebar-sidebar-content’ );
      genesis_unregister_layout( ‘sidebar-content-sidebar’ );
      genesis_unregister_layout( ‘sidebar-content’ );
      genesis_unregister_layout( ‘content-sidebar’ );

      If you have this code in your child theme, it may explain your problem. The child theme is “unregistering” (or deleting) the items in the Layout Information section. First one is content on the left, two sidebars on the right; second one is two sidebars on the left, content on the right. Et cetera. When the child theme unregisters them, they disappear. If you unregister all five of them … they all disappear.

      Now, there may be a good reason for this; maybe your theme author didn’t want the user to be able to change the layout. However, if somehow the “wrong” layout is selected in the system, you lose the ability to select another.

      As a solution, I’d suggest commenting out the last two items, but you may have to play around to see what works best in your child theme.

      Good luck!

  1. I ran into this problem after updating my website’s version of Word Press. After searching and getting worried, I just clicked the link on the dashboard to update my version of Genesis to version 2.6.1 and the problem was solved. Perhaps this was one of those glitches where a line of code was missing a closing after Word Press has been updated but not all of the themes or child themes have been updated by the company that creates them. For this reason, as a lazy guy who seldom checks his own website, I often don’t update the version of Word Press right away so other people can run into the bugs first and figure them out for me 🙂

  2. Wow, that text smiley face turned into a huge smiley face. In any event in my experience, 14 months after this post. I did not need to switch to another theme, then uninstall the Genesis theme and then re-install it from scratch. I just had to update the theme, which overwrites the existing theme files, thus making it unnecessary to uninstall the old theme first.

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