Widget Ninja is a new premium plugin from the Web Factory, available at Code Canyon.net. It provides a method for users to control in exactly which environment their widgets appear.
Gordan, of Web Factory, was kind enough to donate me a copy of the plugin for review here.
As usual, I simply dropped the plugin in the wp-content/plugins folder and activated it without any troubles. Once activated, the plugin adds a selection of options to every single widget registered on your WordPress site, both custom and core that allow you to control on which pages the widget appears. Unlike most plugins that provide some sort of “extra sidebar functionality”, Widget Ninja works by placing conditional statements on each widget individually, rather than each sidebar as a whole. This gives you, the user, much more control.
The interface is perfectly simple and easy to use. On the widget screen, once you have dragged a widget to a sidebar, you simply expand the widget (just like normal) and then drag and drop the conditional tags you want into place. So, for example, let’s say you want a particular widget to only appear when viewing a Page. All you have to do is drag the is_page option into the “active tags” section and click save. Now this widget will only show up when viewing a page, such as About Us.
There are about two dozen conditional tags to choose from, allowing you to match just about any criteria you could possibly have,
assuming you do not want to limit your widget display to a particular category/taxonomy archive, or specific page. The conditional tags available allow you to control which types of pages the widgets show up on, but not which specific pages, categories, tags, taxonomies, etc, within those types the widgets show up on. This is really the only limitation the plugin has, but for the vast majority of people, this will most likely not be an issue.
Update: I was incorrect about the plugin not allowing you to limit widgets to a specific post, page, or category. 8 of the conditional tags can accept an additional ID parameter, which makes this plugin even more awesome.
Overall, just like all of Web Factory’s other plugins, Widget Ninja is an awesome addition to anyone’s WordPress. It is simple enough for anyone to use, and even provides helpful tool tips for those who are having a little trouble. For the $10 price tag, I would absolutely recommend it.