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.

My Rating: ★★★★★

  1. Mark Delorey

    What’s the advantage of using this plugin over Widget Logic? Just the GUI? From my experience, widget logic gives you the ability to use more specific conditional tags which seems to be the main limitation with Widget Ninja.

    • pippin

      @Mark – Widget Logic has an advantage and a disadvantage, when compared to Widget Ninja. It’s advantage is that it allows specific conditional statements, as you said, that allow the user to specify individual pages, categories, etc. Widget Ninja does not allow this. The disadvantage, however, is that it requires the user enter the conditional tags manually, whereas Widget Ninja has a very nice drag and drop interface. In my opinion, if you need the specificity, then use Widget Logic, but if you only need to control widgets on a content type basis, then use Widget Ninja, as it is much more friendly to use.

  2. Mark Delorey

    For $10, that sounds like a steal. That makes it way easier for my clients to manage their widgets once I set up their site without having to know all of the conditional tags off the top of their head.

    I’ll wonder if there are conflicts when using Widget Logic and Widget Ninja at the same time.. Best of both worlds. Ideally, Code Factory would add the specific filtering as an option in their plugin.

    • pippin

      Definitely, and you’re right, the specific logic is the only thing I feel is missing from their plugin. Otherwise, it is fantastic.

  3. Mark Delorey

    I just tested the latest versions of Easy Content Types and Widget Ninja together on a site I’m working on, and it looks like they have a conflict.

    When I drop in the “is_page” condition and go to select specific pages using the tool icons, the page selection dialog is all screwed up. Any suggestions?

    • pippin

      @Mark – I’m pretty sure Gordan is right.

      @Gordan – Thanks for jumping in there 😉

  4. Gordan

    Hi Mark, that sounds like a jQuery UI Dialog issue. Please contact us via email with your site’s details and we’ll have a look.

    Gordan, Web Factory

  5. Nasir Rashid

    Not Working for me :(. I can’t drag and drop any conditional tag. Any suggestions?????????

    • Pippin

      It’s probably a jQuery conflict. Ask WebFactory, the developers of the plugin.

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