WordPress: Multiple Dynamic Sidebars

I’m making a “blank” type template for WordPress that I’ll be able to modify for sites as I develop them.  I wanted to make sure my template was compliant with the dynamic sidebars feature of WordPress and have multiple sidebars already there for quick creation with new sites.  I wanted the first to have some default content, while the others would not be displayed unless they have dynamic content.  I suppose that might not end up being useful for the fixedness of the one-off designs I’ve been doing, but we’ll see…

The tutorials I found didn’t discuss how to make the container for each of multiple sidebars display only if the sidebar had dynamic widgets.  The is_dynamic_sidebar() function is what was needed.  So I register my sidebars like normal, in “functions.php”:

register_sidebars(2, array(
'before_widget' => '<div id="%1$s" class="widget %2$s">',
'after_widget' => '</div>',
'before_title' => '<h2>',
'after_title' => '</h2>',

I used register_sidebars() and divs instead of ul containers. You can use multiple register_sidebar() calls to have named sidebars, which I may consider if I want to use this for conditional sidebars in different sections instead of the if-elseif I’ve been using, in which case I’ll probably have to change this even further.

Anyway, for the “sidebar.php”, I used basically the normal dynamic sidebar call, with the first sidebar (or a name) specified:

 <div id="sidebar1" class="sidebar" role="complementary">
if ( !function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar(1) ) : 
        <div class="pages" role="navigation">
            <?php wp_list_pages('title_li='); ?>
        </div><!-- pages -->
        <?php wp_meta(); ?>   
    </div><!-- sidebar1 -->

and for the other sidebar, I put the whole thing in an if wrapper:

if(function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') && is_dynamic_sidebar(2)):
    <div id="sidebar2" class="sidebar" role="complementary">
        <?php dynamic_sidebar(2); ?>
    </div><!-- sidebar2 -->

For future projects, though, I may have to find a better way to do this, more inline with the way I’ve actually been using the sidebars. We haven’t been using dynamic functionality, but I would like to leave the capability in just in case.