Can I stay by your side a little longer?
Don't leave mom's side, okay?
I'm thinking about putting a potted plant by the side of the sofa.
The kanji and the word are exactly the same. That means they share meanings as well.
You've learned the がわ as the reading for this kanji, but when its used on its own as a vocabulary word, it is read as そば. Here's a mnemonic to help you remember:
Having a sober(そば) person by your side is important when you're drunk.
Think of other vocabulary words that use がわ. In these words, 側 is a suffix, so it will have another kanji that comes before it.