30 Days to a Better Blog: Consider Your Sidebar
Why?Because when I first land on a page, I take note of the position of the scroll bar on the right side of my browser. If it looks like I have a lot of scrolling, that impacts how I read the post. Imagine my surprise when I scroll down one time, the content ends, but the sidebar goes on forever?!
Really, what’s the point? People are going to stop at the end of your content, so anything further down on your sidebar is going to get lost. And it’s really an easy fix. You can either:
- Lengthen your posts.
- Shorten your sidebar.
The first option requires reanalyzing your content structure and amount of writing. The second option is really quite easy! Here are a few ways you can shorten your sidebar:
- Add a second sidebar. Many of the good WordPress themes offer a second sidebar – you can add it on the opposite side of your content, or have two sidebars next to one another.
- Add a top menu. If you don’t have a top menu for your categories/pages – consider adding one to remove that bulk from your sidebar.
- Remove duplicate content. If you do have a menu on the top for your categories/pages – you don’t need to duplicate it with a list or dropdown on your sidebar.
- Condense your sidebar. If your sidebar is still too lengthy, you may have to dump some items. Analyze what’s important – a search bar, advertising, social media buttons, a quick bio perhaps – and start deleting the rest. Tag clouds may be fun to look at, but if you already have multiple methods of navigation, it’s something that can go!
What’s on your sidebar and is it all necessary?