How to Organize Your Blog’s Sidebar

Posted on June 21, 2017 «
Categories: 2017 Discussion Challenge, Behind the Curtain, Book Blogger Hop «
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In the 3 going on 4 years that I have been blogging, my site has taken on many different looks. When I was on Blogger, I messed around with my sidebar constantly because I wanted to make sure certain information (like social media buttons and challenges) were always front and center. When I moved to a self-hosted WordPress site I found I had more flexibility.

How I Organize My Blog’s Sidebar

Using a Visibility widget, I can control what information you see based on the type of page you are visiting. For example, when you are reading one of my book reviews, you will see a list of upcoming reviews, past reviews, giveaways and challenges in the sidebar. But if you visit an In the Spotlight post, you will see a list of all the authors that have been In the Spotlight in the past year (or so) and giveaways.

organize blogs sidebar wordpress self-hosted

 

I recently moved my social media buttons to the upper left hand corner of my site so they were more readily available to visitors and make sure that I have Sharing buttons and a mailing list sign-up box at the bottom of every post. This reduces the number of things I need in my sidebar.

Since I worked in marketing for so many years, I constantly evaluate the look and feel of my site. I try to make sure visitors can easily read my posts, share them and comment on them. It’s all about easy of use and readability. After all, I’m not a famous blogger by any shape of the imagination and I rely on visitors to spread the word about my content. And if it isn’t easy to connect with me and my site me then visitors won’t share my content and return for another visit.

Sound Off! How do you organize your sidebar?

So how about you, how do you organize your sidebar? How do you decide what widgets and do-dads to include? What’s the one thing you can’t bear to leave off your sidebar? What’s the one thing you want to leave off your sidebar, but aren’t sure you should remove it? (Right now, I’m contemplating removing my Reading Challenges widget because they don’t really provide any information for visitors.) Share your thoughts in comments.

book blogger hop discussion post

 

 

 


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9 responses to “How to Organize Your Blog’s Sidebar

  1. Oh I didn’t know about visibility widgets, that sounds kinda neat how you can change things up depending on what post people are reading. I haven’t changed my sidebar a lot over the years, but I did change some things.

    Like at first I used to list some of my favorite bloggers in my sidebar, but it easy got long and was difficult to keep up. Nowadays I do list my open torus at Lola’s Blog Tours in my sidebar which I didn’t do at first when I didn’t have my company yet. A few months or so ago I added a currently reading widget as I thought it would be fun to show off what i am reading right now.

    I could probably clean-up my sidebar a bit more, but I am happy with the way it is now. My social media links are easy to find and there’s a search option and categories search thing as well for people who are looking for something specific. I kinda like having a reading challenges widget so people know about those challenges and maybe sign-up too if they want. Great post!

    • Lola, I think the widget I use is no longer available on the WordPress site which is a bummer, because I love it. I can choose to hide/show posts based on category, page or post type. Guess I’ll have to find a new plug-in at some point. EEK!

  2. I didn’t know about visibility widgets and how you could have different things displaying on different posts, but I may have to try that! It sounds like such a good idea 🙂
    Personally my sidebar is pretty minimalist. I used to have such a cluttered sidebar, so I tried to narrow it down, and now it’s literally just social media buttons, a short profile, categories and my email sign up widget, and my goodreads challenge (which actually sounds like kind of as lot of stuff now I’m listing it!).
    Great post! 🙂

    • Laura, I think the widget I use is no longer available on the WordPress site which is a bummer, because I love it. I can choose to hide/show posts based on category, page or post type. Guess I’ll have to find a new plug-in at some point. EEK!

      Maybe I just need to do some deep cleaning on my sidebar to spruce it up a bit. I’ve considering putting short profile up.