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Should your blog have sidebars?

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Blog and WordPress sidebars are they inseparable?

I think it was Shakespeare who once said: " For the sidebar or not, that's the question" page (in French).

Shakespeare was a smart guy. He knew that the best way to make a major life decision was to stop, take a moment to think about the potential consequences of that choice and speak out loud so that they can hear all aspects of the argument.

Blog and WordPress sidebars are they inseparable?

And you know what ?

I think this is a brilliant way to tackle these issues and we will be doing the same today.

So the question of the day is: should your website have sidebars or should it ignore them completely?

Sidebars played an important role in website design as we came out of the 00s, when everyone was busy trying to figure out how to design for the Internet in general.

Now, in the 2010s, I like to think we got it all figured out. I mean, we can do some pretty amazing things with just a touch of a button or a quick update. So it's no longer about trying to learn our design or content management system to create great designs.

So let's just try to do it more effectively.

What about sidebars?

Does this hinder effective web design?

Until the last few years, the sidebar has proven to be an extremely useful tool in website design, which allows us to:

  • Include information that may not match a page.
  • Place a call to action or form without disrupting the flow of content.
  • Give visitors a value-added material.
  • Focus on content that needs more attention.
  • Display advertisements whether or not they are affiliates.
  • Share live streams from social networks.
  • Improve blog navigation by including links, categories, tags, RSS subscription forms, search boxes and more.

Nowadays, can we still say that sidebars are also useful?

What the experts think on the matter:

Opinion # 1: Usability Geek

Yona Gidalevitz wrote an in-depth review for "Usability Geek" last year to find out why sidebars are unnecessary. But rather than saying that sidebars have absolutely no place in UX design, he demonstrated how a sidebar could be used with purpose.

Read also this tutorial on How to easily create a Quiz in WordPress

The example given comes from Google Drive, a platform we are all familiar with.

Sidebar googel thrush

His argument, in this case, is that the sidebar makes sense for this website because:

  • It conforms to all layouts of Google apps.
  • It serves a real purpose and is not just loaded with unnecessary widgets.
  • It replaces the traditional navigation that most websites have.

Apart from that, however, he repeatedly demonstrates how the major news websites continue to put unnecessary and distracting sidebars on their web designs.

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Opinion n ° 2: Fruit Video

Bryan Harris of VideoFruit asked: " What would happen if you removed the sidebar and want to focus your readers' attention only on the content?« 

To consult also: How to make your blog stand out in a saturated niche

It was clear that he was frustrated with the 0,3% click-through rate on his blog's sidebar, and so he and his designer set out to test this alternate scenario. The assumption was that if you remove the distraction from the side of the page, more people would be willing to read the post and click on the call to action, even if it was placed at the bottom. 

Why should WordPress and your domain name be separate? Find out by consulting this article

And that's exactly what happened.

So with the A / B testing of this theory on the VideoFruit website, they found that the sidebar-free version resulted in 26% more email subscribers than the sidebar version.

Videofruit

Opinion n ° 3: Neil Patel

Neil Patel, the man responsible for Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics, has set out to help businesses increase their conversions online.

See also our guide on How to use Canva to create images for your blog

In 2015, Patel wrote a blog post titled "Does your blog need a sidebar?". This post is now two years old, but the QuickSprout blog still uses a sidebar, so it looks like Patel is steadfast in his belief.

Quicksprout

Here is his argument:

Sidebars give traders, writers, businesses, etc., the ability to:

  • Get more subscribers by placing the email signup form at the top of the page.
  • Establish a more personal connection with the audience by providing a biography and a head shot.
  • Include high quality internal links to the content of your website that will be worthwhile for your audience.
  • Use those same links to let search engines know what content you want them to repeatedly associate with your website.

See also How to display all your WordPress publications on a single page

Additionally, Patel not only suggests that a sidebar is needed for your blog, but also thinks it should be on the right side of the page. What he found when performing tests on this question was that the left sidebars gave the blog 9% less views, but 13% more subscribers. 

Here is his rationale for choosing to put the sidebar of his blog on the right.

Also read our guide on How to add a custom menu to your administrator bar

“[I] increased the blog post read count by 9%. Ultimately, the purpose of a blog is to educate you through content… aso why should i delete this?« 

What you must remember :

Visitors expect, when they turn to the right side of the page, to see:

  • An email subscription form
  • Social sharing icons
  • Search bars
  • Categories
  • Archives

According to research by Egon Sarv, these are the most common elements that can be found in the best websites and blogs.

So, if you want to use a sidebar, these are the elements that we should be able to find.

Discover also some premium WordPress plugins additional 

You can use other plugins to display countdowns on your WordPress blog. In what follows, I propose some of them.

1. Paypal Addon for Arforms

This WordPress plugin will allow you in 5 minutes to accept PayPal payments on your website. This is a very simple solution for users who want to sell products quickly on the internet, or receive donations / contributions on a website.

Paypal addon for arforms 1

Paypal Addon is perfectly compatible with the plugin ARForms. This will allow you to create forms, before configuring them with PayPal. Users will be redirected to PayPal after submission of the form.

Explore also our 10 WordPress plugins to create a contact form

Download | Demo Web hosting 

2. APS Ads Manager 

APS Ads Manager is an extension designed for the Arena Products Store e-Commerce plugin. It is not autonomous and therefore requires the installation of the latter to operate. It brings to the WordPress Arena Products Store plugin the possibility of easily monetize its products and its product pages without having to modify your WordPress theme files.

Aps ads manager wordpress plugin by anjum

You will be able to display your ads in various locations using shortcodes and you can use some features of its template to display ad units.

Read also How to add a social sharing popup on WordPress

It can also help you display ad units for image banners, Google Adsense ad units and more by detecting the device type of visitors, and many more.

Check out our 5 WordPress themes to monetize your website with Adsense

But I want to clarify: you will need to install the Arena Products Store e-commerce WordPress plugin to use it.

Download | Demo | Web hosting

3. Coming Soon CountDown

Coming Soon CountDown is one of the most popular premium WordPress countdown plugins on the WordPress platform. It has 2 countdown templates, as well as 10 kinds of wallpapers to make them more beautiful and attractive.

Coming soon countdown responsive wordpress plugin

Indeed, Coming Soon CountDown allows you to continue your work on your website While your Visitors see displayed the 'Coming Soon' page. When you're done, you can get your website back online with just the push of a single button.

We also invite you to discover our 10 WordPress plugins to improve the visual of your website

It is also possible to decide which users may or may not see the website depending on their statuses. If only part of the website is to be submitted to the "Coming Soon" page, then you can also define which pages are available to your visitors and which are not.

Download | Demo Web hosting

Recommended Resources

Find out about other recommended resources to help you build and manage your website.

Conclusion

Here is ! That's it for this article that will help you better understand if your WordPress blog should have sidebars.

However, you will also be able to consult our resources, if you need more elements to carry out your projects of creation of Internet sites, by consulting our guide on the WordPress blog creation.

Feel free to share this article with your friends on your favorite social networks. But, in the meantime, tell us about your Comments and suggestions in the dedicated section.

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