2. Sidebar design elements

I think most blogs have a sidebar these days and most everyone is familiar with the concept of a sidebar. Still, I think it's important to layout the purpose of a sidebar and what an effective sidebar should do in order to design a sidebar that works best for you!

The purpose:

The main purpose of a sidebar is to make it quick and easy for visitors to navigate the different features on your blog without searching everywhere.

Additionally, an effective sidebar can give a new visitor a snapshot of what your blog is all about, what type of content they might find, and give them a better overall idea of the big picture of your blog.

What should a sidebar do?

-Highlight important information:

The sidebar provides opportunity to show readers something other than just the post they are reading. Many blogs use the sidebar to display the best or most popular posts or pages. Really, the sidebar should be used to highlight what ever is most important to your blog. If your most important content is your craft posts and recipes, than a simple listing of those categories can do the trick. If you’re selling a product, this is something that you’ll probably want to highlight on your sidebar. RSS subscriptions are a priority for most bloggers, so you’ll typically see links to RSS feeds at the top of sidebars.

-Give an overview:

As previously mentioned, the sidebar can quickly give new visitors an idea of what your blog is all about and what kind of content they can expect. A sidebar can be a great opportunity to explain your blog. This can be accomplished through an intro paragraph, but the sidebar also helps tell the story. Take a look at your sidebar, does it explain the story of your blog?

-Organize:

A sidebar can help display and highlight all your important information but it can also be a great way to organize your topics. Remember not to overload your sidebar as too many things in a sidebar is often confusing and distracting. Make a list of your MUST-HAVES and see if you can combine anything.

-Add to the attractiveness of the design:

Some sidebars (examples below) can go beyond just aiding in navigation but can really add to the overall visual appearance of the blog design. The sidebar shouldn’t be the main attraction and distract from the content, but it can be more than some simple text and links.

Tip: Organize categories by using clickable buttons and photos. Instead of simple text links, use social media icons that blend with your design.

taliachristine_sidebar
Source - Talia Christine (Yes, I'm shameless)

one_sheepish_girl
Source - One Sheepish Girl

mustard_envye_sidebar
Source - Envye Design Shop - Mustard Special

4 comments:

  1. When creating buttons for blog categories, does this link to a page? When I try to make a page in Blogger it seems to only do a single page not a post feed. I'm lost already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Claudia!

      When creating a button (http://techyissues-workshop.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/3-linking-photos-as-buttons.html) for a blog category they are usually linked to keywords/labels.

      For example:

      If you wanted to create a category for any posts under "faith" in your blog, you would link the button to http://adulcia.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/Faith. This URL would then show all the posts that you labeled under "faith".

      Let me know if you have any more questions! x

      Delete
  2. This is probably too technical here, what I'd love to be able to do with my "Earthquake" category is have a page with a short introduction at the top, then the posts from that category underneath. How do-able would that be?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your web site to check out the latest stuff you post.
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    ReplyDelete

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