A modified sidebar

As you may have noticed (or not), I’ve changed some things on my sidebar. I’ve moved the “Subscribe to my RSS feed” message to the top, added the “Top Clicks” list, removed the “Recent Posts” widget and also said goodbye to the Archives list, which’s been replaced by a full page.

Why have I done all this?

– Everyone says you should try to make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your feed, and I realised that cool button was somewhat hidden among many other elements.

– By adding the “Top Clicks” list I aim to draw my readers’ attention to some useful resources that they might have overlooked, or even completely ignored if they are newcomers.

–  A blog’s recent posts can be spotted in the most obvious way. I’ve always suspected that list was useless, so I finally got rid of it.

– I believe that having the archives displayed on a full page of their own makes them look more organised and attractive.

I’ve tried my best in order to make the sidebar less cluttered and more helpful. The problem is that I’m so tempted to play with that Flickr widget… not to mention that del.icio.us thing. If I’m not careful, soon I’ll have a cluttered sidebar again. *sighs*

Oh, yes: I’m also making use of the split-post option for the first time. Perhaps I should edit some other posts and add it to them as well.

What do you think of all these changes? Any suggestions or complaints?


10 Responses to “A modified sidebar”

  1. 88michael Says:

    Had a look at your sidebar. Know know about your old one but the new one look quite good.

  2. WarriorBlog Says:

    I am new here and came from Vandela Design. I will stick around :-)

  3. Karen Zara Says:

    Thank you, guys! I’ve visited your blogs and left some comments. :)

  4. karpar Says:

    I’m one of them who doesn’t really appreciate more tags, it adds one more step to the post reading process and I’m too lazy!

    But that said, I guess its an important SEO factor to consider, though I don’t see myself using it on my own blog.

    I have only 5 posts shown on my index, and my Recent Posts display the top 10. It does include 5 over-lapping posts, but its a good way to draw the attention of people who don’t bother to scroll down the page – yes, they exist!

    But like you mention, it is putting repeating the obvious, I would replace it with the popular posts – which plugin do you use? I was only able to find one that let me add it as a separate page! It requires adding PHP tags into the template if I were to add it to my sidebar, I’m assuming your plugin is widgetized?

    Sorry about the overly long comment! ;)

  5. karpar Says:

    Sorry about the double post, I guess my wordpress.com account logged me in automatically, I’m Karthik.

  6. Karen Zara Says:

    Hello again, Karthik! No problems about long comments and double posts. :)

    Thank you for telling me your point of view. I’m ever curious about my visitors’ reactions. I think a blogger will never be able to please everyone. But we try, don’t we?

    It’s an interesting idea to display only 5 posts on the front page and have the 10 most recent ones listed on the sidebar. I hadn’t thought about this possibility.

    I don’t use any plugins here. Unfortunately, WordPress.com won’t let me do it. So I use the Top Posts widget that comes free with every blog hosted on WP.com.

    Is this the popular posts plugin you were talking about?

  7. Karthik Says:

    Yes, that’s the one – I didn’t find a Top Posts widget that didn’t mess my sidebar :( I guess the one on WP.com was custom built for WP.com users?

  8. Karen Zara Says:

    Yes, I think that widget is meant only for WP.com users. But have you taken a look at my recent post about Top Posts? Maybe you’ll find something new on it. ;)

  9. Alex R. Says:

    I think the changes have made a good impact on your blog. I would personally get some free hosting (freehostia.com) and a domain (godaddy.com plus OYH1 coupon = $7) and you can select from thousands of free themes that suites your personality. Good job overall.

  10. Karen Zara Says:

    Thank you for your comment. I’ve already purchased some domain names and soon I’ll start new self-hosted blogs. They’ll certainly have better themes. ;-)

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