Should a Sidebar Go On the Left or Right?

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 leftorrigh2t
Image by Apesara
Whether you use a 3 column layout or a 2 column layout, you have to choose which side you want your content on, and which side you want your sidebar on. Left or right? Which is best?

As always, the answer is; it depends on your blog.

Why Have It On the Right?

  • Western readers read left to right. When scanning a page, we will scan left to right (And top to bottom). Put your sidebar on the right, and the first thing a reader will scan over will be your content.
  • Many people still use 800×600 resolution. When designing your theme, it’s tempting to work with a 1024px wide layout. The extra space is great for the majority of your users.

    However, a good few are still on 800×600 monitors, and will have an annoying horizontal scrollbar to work with. If your content is on the left, they will not have to scroll to read it. The scrollbar will only be needed to see the sidebar.

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XKCDesign: WordPress vs MovableType

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I’m trying something new at Pro Blog Design today; a web comic. It will be my attempt at humour, based on design and blogging.

Depending on you, we’ll either keep it up, or get rid of it. Please vote in the poll below, or leave a comment, to let me know your thoughts.

So without further ado, here’s issue 1, WordPress vs Movable Type.

1-wordpress-vs-mt

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110+ Free RSS Icons to Show Off Your RSS Feed

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 The standard RSS icon is too common. Everyone has seen it. Make your feed subscription more appealing by using one of the unique icons below.

The first 43 are all free, and many come with a range of color variations. The last section is probably free, but you’ll need to email the authors to be certain. Click an image to visit the source of the icon.

Circular Feed Icons

f-nam0       f-blackwind         f-fasticon

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How To Install DomTABs on WordPress

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domtabs Have you ever seen blogs where the popular posts, top commentators, and blogroll are all tabbed into one small area? Those blogs are using DOMtabs.

DOMtabs is a free script and by using the guide below, its quick to install. I’ve also created a simple stylesheet that you can use to easily restyle your DOMtabs.

You can see DOMtabs in action in the sidebar here on Pro Blog Design. It is a very user-friendly way of saving space on the page, and cutting your clutter.

Lastly, this guide is written with WordPress in mind, but the script can be used anywhere. If you’re on another platform, try applying the steps to your own platform, or read the help on the script’s site, and comment here for help if you need it.

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6 Tips to Make a Great First Impression

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attractive
Image by HAM Guy
This is a guest post by Hans. Visit his blog, Catchtheposts.com, for more blogging tips, or you can subscribe to his feed here.

We used to hear that content is King. I agree with the fact that creating original and valuable content is a critical element to succeed online.

However, I would like to add my 2 cents: content is King but the container – the web space design – is not far behind! I really like metaphor, because it often helps us understand what the concerns really are. So let me bring you into the following metaphor.

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Building a Page for First-Timers – Part 2

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Question Mark We talked previously about how the needs of a new visitors differ from those of a returning visitor.

One way to solve this problem is to create a page specifically for new readers. It is very easy to do, and will help convert more of your one-off visitors into loyal readers.

Don’t Change Your Home Page

The traditional blog home page is well suited for returning visitors. It lists the most recent articles first, it emphasises headline so they can be easily scanned, and has a clear About link for learning more about the blog itself.

This is what a person expects from a blog, and that alone is a good reason to give it to them. The New-Visitor page must be something people choose to use; not something that is forced upon them.

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The Most Important Distinction Between Your Readers – Part 1 of 2

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Your confused first-time visitor! New and returning are two very different types of visitor to a blog. One has been here before and knows the drill; the other is still wondering if they’re even in the right place. This is the most basic, but the most important distinction between visitors in your audience.

Why then, would we treat them the same?

The answer is that if we had an easy choice, we wouldn’t. But we don’t have the luxury of such choice. It would take a complicated setup to serve two different pages to new and returning visitors, and might merely confuse your visitors.

Instead, we can use an easier method. We use our regular home page for our regular visitors, and link to a special made-for-newbies page, for the newbies.

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