Sidebar Redesign: My Thought Process

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In the past few days, I redesigned my sidebar. It doesn’t sound like much, does it? But looking back, that one change has had quite an impact on the overall look.

In blogs in particular, the sidebar is a big part of your design. But also in blogs, they tend to be quite poorly done. The reason is that very few of us design our sidebars with content in mind.

I’m guilty as well. When I first designed the sidebar for this blog, I was thinking about leaderboard ads and various widgets. Since then, I’ve dropped the ads, changed the widgets and added a sideblog.

Odds are, your sidebar content has changed in the course of your blogging as well. It is important to reassess your entire blog every now and again, but the sidebar is one area that you should pay particular attention to because of its changing nature.

In this post, I want to go through how I reassessed mine, and worked to improve it. You can then apply the same process to your own blog.

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How To Set Up a Sideblog

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Since writing about the benefits of a sideblog, the idea has taken off. Sideblogs are a great way of quickly updating your readers. However, you’re still left with the problem of how to set one up.

There are various methods, including the use of Twitter or Tumblelog and then importing an RSS feed. However, those methods don’t give enough control for me, so the method I’m using is done entirely in WordPress.

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Why You Should Use A Sideblog

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The sideblog at Abduzeedo. A sideblog is a mini-blog that sits in your sidebar. The entries are only ever short snippets, and you can post them on anything you like.

They could be personal updates, like Sil does with Twitter, link recommendations like on Abduzeedo, or even blog updates.

They are very common on personal blogs but not so common on others. I’m considering adding one to Pro Blog Design though, and I can think of a few good reasons for a blog to have a sideblog.

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