What’s In Your Sidebar?

May 2, 2015 Discussions 18

Over the 7 months I’ve been blogging here, my sidebar has changed multiple times. Sometimes it’s because a plugin is no longer allowed by my blog host. Sometimes it’s because I got tired of it, or decided it looked too junky or cluttered. And sometimes it’s because I found a more useful plugin to replace it with.

At the moment, I’m mostly happy with the things I have in my sidebar. But I’m sure they’ll get swapped out again at some point.

I like my list of Discussion Posts for each month. That seems to be one of my most popular. My Currently Reading and the monthly list of books I have reviewed, also seem to be staples of most book blogs I’ve seen.

I saw the “Top Commenters” list on Kissin Blue Karen’s webpage and thought it was a neat idea. It seems to get a lot of click-throughs, so I’m guessing my visitors must like it as well. And I’m all for spreading the visitor love as long as I get some too! *grins*

I recently re-added banners for Amazon and Barnes & Noble at the bottom of my sidebar, since I whittled it down so much a few months ago. They may come down again if they start annoying me.

But I was wondering, what do you all consider must haves in your sidebar? I see so many different things on many different blogs. Some I’d never add to my own blog, and some I might ‘steal’ one of these days, or already use. What are your favorite things in your own sidebar area, as well as what do you like to see on other blogs? Anything that makes you exit out of the page without even reading much if any of the content?

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18 Responses to “What’s In Your Sidebar?”

  1. Julie S.

    It is hard to keep a good balance of “not cluttered” and “display all the things”! We have things like you do – contact, recent posts and featured posts for all the discussions, top and recent comments, recently reviewed and upcoming reviews (we don’t really use the currently reading feature), also links to our special events (blogoversary, our challenge), also ads. We don’t have a blog roll because there are just too many blogs that we individually follow. That’s off the top of my head, I’m sure there’s other stuff.
    Julie S. recently posted…#Shelflove: Best Sales Pitch for the Book You Must BuyMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I know! It’s why I’ve changed up my sidebar so often since I started. I keep looking at it and going “That’s a lot of stuff… it looks kind of cluttered, maybe I should dump this thing…” And then I’ll see something on another site, or have it recommended to me and add more stuff again. I’ve been debating about whether or not to keep the Currently Reading or not. Good to know not everyone has/uses that.

  2. Laura

    I recently sorted out my sidebar, and now only have my social media links, archives, search box and instagram feed on there, alongside my little profile section. It really is so hard to get the balance right though between cluttered and too empty, because now I have redone it, I feel like it’s too bare! Weirdly I never seem to notice too much whether other people’s sidebars are too full or too empty (unless it’s full of crazy flashing things, or something!), even though I’m really picky about how my own looks.
    Great post!
    Laura recently posted…My Own ‘Manifesto On How To Be Interesting’My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I notice if there’s too many flashing things, or clashing stuff on other people’s blogs. But otherwise I don’t notice if there is ‘too much’ or not. I just worry that my own site looks too cluttered, and so I prune things. And then later I’ll go back and decide it’s too bare, and so add things again. *laughs* Maybe one of these days I’ll be totally happy and not touch the sidebar anymore. But I doubt it!

  3. Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

    I like to see popular posts and an archive list on the sidebar, as well as options on how to follow the blog. I have two sidebars, so show my blog challenges and blogroll too. If I ever went to one sidebar, I think I’d get rid of those first. Your sidebar looks great!
    Terri @ Alexia’s Books and Such… recently posted…BLOG AHEAD Mini ChallengeMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      Thank you! I like your sidebars too. I had two when I first started my blog, but didn’t like that it made the blog content so narrow looking. And I had way more cluttery stuff when I had two sidebars. I’m happier now that I only have the one, though I still keep tweaking it. We’ll see how long this sidebar incarnation lasts. *laughs*

    • SilvaraWilde

      I think it would look way too bare for me, if I only had the archives and follow widgets. I mostly like how I have things set at the moment. Though I admit I also tend to not pay lots of attention to other people’s sidebars. Unless I’m rearranging my own again, and am looking for inspiration.

  4. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    I think the essentials are: Follow links, search box, and post archive. I also put in images/links for challenges and events I’m participating in, an affiliate link to Powell’s, and a list of some blogs that I follow. Beyond that it gets too cluttered for me, but tastes differ.
    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted…Does reading matter?My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      That’s my major issue, looking cluttered. So I keep removing stuff, and then it looks too bare. So I add stuff back in, or put in all-new stuff and the cycle repeats itself! *laughs* Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Elizabeth

    I Just switched from Blogger to WP and from 2 sidebars to 1, so I had a lot of cleaning to do. I wanted Follow Me buttons, a search bar, categories and an archive, because that’s what I’m always looking for on other blogs. I just added Frequent Commentators, and I’m thinking about doing a prize each month for the most comments.
    I used to have images for all the challenges and memes I participate in to be nice. I’ve been thinking about doing an image slider with the images, but haven’t played with it at all.
    Oh, and I put any current giveaways or special events at the top.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Words on Wednesday: Prodigal SisterMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      That sounds like a ton of things in your sidebar! Though it makes sense since you went from two to one. I think it would drive me crazy to have so much loading all the time on my own site though. I don’t tend to participate in memes or challenges, or I’d probably have links/images for those as well. I’d feel bad if I didn’t, so I know it’s a good thing I haven’t seen any that make me want to join in! Thanks for stopping by!

    • SilvaraWilde

      I know right? I saw that on Kissin Blue Karen’s page and I was like, “That’s such a cool idea!” The one I’m using can be found here:

      https://wordpress.org/plugins/top-commentators-widget/

      Thank you! I think I’m nearly completely happy with it at the moment. We’ll see how long that lasts, but at least for now I can’t think of anything I’d want to add. I’ll most likely drop the loot crate banner, but otherwise…

  6. Karen Blue

    I love listing the top commenters on my site. I actually saw this on Rabidreads.com they used to have monthly contests for the top commenters and I was hoping to do a similar thing, or exactly the same thing actually. Thanks for the mention(s)! You rock. Don’t worry about your sidebar, change is good if you feel like it. I like how yours is laid out right now.
    Karen Blue recently posted…The Sunday Post #34My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      Hey, I saw it on your site first. Why wouldn’t I mention you? *laughs* And I loved the top commenters idea, so I had to ‘borrow’ it. Thanks! I think I like my sidebar at the moment too. I haven’t really wanted to change anything since I wrote up this post, and that’s unusual for me. So maybe I’ve finally tweaked it enough!

  7. Cayt

    I have barely anything in my sidebar at the moment. My goal with the look of my blog is to be sleek and minimal. So right now I have my social media links, my search, my email list, my drop-down menu with categories, and my blog roll. I keep thinking I should add something else though. It looks a little lonely!

    I don’t like super cluttered sidebars, so I don’t intend to add any clubs or a ton of banners or anything. The ones you mentioned though sound like I might like to add them. I’ll have to look into it. Mine needs some sprucing up.
    Cayt recently posted…Musing Monday #12My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I like your sidebar. It works with your layout. I think having a bunch of things in your sidebar would look a bit odd.

      I don’t like overly cluttered sidebars either. One reason mine has changed so many times! *laughs*

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