Should Your Website Have a Sidebar?

Published

Sidebar or no sidebar?

(Make this the intro)

The standard blog template with a sidebar still reigns supreme, but there is a community for the no sidebar movement: https://nosidebar.com/?utm_source=layout&utm_medium=resources&utm_campaign=sidebar-endangered-layout&utm_content=no-sidebar

 

What is a sidebar in an article?

Insert an example from a sidebar from a site of your choice

The pros of not having a sidebar on your site

  • Cleaner design, less distraction
  • Use the Medium layout template as an example (from any article): https://towardsdatascience.com/3-useful-projects-to-learn-python-classes-cf0076c36297
  • Keeps users focused on the content itself

 

The pros of having a sidebar on your site

Having a sidebar gives you more display ad opportunities

RPGBOT.net is a great example of a pub who utilizes lots of ad placeholders in his sidebars… (insert screenshot)

Would also be cool if you could get a screenshot of the Ezoic Chrome extension in action and show 2-3 placeholders being put in a sidebar and explain how it works when a publisher uses that tool with Ezoic a little.

You can market other site content in the sidebar

  • Related posts
  • Subscription options
  • Opt-ins

Having a sidebar simplifies navigation

I.E – the publisher can have a simpler main menu, since they can put related posts and other links to different sections of their website in the sidebar if they want

Are there sidebars on mobile?

No, there aren’t. So mobile UX won’t be affected. Sidebars should be disabled for mobile, and if it’s not, there’s a problem.

The final verdict: Should your website have a sidebar?

You can A/B test whether a sidebar improves UX metrics like page engaged time, scroll depth, pageviews per visit, bounce rate, etc.

You should be able to disable most sidebars at the page level, and then you could track performance for the sidebar/non-sidebar landing pages over the next month (or whatever you prefer)

But if you are a publisher trying to monetize… (YES, sidebars are going to give advertisers more valuable options when it comes to bidding on ad locations)

By Jenny Hay

Jenny loves helping digital publishers to reach their goals. She has written for and co-ordinated various online publications, alongside managing her own niche informational websites. This gives her great insights into the challenges and opportunities facing digital publishers today. As an expert in Ezoic's platform she enjoys helping people to improve their website performance, using automated tools.

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