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
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)