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Effortless Sites

The Effortless Sites blog. Tips on small business websites, business growth, technology, and anything else we come across.

Sidebar-Free Design: The Key to Modern Blog Layouts

photodune-369302-keyboard-xsWhen it comes to a modern layout, user experience reigns supreme. It is no longer about the flashy images you use on the screen, but rather, the focus shifts toward providing the best experience possible for your visitors. The sidebar can be in the way of providing a streamlined experience, which is why it is ideal to retire it now.

Content is what keeps any blog running, but there are cases when aesthetic elements of a site ruin the reading experience. This results in higher bounce rates instead of real readership. This is the reason web designers should think about getting rid of all those distractions, starting with the biggest one: the sidebar. Despite its navigation-related functions, it gives users unneeded elements when reading, thus decreasing the efficiency of content no matter how compelling the piece is.

With the right adjustments, you can put the navigation tools elsewhere and enjoy a sidebar-free design without compromising usability.

Search

This is a highly functional aspect of the sidebar, but you can put it in the site's header. It does not need to be on the side, as you do not want your reader to look for another post before finishing the current one they are reading.

Featured posts

Some might argue that it is a great idea to present readers more relevant pieces of content on your site to increase their time of visit. Still, think about the idea of showing them a new link when they are in the middle of one. Enumerating more relevant posts is great, but it should be left in the footer AFTER the current piece has been read.

Subscribe buttons and ads

Subscribe buttons can be obtrusive, especially when they are deep somewhere in the sidebar. It is better to place them at the start or at the end of a post to increase their chances of subscribing after enjoying the post.

Ad placement should take a little more creativity. It could be under the title of an individual post or in the footer after the post's end. As long as it does not obstruct the reading experience and still yields conversion, the location is great.

The sidebar has been there for years already. Chuck it to give your site a modern, UX-centric look. At Effortless Sites, we can help you achieve that goal through sleek, usable designs. Contact us to enquire about our services.

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Fantastic job! I could not ask for a more professional and responsive company. Completely got what I wanted and the end results were superb! So pleased with the site guys, thanks so much!

Tom, Dad's Rock