Let’s go over the following common WordPress widgets sidebar feature. They add to the overall functionality of our websites. However, relevance of contents is the key-deciding factor when considering what to place in your sidebar, including these widgets. Let’s also take a look at the common mistakes in using sidebars as well as the solutions to correct them.

Author’s bio, blog categories, recent posts; among others are default widgets in WordPress sidebars. Since these widgets are default, we tend to just leave them in place without carefully thinking whether we really need them or they just waste a good amount of space. Yes, WordPress Sidebars come with default widgets, but it does not mean they are for keeps. This is actually a common mistake – keeping ALL default widgets visible.

The solution: figure out what you really need. Determine which of these widgets have redundant function. Delete them or move them into the “Inactive Widget” list. With the help of some plugins, you can turn on and off widgets depending on which page you want them shown or hidden.

Some default widgets are oftentimes worth keeping

One is the author’s biography. Visitors get interested in who the author is when contents are useful and of good quality. Consequently, if he consistently provides such kind of material, people start to remember him. They search for him the next time they need the kinds of information he has established to offer.

Nonetheless, many of us find it hard to figure out which author’s information should be displayed in the sidebar. This is tempting to be overdone in such a way that it outshines the main content. Stick to the basic – a photo, the full name, a line or two for the most vital credential, and a link to his other works. Never attempt to squeeze in as many details as you can in widgets such as this. Remember that you have other widgets in place. You don’t want them to appear too dense altogether. You can also find customizable widgets that blend in with the theme.

Links to blog categories can be best shown in the sidebar. Proper indexing of contents contributes to good user experience. Recent posts can entice new interests and invite users to explore your other contents. In addition, related posts that are likely to provide answers to follow-up questions not answered by the main content are more important items than recent posts. Sounds really useful, but do you really need them to consistently appear on your every page? If your answer is ‘no’, again, there are plugins that will help you control the appearance of these sidebar contents in each page. This way, you only make them visible to pages that you think they are necessary to show up.

Social Media widgets should hold a special spot in your sidebars. This is because your site must be anchored to your visitors’ social media accounts. Your visitors engage with people of the same interests in their favorite social networking sites. Thus, these sites are a good place for you to reach out to those people and increase your online presence. Lest you become tempted to put all the social media icons in the sidebar, ask yourself, “Do I have to?” Another common mistake: putting all the social media icons. To resolve this, choose only the most popular social networking sites. Facebook ranks no.1 in terms of engagement, according to the survey conducted by comScore in July 2016, followed by Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.