7 Must Have Sidebar Widgets On Your Blog

by Sahil Umatia

Almost every blog or website you visit, you can see a sidebar section on the left or right or on both sides of the blog. Sidebar is an important section on any blog or website, so users can have a quick access to blog articles or contents. Its important that you should equally focus on your sidebar contents with your blog contents.
The sidebar gives you a huge opportunity to engage you readers with your blog or website. Your main aim is to keep your visitors digging more on your blog as long as possible. You might be using lots of widget on your blog sidebar, but this would just clutter your sidebar increasing your blog loading time. In this article I will discuss about the 7 essentials and some more optional widgets that you can add on your blog.

The 7 Essentials
1. Search Box- This is the most important widget as it helps users to find articles on your  blog simply by entering a keyword. The search box should be placed where it’s easily viewable to the user. The search box can be placed at the top navbar or in the header or in the sidebar just like this blog. This will help the user to get more engaged with your blog.
2. Subscription Widget- This is another must have widget for any blog or any website. The subscription widget will help your readers to get blog updates directly to their inbox. Also do add a RSS feed link where readers can subscribe directly in a feed reader. You can also add your twitter, facebook, or any other SN profile links with the subscribe widget.
3. Recent Post- Some users are a bit lazy to scroll down to find other articles on the blog if the blog is displaying more than 10 articles on the homepage. This widget comes handy on the sidebar displaying the most recent updates on the blog. Also the widget should be placed just after the subscription widget. This is another great idea to keep your readers engaged and get more page views.
4. Popular Post- Display your most viewed or most commented articles on your sidebar. So not just your regular readers but also your new readers get involved with these articles. This will increase your page views but will also help you to get these articles more popular on the web.
5. Recent Comments- This widget will display the most recent comments, on a article by the readers. This will help you to encourage your other readers to engage in conversation with a particular article.
6. Categories/Archive- The category and archive widgets both are different. You can display the category widget if your blog has multiple niches or you can display the archive widget if you blog on a particular niche. The archive widget displays the monthly archives. This is another great way for your readers to dig into old articles.
7. Blog Stats- This is a third party widget which can be installed by adding a code or script to the blog. Popular stats widgets are alexa and sitemeter. If you are a blogger user you can directly add the official stats widget from the page element.
Optional Widgets
Top Commentators- This will show the the top commentators which commented on your blog with highest number of comments. This is a great way to encourage your readers to come back and comment on your blog.
Cloud Tags- This will show your blog categories or tags in cloud format. See in this blog sidebar.
Advertisements- You can display adsense, BSA, or any other or your own ad slot for sale on your own blog. But make sure that you don’t irritate your readers by displaying too many ads.
Facebook Like Box- If your blog or website has a Facebook Fan page, then you can add a Facebook like box to your sidebar, so your readers can quickly like your facebook fan page.
Twitter conversation box- You can add a twitter conversation box to your sidebar, which displays your tweets, retweets and replies.
Youtube Subscriptions- You can also add a youtube subscribe box if you handle video blog or any other blog.
Blogroll- Blogroll is nothing but a list of 3 or 4 of your favorite websites related to your niche.
Community Badges- These are nothing but badges of community like blog engage, or blog interact or toplist where you submit your article or RSS feeds.
There are many other optional widgets that you can add to your blog like the “about me” snippet or your weekly or monthly popular articles and many others.
NOTE: Its not necessary that you should add all the widgets listed above.
As I said previously too many widgets can clutter your sidebar to load. It depends on your choice which one you want to add, but make sure that you have those 7 essentials widgets on your sidebar.
What widget do you use on your blog or website to engage your visitors??? Do share your views!!!

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Sahil is the Editor of iBlognet. He is a freelance writer on topics related to Website Optimization (SEO), Blogging, and Tech. He also specializes in SEO, HTML, CSS and Photoshop. Sahil has written 294 fantastic article(s) on iBlognet.

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