May 6 2008

Go Clutter Free!

One thing I hate on blogs is clutter. And yes i’m talking about those super long sidebars, flashing widgets and popup ads. And this clutter could be killing your blog with, longer page loads and the ability to distract your readers away from the content.

So here are my quick tips on how to take your blog to clutter free heaven:

1) Remove Directory Buttons - “but Anthony, the directories I submit my blog to require me to include these buttons” I here you say. Really? Are those directories driving you any traffic? There are plenty of quality that don’t require you to clutter you blog – use em!

2) Prettify Your Ads – Give your advertisers value for money by carefully placing your ads. Make sure they are clearly defined, centered in the sidebar or make sure they fit in with your design. If you don’t want flashing ads – ask advertisers only to provide static banners. In my experience it hasn’t had a major effect on income.

3) Remove Unnecessary Widgets – On wordpress blogs, you don’t need to have the archives or calendar widgets on your sidebar. Calendar is pretty much useless and just create an entire archives page.

4) Small and Sweet – Some blogs have the most ridiculous blogrolls that span pages. I like to have a max of 10 links in my blogroll, and these are just my favorite blogs. All the rest get put on a dedicated “links” page. You can also use a rotating blogroll!

5) Trim the Categories List – You definitely don’t need a category for every single post and I wouldn’t say 10 general categories is enough. To be more specific use the built in Tags (in Wordpress blogs). Surprisingly, having less categories creates a more user-friendly blog.

Do you have any tips on how to cut down on blog clutter?

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11 Comments on this post

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  1. Rob O. said:

    Ditto on the directory badges. Those generic directory sites may get you a few hits here & there, but rarely do they bring in lasting readers or loyal subscribers. Ditch ‘em!

    Blogrolls! These aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but they often get really long and overblown. We have a separate page for this to keep the clutter off of the main blog. (I actually prefer to pepper my blog posts with links rather than allocate time keep ing up with a blogroll. In-line links also give you an opportunity to sell the link, rather than simply list it.)

    I also tidied things up considerably by putting my archives links into a drop-down menu rather than a simple list. Big improvement!

    May 6th, 2008 at 4:18 am
  2. rodaflip said:

    I like your article on minimizing clutter on your web log. Sometimes its hard to take it out because of fascination. But i think you are right, if its not needed it has to be taken out.

    May 6th, 2008 at 5:35 am
  3. Rajaie said:

    I agree, but how come your sidebar is a bit of a mess?

    May 6th, 2008 at 5:53 am
  4. Anthony said:

    Rajaie, i’m just an Author here and have no control over the sidebar, design etc.

    May 6th, 2008 at 1:35 pm
  5. Linda said:

    I already cleaned mine up and I agree…. if it looks cleaner, more visits and easier to read.

    May 7th, 2008 at 7:14 am
  6. deloresdefacto said:

    BAYB isn’t messy in the sense of having lots of flashy widgets. I think it’s just that the post isn’t long enough to match up with the sidebar.

    I, for one, am fascinated with widgets and all sorts of lovely things to add to my sidebar. My sidebar is a beautiful mess, and I don’t even have any ads! And directory badges; I thought most of the blog directories wouldn’t list you, if you didn’t post a link to them. (I limit mine to links and leave it at that. I seem to get hits from BlogFlux or BlogCatalog (and I need all the hits I can get.)
    As far as category tags go, I recently found that it works well just to include them into the tag cloud.

    May 7th, 2008 at 9:55 am
  7. Dennis Edell said:

    Up to recently when I went custom, I would have been “offended” because you are talking about what mine used to look like LOL.

    Now…

    I won’t use directory buttons unless I really need too (but hey wouldn’t be in plain site).

    Prettifying ads was one of the reasons I went custom…I couldn’t do it before.

    No unnecessary widgets either. Two ingenious plugin/widgets help greatly…Archives and Accordion. The 2 widgets at the bottom may seem a waste to some, but they’re at the bottom and help “me” in promotional techniques.

    No Blogroll for SEO reasons, among other things.

    Categories are nice and tidy in a drop-down menu.

    One thing to add – even if your adds are prettified as they should be, DO NOT have 10-20 of them to scroll past BEFORE even hitting something useful.

    May 7th, 2008 at 2:21 pm
  8. Anthony said:

    Yeah Dennis you’re absolutely right. Stick to just a few ads. Not only will it look good but you will keep your advertisers happy!

    May 7th, 2008 at 7:22 pm
  9. Dennis Edell said:

    Exactly right Anthony. But if for some reason you must have say, more then 6…at the very least make it clear that they are on some sort of rotator, so can they get some sort of fair shot :-)

    May 7th, 2008 at 7:33 pm
  10. Anthony said:

    yeah although, the links on my blogrolls aren’t paid for. They are just blogs that I like. But I think up to 10 links is enough and then use a rotator.

    May 7th, 2008 at 9:04 pm
  11. Dennis Edell said:

    With the rotator I was referring to excessive 125×125 ads. If you have more then 10 on a blogroll (assuming you must have a blogroll) I think they should have their own page.

    Anyone who goes beyond 10 ain’t stoppin’ anytime soon lol

    May 8th, 2008 at 6:11 am

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