Scrolling: Widgets & Posts

Blog_DesignDear Bloggers: this is a post to ask you to consider two related changes to your blog: the number of posts you show per page and the number of your widgets.

1. Number of Posts

When I visit a blog, I like to scroll down and see several of the blog’s recent posts.  If I am a new visitor to the blog, this gives me a feel for the blog.  But even if I am  return reader, it helps me see what I may have missed recently.

Some blogs only list on post per page.  You have to hit, “older posts” to see each and every next post — pain in the butt!  For me, 3-4 posts per page seems stingy.  So consider adding more!

For WordPress folks, go to your Dashboard –> Settings –> Readings –> “Blog pages show at most”.

I have mine set at 15.  Too many posts, and it takes too long to load your blog.  Too little and you stop people from exploring your blog.

2. Number of Widgets

Now, if you realize the beauty of several posts per page, you will face a new challenge, the boring sidebar. As you scroll down all the posts, the content of your sidebar (if you have one) may disappear into bland ugliness!  Look at my sidebar to see examples.  You may not like my choices, but it certainly ain’t bland or boring!🙂

So consider lengthening your sidebar.  Be creative with your design!

For WordPress folks: go to your Dashboard –> Appearance –> Widgets.  Now start exploring.

Question to readers:  How many posts do you put on a page and why?  Are you considering other Widgets?

See my other thoughts on blogging here.



Filed under Philosophy & Religion

8 responses to “Scrolling: Widgets & Posts

  1. I’m using 10 posts per page, which I think was the default. It seems enough for somebody to get a flavor of what I am posting.

    Perhaps, more important, is that I keep what shows on the front page relatively short, by using that “more” button to split the post.

    As for widgets – I did spend some time thinking about widgets. Adding too many just adds clutter. The theme include a tag cloud, calendar and archives in the footer, so I did not need to add those.

  2. Well, Neil, I read your blog often and like it. Let me look at it now through an aesthetic eye and give feedback incorporating your comment above.

    (1) More for Less: B & W deserts
    Your blog is a desert of black and white (see that post). So “More” button is useful for your posts which are almost nothing black and white type. Few photos, drawings, diagrams or such. No color. Classic for philospher/mathematician types — raised on such food. So “More” buttons help because they aren’t missing anything.
    However, with my post, there are lots of diagrams and pics which may entice some readers to read. So hiding them, wastes their usefulness.

    (2) 10 Posts
    Seems like a good number

    (3) Widgets
    Continuing with the black-and-white desert style, yes, if that is all your widgets consisted of too, it would be cluttery in an ugly way.

    So for your “chosen” style your choices may fit.

    (4) Suggestions
    (a) Get rid of “Meta” widget
    (b) Recent Posts widget unnecessary if you have 5 posts up.
    (c) Put Triangulations on your blogroll! 🙂

  3. I think I have mine set to 20 or 25 for the reason you note. But to keep the load time short, and to not make the reader scroll for days, I only have the excerpts showing so they can get the title and the first half a paragraph or so.

    As far as widgets, I try to have things I think might be useful. I used to have a blogroll, but I noticed no one ever clicked on the links to other blogs so I removed it. Currently I have brief couple sentences about what my blog is about, my twitter feed, recent comments, tag cloud (which I’ll probably take down because people dont use it to find posts) and a link to a debate I had with Justin from Reasonable Doubts. Other than that I dont know what to put on there that would be of any purpose.

  4. I’m not even sure how many are on mine, but I try to keep the colorful widgets to a minimum. I feel like I have less freedom as I find many of the themes to be gaudy. It really inhibits my creativity.

  5. I’m not very picture oriented, which is why the black and white.

    (4) Suggestions
    (a) Get rid of “Meta” widget
    (b) Recent Posts widget unnecessary if you have 5 posts up.
    (c) Put Triangulations on your blogroll!

    The “Meta” widget makes an RSS link available. That’s the only reason it is there. You are probably right about “Recent Posts”, but I have not taken that down yet. And I did make that blogroll addition.

  6. @ Neil:
    (1) Yeah, I got that about the pics. (2) There is an RSS widget, btw. (3) Thanx for the addition! 😉

  7. @ John Barron,
    I really like your design. Keeping excerpts works for yours too because you are not a big diagram/picture guy.

    @ amelie,
    Yeah, yours has the simple-eloquent look (wabi-sabi).

  8. That is a great compliment, Sabio. Thank you. I’m trying to help our house be Wabi Sabi too, coincidentally.

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