Every WordPress blog highlights best of its content in the sidebar in order to give the visitor a reason to stick around and read some more of its content and then possibly end up subscribing to the blog or becoming a regular reader.
Here I am highlighting 3 creative ways of showcasing your content on sidebar that I have come across :
Method #1 (Using Images)
Showcase best of your content by having creative eye catching images with titles over them. Either you can overlay the title on images in Photoshop (or a similar software) or display the text with a transparent background with the help of CSS.
Live Example : PluginID
Method #2 (Using Jquery)
WPCult uses Jquery to collapse and expand widget sections. I found it really useful to save some sidebar screen estate. They have a well written tutorial for implementing this on your blog.
Method #3 (Using jQuery & jCarousel)
I came across a blog which was highlighting its content “Popular Posts”, “Recent Posts” & “Most Commented Posts” with the help of jQuery & jCarousel but I forgot the link or may be I bookmarked it somewhere that I can’t find myself. I will add it if I find it. WebDesignBooth has an excellent tutorial on implementing this on your blog. See Demo.
Wasn’t that creative? Yes, it was but I would like to comment on the pros & cons of all the methods.
Using any of these three methods increases your page load time, not significantly but every minute thing counts. The first method being suitable only for blogs that need to showcase some of its viral articles. Other’s being completely dynamic can update them self regularly and any blog from any niche can use them. In method #1, you will have to create images yourself and in method #2 & #3 an extra request will be added to each page to jQuery & jCarousel.
If you are really getting to include jQuery on each page load, then this gives an opportunity to utilize other jQuery based site/blog enhancements too. Another trick can be to set their cache expiration option so that they can be cached by the browser and doesn’t have to load every now & then. Another thing that you can try doing is to use all these 3 methods together. Let me know if you did this on any of your blog/site.
How do you highlight or showcase best of your content. Do share with us by leaving a comment below.