Is A Sidebar Still Needed? That Is The Question!
A sidebar has been one of the traditional elements of effective web design for a couple of decades at this point, a website recipe that has only recently begun to change.
The idea of removing the sidebar has raised a lot of controversy among professional web designers, as there are some for the idea and others strongly against it.
So what should you do with your website?
Based on a lot of testing done by prominent designers, there are great reasons to remove the sidebar but equally great reasons to keep it.
What you do with yours should depend on the goals of the website.
The Case For Removing the Sidebar
With the importance of having a mobile-friendly, responsive website and an uncomplicated layout, many of today’s web design services are ditching the sidebar to keep things streamlined and simple.
Research studying the inclusion or removal of the standard left-hand sidebar indicates that leaving it in can result in fewer form sign-ups and clicking of important CTAs.
Taking it out suggests that more readers are making it to the bottom of the page and actually submitting forms or clicking CTAs potentially due to the fact that there are fewer distractions on the page to pull them away from what they are reading.
The Case for Keeping the Sidebar
Conversely, other web designers find that leaving the left-hand sidebar in, while it may not result in quite as many form submissions, shows nearly 10% higher readership of more pages.
People are accustomed to seeing sidebar links there and it helps them get around to more pages quickly with less frustration.
It has also been noted by some web design experts that moving the sidebar to the right, as unconventional as it may seem, can achieve multiple goals.
A right-hand sidebar has been shown to increase the number of page reads throughout the website while also maintaining CTA clicks and form submissions when it’s used to present that information as well as essential navigational links.
What Are Your Website Goals?
Given the two distinct results that are being seen in web designs with or without a sidebar, the deciding issue seems to be determining the actual goals of your website.
- Do you want more form submissions?Consider taking the sidebar out to encourage readers to get to the bottom of your pages with fewer distractions.
- Do you want more page reads? Consider leaving the sidebar in with critical links to help users move around to featured content.
- Do you want both? Try out a fresh web design with a right-hand sidebar and see what happens.
To Sidebar or Not To Sidebar?
That may be one question; however, the other for web design services to answer is what result they want to achieve.
Considering how each website is different in many ways, from layout and content to audiences and goals, spend some time doing A/B testing to determine which option is best.
Find the option that makes the web design more user-friendly for your specific audience, one that continues to get you the views, clicks, and sign-ups necessary to succeed for your business!