October 9, 2014

Blogger Basics - Managing The Sidebar



Today I'm sharing part 2 of the Blogger Basics tutorial series with you: how to manage your sidebar!

For new bloggers, managing their Blogger sidebar may be quite a challenge. I remember myself a couple of years back, trying to get the parts of my sidebar in the order I wanted them to be.... Not a pretty memory, that's for sure ;-)

So I thought it would be a nice idea to take a closer look at a Blogger sidebar and show new bloggers how to add a new gadget, remove a gadget, change content of a gadget and change the position of a gadget. Here we go!


BLOGGER SIDEBAR POSITION OPTIONS

On most blogs the sidebar is placed on the right side of the screen, but it's also possible to place your sidebar on the left, or, in case you have a one column blog, the sidebar gadgets might be on the bottom of the page, below your blog posts. 

Blogger also offers the option to have 2 sidebars. One on the left and one on the right, or both sidebars next to each other on the left or the right.

The position of the sidebar doesn't make a difference for managing it though. In this tutorial I will use a blog with one sidebar that is positioned on the right (since this is what most blogs have).


SIDEBAR BASICS

To manage your sidebar you first have to go to your Blogger Dashboard, where you select the option 'Layout' on the left side of the screen:








The layout of your blog will now be displayed in blocks. Look for your sidebar. Since mine is on the right it's easy to spot, it's like a column consisting of blocks (gadgets):




These blocks, or gadgets as they are called, all have different names, and you can pick up one of these blocks and drag it to another position in the sidebar if you like. Just hover over the block, click on it with the left mouse button and start dragging it along the sidebar column. When you reach the place you want to put it, let go of your left mouse button and the gadget will place itself there. If you want to save its new position, then click on the 'Save arrangement' button in the upper menu bar (my button is orange):




If you click on the 'Edit' button of one of the gadget blocks, a little screen will pop up. Here you can change the title of the gadget and its content. Click the orange 'Save' button to save those changes.
If you would like to remove the complete gadget from your sidebar, just click the 'Remove' button in the pop up screen and your gadget will no longer appear in the sidebar.





ADDING A NEW GADGET TO THE SIDEBAR

There are plenty of gadgets to choose from when you want to upload a new one to your sidebar. Gadgets that are often used are:

* Text Gadget - with this gadget you can add plain text to your sidebar
* Image Gadget - with this gadget you can upload an image to the sidebar
* HTML-Gadget - with this gadget you can upload a piece of coding to the sidebar, this gadget comes in handy when you want to upload Social Icons or maybe a Slide Show link to your Instagram account.

This is how you add a gadget: just click the 'Add a Gadget' button on top of the sidebar:




A screen pops up showing all the gadgets you can add. On the left side of this screen you will see 3 options to choose from: Basics - More Gadgets - Add Your Own.
The most important gadgets can be found in Basics, but just look around a bit and see what you need. As a beginning blogger you probably won't have to use the 'Add Your Own' option.

When you have found the gadget you want to add, you click on the + sign on the right side:




In the new screen that pops up you can add the title for your gadget (this title will be the title that shows up in your sidebar, so please keep it short). You have to add the content, so in my case, I have to add some text because I chose the text gadget. And when you're done don't forget to click the 'Save' button.
 



Yes! And there it is: your newly added gadget.




But it automatically appears on the first position of the sidebar, so when you want it on another position you have a little dragging to do. Hover over the new gadget, click your left mouse button and start dragging it to the place you want it to be (I want my text gadget with title 'Hello' on the second position). Let go of the mouse button and the gadget will place itself on the new position.

Don't forget to click the 'Save arrangement' button on top of the screen and you're done!




This was hopefully some useful info for beginning bloggers. I won't go into all the details of each gadget type in this post, but at least you know now how to add a gadget, remove a gadget and change the title or content of a gadget in your sidebar. Happy blogging!

Daphne


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