Tweaking Your Navigation

Posted on October 16, 2007

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Many of you are becoming expert bloggers: writing interesting, thought-provoking posts, including links to relevant sites, embedding pictures or videos relating to your posts, incorporating original graphics that enhance the look and readability of your site, eliciting comments from peers and unknowns. As we continue to hone our blogging skills, we need to consider our sidebars and the navigation of our blogs.

How easily a reader is able to navigate your blog is extremely important. Just as you carefully consider how best to arrange your ideas in a piece of writing, you must also consider carefully how to arrange your ideas on your blog. As your blogs grow, navigation becomes especially important.

Basically, you can create two formats for your ideas:

  • posts arranged in categories and listed in chronological order (usually)
  • pages arranged in whatever heirarchy you create.
  • How does a reader navigate a blog?

  • He can view posts created in particular categories by selecting a category and viewing all the posts created in that particular category;
  • He can view pages created by clicking a page link shown in the header or sidebar of your blog.
  • What if your template is not displaying categories or pages?

    You may need to tweak your settings to improve the navigation of your site. To do so, follow these steps:

  • In the administrative panel, select Presentation.
  • From the subcommands (bottom row of toolbar), select Widgets.
  • If your template uses a sidebar, you’ll see it displayed. If you scroll down the page, you’ll see all the “Widgets” you can add to your sidebar. To display pages in your sidebar, simply click and drag (while holding down the left-click mouse button) the pages widget onto the sidebar. Do the same for the categories widget. Then click update or save (whichever displays).

    These simple changes should allow your reader to navigate your site via categories or pages. As we add new categories and begin creating several pages for your portfolio, you’ll see how important it is to be able to navigate the myriad of ideas and information on your site.

    You might also consider playing with some of the other available widgets. Don’t get too carried away, however. Remember, the goal is to make your site user-friendly, not to overwhelm your readers with a sleugh of trivial widgets!

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    Posted in: Blogging How-To