Come Along Little Doggy!
Sticky Sidebar Elements
As you scroll down a blog to leave a comment or read a long post, you’re often greeted by a large margin of white space due to the WordPress sidebar elements not traveling with you…
There’s a number of reasons for this… but it turns out there’s also a number of solutions for it as well!
By taking advantage of this underutilized white space, you can draw the attention to your optin form, purchase-able items, or even other posts to increase your CTR and decrease your bounce rate!
The first thing you need to decide on, is whether you want the entire right-hand sidebar to float downward (the same way a floating share bar does) or whether you want only the last widget to travel down the page, drawing attention to something specific.
Make A Sidebar Widget Float in WordPress
In WordPress, there are two popular plugins which can create floating widgets:
1) Q2W3 Fixed Widget (Sticky Widget) – GPL Licensed
2) Sticky Profit Builder – Premium Non-GPL Plugin (aff link)
Have a look at the premium and decide if you need all the additional features in the PRO version of SPB. Otherwise, you’ll probably enjoy using the free GPL-licensed version.
You’ll find a very brief overview, as well as a demo of the Sticky Profit Builder Plugin currently being tested over on Ana’s blog.
Make The Whole Sidebar Float in WordPress
Floating the whole sidebar is usually my preferred strategy since you do not risk overlap and other issues.
It’s worth noting that this plugin is no longer actively maintained, does not work on all themes, and is broken on responsive themes that shift the sidebar to under the content body. I’d love to see a GPL developer pick this one up and patch it.
That said however, it’s really the fastest and simplest way to get your sidebar coming to the party!
In my testing here on the Ask Kim blog, it seemed to work perfectly on my /blog page and not do anything at all on my individual (single) posts and pages. It also works in mobile browsing although my site is not mobile responsive.
The two sites above both have decent tutorials for you so feel free to visit them if you wish to pursue this further.
Additionally, I found a really nice coding tutorial, designed for floating the sidebar on the TwentyThirteen Theme, that appears as though it might be easy for a coder to retrofit to other themes.
What If I Make The Sidebar of My WordPress Blog Sticky?
I think that floating sidebars are a pretty awesome idea for a blog that is interested in monetization, conversion or bounce rate.
However, one has to pay attention to the impact of loading another plugin and the fact that the output of these plugins are dynamic so there may be some loading speed impacts.
Using a code-based alternative will always get you a better overall situation than using plugins but it requires understanding the code and, in the case of widgets, would be much harder to change out the widget content.
There’s a lot of room here to experiment and play depending on the needs of your WordPress blog.
Have you thought about making your sidebar float (sticky) on your blog?