5 Common Widgets That Make Your Blog Look Ugly

No site can be very successful without good traffic but getting traffic to your site or blog is very difficult. Traffic does not only depend on the content of the blog but also on the site or blog layout. Readers do not like to stay at a site for very long if they are not pleased with the layout. The exception is when the content is so good that the reader would be willing to ignore the layout. But that is a very rare case.
ugly widgetsI am going to ignore websites now and speak only about blogs. You would have noticed that lately there have been a lot of widgets popping up on different blogs. Some of them are quite good and useful while others are simply trash and ugly. You may have even used these latter types of widgets on your blog just to cover up some empty space but instead made your blog look congested and highly unattractive.

Here is a list of Top 5 common widgets that you should avoid:

1. Recent Visitors
The recent visitors widget by MyBlogLog is one of the most space consuming and useless widget but still a lot of bloggers like to have it on their blog. In my opinion it is a completely useless widget and it takes around 482 x 166 of your blog space. You can put a lot of other stuff in that space to make your blog look better. The Recent Visitors widget not only wastes space but it also has no use according to me. Why would you want to know which exact person visited you? Furthermore, only the pictures of registered users are shows so you only get to see few visitors. Also, the widget is so big in dimension and size that it will slow down your blog which will only be frustrating for your readers.
You maybe thinking that a lot of bloggers use this widget, including some really famous ones such as the owner of Jackbook but that does not mean that it is any good. Only use the widgets that will benefit both you and your visitors. If you need traffic details then you can simply use Google Analytics for that.

2. Chat Box
Another common widget that I think is waste of valuable space is the Chat Box. I am sure that you must have definitely seen one of this on several blogs. They are very common among newbie bloggers who like to chat with other bloggers. You will see different conversations going on about how their day have been and about link exchanges. That's it...nothing else.

The ideal reason of having such a widget is to communicate with your audience but why not just do that with comments on post or via email. If you really want to talk to your readers about other stuff then just have a contact page and provide your readers with your email id. It is as simple as that. By doing that, you will not only save a lot of space but also avoid your page from slowing down. And you don't have to worry about monitoring the chats either.

3. FEEDJIT - Live Traffic
I just started managing this blog. The previous admin who used to manage it had a FeedJit widget on the side. As soon as I took control, I got rid of that widget because I simply hate it. There is absolutely no point in using it. All you know is that you are getting visitors from a certain area through a specific source. Well guess what! You can find out almost everything about your visitors through Google Analytics. Also, you should include widgets that your visitors also like. This widget is not at all interesting to readers as they don't care at all about where your traffic comes from.
This widget can vary a lot in sizes but most of times its dimensions are approximately 600 x 200. Imagine all that space being wasted. Furthermore, the widget provides external links which can easily steal your readers.

4. News from the blogosphere
I still do not understand how this widget from BlogRush works. All it does is show links to a bunch of other blogs...that's it. I am guessing that it also shows your post links on other blogs and help generate traffic for your blog. Well if that is really why some bloggers use it then I think it is simply pathetic and will hardly get you any good results. You need to have better ways to get traffic. This blog has approximate dimension 315 x 175. That's a lot of space that you are dedicating to nothing!
I am sure that bloggers hardly get any traffic from but also think of all the external links that you are providing on your own blog. If a visitor even clicks on one of the links, you will lose that visitor. Will that visitor come back? Who knows? My advice is that you remove this widget from your blog as soon as possible and get some other good ones.

5. Technorati - How much is your blog worth?
Get ready for one of the most useless widgets of all times: Technorati's Blog Worth widget. What's the purpose of the widget? It simply shows an old guy's black and white picture and some numbers that are supposed to represent the value of your blog. I would love to find out why a majority of bloggers put this widget on their blog because I have absolutely no clue. The widget doesn't tell anyone how the blog value was calculated. Secondly, so what if your blog is worth $900? Does it even mean anything? You are not going to get that much money for your blog from anyone unless it is really famous.
If you have a good "blog value", then all that widget says is that your blog has something valuable. That's it! But then why is it that I see this widget on some blogs that have a "blog value" of $10? Why are those bloggers putting it up for?
In my opinion, this widget is simply for bloggers who like to show off. It is a useless widget that means nothing.

That was my list of Top 5 common widgets that make your blog look ugly. There are thousands of widgets that are like that but I have only included the most common widgets. For those who liked this post, I will also write about some good widgets to have on your blog to help you choose the right blogs.


Lisa said...

Just found you on EntreCard. Love this post and it's soooo true! I hope many new bloggers will heed your advice!

~dana k said...

Lotsa good stuff here. I do love the FeedJIT widget on my own blog but I must admit, I didn't like seeing myself being tracked on someone else's for some reason. Maybe it's a no-no.

admin said...

thanks for the comments guys. I am glad you liked my post.

@dana k - I admit that I had Feedjit as well on my first blog but then I soon realized that it had no purpose and only wasted space. I can find all the info I need through Google Analytics regarding my traffic.

s sultani said...

What you say is somewhat true, but a lot of these widgets are on blogs because in order for you to submit your blog to a site (like blog catalog) you have to put one of their widgets on your site.

I also would rather see useless widgets on a blog than tons of empty advertising space. I hate seeing empty advertise here spots all over a blog, makes me think a blog isn't very good because no one wants to advertise on it.

admin said...

I know what you mean but there are other widgets and nice stuff to put on blogs that can help both you and your readers.

I will soon be compiling a list of widgets and "page elements" for blogger that are both useful and interesting.

Alex said...

I would only disagree with one of your points - MyBlogLog widget.
It can be customized to take less space and it does have advantages. Like any other social networking site building your community and acquiring more friends will generate more traffic for you.

admin said...

@Alex - MyBlogLog may be good for yourself (owner) but it is useless to the readers and you should always keep the interest of the readers in mind.

Creating a community is nice for your blog but putting such a big widget is not very attractive. If there is a smaller version available then bloggers should choose that if they really want to put it up.

Spife said...

I put a cbox on one of my sites because I'm too lazy to check my email sometimes, and some of the sites I regularly visit have cboxes, so it's convenient for us.

Anyways, I agree with the rest of your list.

Lucas said...

I completely agree with you! BlogRush is absolute crap; I don't know why people still use it...

affiliatedomain said...

Well said;i will equally appreciate it if you give us a list of useful widgets and "page elements".

Yanto said...

Blog Rush? I wondered why so many hundred times syndicated but only 1 click. Really disappointed. Could you please tell me about widget that will drive more real traffic?

I also agree that visitor will leave from Feedjit. And also agree that the Technorahti one will only show the lame side of our blog.


Dan said...

@Yanto - You can try using EntreCard widget to get traffic but the traffic you will get will have a very high bounce rate.

Cheap SSL said...

Thanks Dan for sharing this post... Actually I am already avoiding to use these five widgets on my blogs too. But this post can really helps to newbies.

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