Discussed! What attracts you to a blog? Feature Slider and other gimmicks…

Posted 20 July, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny / 55 Comments

Happy Saturday! I hope you are all having a good start in the weekend!

Today, as usual I would like to discuss a few things that I was wondering about for quite some time now! Regular Readers of the Bookworms might have seen some recent and minor changes here at the Bookworms which mainly concern layouts and such things.

Discussed_FeaturedSlider

For more than 1.5 years now we had a Feature Slider plugin, to show off our recent post with nice, cute and catching images. I implemented this here because I love all things pretty and I love nice graphics. Back then, nearly no one had such a slider and I felt quite adventurous and trend setting.

Now, many many blogs have such a slider and it became a quite popular feature on many blogs! Recently, I realized that our site became slower and on top of that I had to manage my time a little more carefully, so I decided to get rid of the Featured Slider.

I mean, I love these images but then each image takes me lots of time to create them, make them pretty – but then it’s only up for around 1 week, before the Featured slider moves on…

And apart from the time factor to actually creadte and design them – I was always wondering:

Do you (my dear Readers) actually care about a Featured Slider on a Blog, do you really click on them???

….or is it something I just personally love ?

So when I started wondering about this, I had a much closer look at my own “clicking” and Blog ” reading” behavior, and I realized that while I do like seeing them, I care much more about the topic itself! I not often really click on a featured slider on other blogs, I just read the post titles and then decide if I read the post or not.

Also, I had a much closer look at blogs that attract me the most and often these are blogs which are not clustered and rather simpler in their layout. When there is a blog where there is a lot going on, I feel lees inclined to stay. I do not want to go into another Blog Design discussion, as we just had this a few weeks ago, and much rather want to talk to you about this extra gimmicks on a blog.

 

So, I got rid of the Feature Slider and now, I’m curious if that was the right decision…

I did love the images I created, but they also took a lot of time to design and I am just not sure if these are worth it!?

Here are few of my favorites… :

fangirl

DareYouTo

Of Triton

 

My question now to you is, how much do you care about these extra gimmicks like a Feature Slider. Does this make a blog more or less attractive to you? Do you actually click on a feature slider image??

And then, what are your favorite gimmicks and extra featured on a blog? (and this question is directed to both Readers and Bloggers! )

3D covers, special sidebar widgets? Tell me – I’d LOVE to know!!

Danny_Signature_muchloveI

Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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55 Responses to “Discussed! What attracts you to a blog? Feature Slider and other gimmicks…”

  1. I’m not sure what a feature slider is but I’m sure I’ve seen one and don’t know it’s name lol. But my opinion is that I love looking at the entire blog, not just the post. I like to see the sides and I love to click, click, click away at whatever appeals to me. I really like that I have a lot of stuff on the side of my blog. I don’t like simple things, I’m complicated and shallow like that lol. But on the other hand if you see my blog the background is simple, but I’m working on a new design. Great post 🙂
    Itara @ My Midnight Fantasies recently posted..Review: The Last Witch and The Underground WitchMy Profile

  2. I couldn’t more agree with everything you said here. I love the feature sliders for their visual appeal but in my own habits, I read what I want to and rarely click those images on the sliders.

    I used to spend a lot of time creating good looking images for my slider. And lots of money because I wanted the best fonts and the best image editing program. That money could have been used for more books! So when I revitalized my blog within the last month, I chose to exclude it. And, to be honest, it hasn’t really had a foreseen effect on traffic. I still get the occasional visit to older posts and it definitely declutters my blog.

    I can’t stand blog designs that have so much stuff. Completely takes away from the actual meat of the blog, the content. I won’t go into blog design pet peeves but there’s my two cents there. : )

    All around, I really liked the images you all had for Bewitched Bookworms, but I understand the reasons for no longer using them.

    As far as gimmicks are concerned, I don’t want to be sold on reading a blog because it’s flashy. I want to be sold on reading and investing precious reading time on a blog that has great stuff to say.
    Jessie Marie recently posted..Stacking the Shelves (3)My Profile

    • Gosh your comment really made my day because I feel like I truly did the right things with shutting it down. I was a little sad, because yes I do love making them and I do love looking at them and showig them off – but in the end, what value do I get out of it? Probably not much. It’s been more than a week since I shut down my slider and there is no difference in my pageviews at all.

      I want people to come here because of the content we put up and not because I make cute images.

      And you mentioned money and time and I wholeheartly agree! How much time I spend on these images to make them perfect or hunted down a certain font!

      Thanks for your wonderful comment! !
      Danny recently posted..Discussed! What attracts you to a blog? Feature Slider and other gimmicks…My Profile

  3. All though I think the sliders can be nicely done, I usually tend to like blogs with clean layouts. I do adore gazing at images in posts though! What I really like ( but don’t have yet) is the simple widget that usually resides in the sidebar showcasing the most recent/previous months book reviews ( images ). I love that because if I missed a great book review recently I can just click away. LOL.
    Kim @ Book Swoon recently posted..Stacking the Shelves 07-20-2013My Profile

  4. I personally love the slider option… for one, the images are pretty (when done well), and for two, it’s a good way for a blog to showcase their top posts. In my slider (when it’s actually updated), I pick posts that I want to get more attention. It’s a good way to find a post on someone’s blog that you may not have seen otherwise.
    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads recently posted..Happy Birthday Jessi!!!My Profile

  5. I’ve been a blogger for a while and after going through endless hours of frustration to make my blog more appealing, I know how tough it is! So I admire anyone who can manage to make a feature slider! They totally add professionalism points to your blog! As a reader though, I really don’t care much for the sliders. They’re interesting to look at but I hardly ever click on anything from a slider. But personally, I think if it’s making your blog slower to load, it’s a good idea to ditch it. Especially if you’re putting in all that work and it’s not really benefiting you! And anyway, in the end, your blog should be judged on the content, not the appearance! 🙂
    Annie recently posted..Book Voyage: New York CityMy Profile

    • Hehe I constantly change my blog – it’s been more than 3.5 hrs now and I so often change my blog and try to improve when I can.

      I had my featured slider for nearly 2 years and I loved it! Still, it always takes a lot of time and lately I realized that I wanted my blog to be more back to basics :)))

      Thanks for stopping by Annie!
      Danny recently posted..Super Six Sunday – Pushy’s Super Six Love StoriesMy Profile

  6. I like them, I mean I liked yours because it was pretty. You just made all those images so beautiful! But I never click them and I just see them as I pass by so I don’t look for long. It’s probably not worth all the time you put in because I didn’t actually notice when it was gone (my bad!). And you still put in all your special touches to your posts themselves, so I don’t think it’s really necessary. Also, like you said, it slows down the blog loading and yours (sad to say) was actually very slow loading for me. I have actually got in the mode where I comment then click over to a different window while my comment loads. It was never a huge issue for me, but something I noticed. I’ll have to see if it loads my comment faster today.
    Candace recently posted..Saturday Situation~ Link Up Your Reviews & Giveaway’s!My Profile

  7. Great topic, Danny! I’ve been wondering about the featured slider things, too. It’s weird because on book blogs, I generally don’t pay attention to them. Actually, for any blog I subscribe to, I don’t pay attention tot hem, because I’m usually visiting to read a specific post. But on other kinds of websites that aren’t necessarily blog, I tend to look at them more.

    To be honest, when I visit a blog, I just want to see the posts laid out like one would expect to see on a blog. When the front page has all kinda of categories like “recent review” and “latest whatever” and I can’t figure out where to just see their most recent post(s), it drives me crazy!

    Anyway, um… Aside from that. I really do like the look oft he featured images, though! I used them on my blog and I like that they give each post a unique identifier. I just don’t put them in a slider. Shrug.
    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted..ARC Review: False Sight by Dan KrokosMy Profile

  8. When I started a blog back in May 2010 with a WP theme Creativix, it had a slider for each of the posts. I spent hours creating each image and I’m not talented like you are. I gave up on that blog after a couple of months. So all of you who have done those featured sliders, wow!

    But in truth, all those extra gimmicks, while they do make things look very professional, they take away from the content. And they appear, in my mind, more like professional websites than blogs. I read blogs for the content, not for all the extras. And as movement on a blog distracts me, I actually spend less time on blogs with featured sliders unless I can scroll below and have them leave the page.

    And these days with them becoming a part of so many blog themes, they aren’t as original. Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. And while some may not be as good at creating those images/designs as you are, it has lost its originality.

    For a tour blog or a design blog they really work as it showcases very specific things. But more and more I’m gravitating toward blogs that have fewer bells and whistles. But I’m not necessarily in the majority.

    And as far as the featured images, I’d spend more time ogling them if they were static in a post or in a sidebar than if they were constantly moving in a featured slider.

    Great post topic and I love your design work!
    Rachel recently posted..My Reading Pile #123My Profile

    • It takes sooo much time right to do these images right??!! I mean I usually spend hours just formating a post and this included doing the images.

      And I perfectly agree – they make total sense for proffesional websites – but for us Book Bloggers where we post every day and sometimes even more having to keep up makes no real sense to me anymore.

      And again, when I started it was brand new and I felt like a little trendsetter (at leas in my mind lol) – now, it’s everywhere and the originality is gone.

      I think many people feel like you Rachel and I am one of them – I realized I am more drawn to clean and less clustered blogs and I realized that my blog is not like the blogs I love to read – so I needed to revaluate.

      Thanks Rachel for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment!
      Danny recently posted..Super Six Sunday – Pushy’s Super Six Love StoriesMy Profile

  9. I have clicked through image sliders before. Usually it happens on NEW blogs I visit. If I see an interesting image, I might click through it. I rarely do that with blogs I subscribe to though. For example, with you I have an e-mail subscription so I always just click on the latest post. It’s rare that I visit your homepage because I always just go straight to the post.
    Ashley recently posted..Stacking the Shelves (59)My Profile

  10. I have to honestly say out of ALL the sliders I’ve ever seen (and you’re right they are EVERYWHERE now) that yours was the most well done and most awesome looking! Personally, now that I think about it, I don’t click on them unless it is a topic or a book that catches my eye and piques my interest. So on that front, even though I LOVE the eye candy, it’s the post topic that gets me to click for more.

    I can definitely understand needing to cut out something to carve more time for yourself and other things you want to do – I can’t imagine how much time those must’ve taken to put together. And especially since you’re right, they’re only up for a week at the most and then you’ve got to do it all over again.

    Maybe if you had a different sort of featured reviews/post slider for the sidebar that wasn’t quite so much work to maintain? I haven’t seen any of those off-hand that I can think of (not that are SUPER cool) that is. 😀

    • Ahhhhhh April “hugs and blushes* Thank you so much, your comment totally made my day!!

      And you are just like me, its more about the content I want to read and not a well done image, even though I obviously LOVE all things pretty :))

      I think I will just leave the slider out completely and do the occasional image to add in a post :))

      Thank you so much April :))
      Danny recently posted..Super Six Sunday – Pushy’s Super Six Love StoriesMy Profile

  11. I’m seeing sliders everywhere now too, though I’ve never really been too interested in getting one myself. And gosh, I hadn’t realised before, but I NEVER click on slider images. O_O I think they can look quite good if they are fluid and the graphics are of a high resolution (yours was one of my favourites!), but most of the time, I end up ignoring them. I’m far more likely to check out posts in a recent posts sidebar list or a related posts footer.

    I think things like this can be great for those who want to set up something more professional, and who are also committed to keeping up with it, but really, I read blogs for the content, so simple works just fine for me. 🙂
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted..Review: Asylum by Madeleine RouxMy Profile

    • *giggles* see Sam??? What is the point in having such a slider if no one clicks on them and .. for some reason I never thought about when I had this slider until recently. And then… when no one clicks, why not just leave it out completely. So yes, I think it was the right decision leaving ti behind!

      And thanks sam!!! I’m happy you loved my graphics :))

      I think Book Blogs are still Book Blogs and I’m not sure, a Review Blog really needs such an additon.. 🙂
      Danny recently posted..Super Six Sunday – Pushy’s Super Six Love StoriesMy Profile

  12. For a while I was wondering what a feature slider was, so glad to see the explanation in the comments. I rarely click on them. They are above the post, and since I usually get to a blog via a post I want to read – I scroll past it to read the post. Then when I’m done, if I want to look around, I look at the sidebar for the recent posts, and at the home page.
    Tanya Patrice recently posted..#WeekendReading {Throne of Glass} Eating {Friendly’s Fudge Tracks Ice Cream}My Profile

  13. Great question Danny I’ve definitely noticed a LOT of blogs have them now compared to when I started. Even though I’ve had one on my blog almost from day 1, I will admit that I’ve never clicked on images for sliders on other blogs, however I still really like them because when done right (image with the right resolution, some of them are ugly because you can tell it’s a small image that was blown up and thus got blurry etc) the images can be very pretty, and, well, I like pretty things 😉

    One thing to note is that you can install your slider so that it ONLY loads on the home page, but not if you go to a direct post link – so that way it removes the distraction aspect since most people will click to read a post, and your links via feed, bloglovin or twitter, goes direct to the post. Those who do go to your home page are often those who did not just “happen upon your tweet” etc and actually want to see the blog as a whole – gimmicks included.

    With that said, I don’t think NOT having a slider makes any less attractive. I think your images were very well designed and I loved seeing them, but you also have similar images in your reviews, right? So we still get to see your awesome talents for designing them. You also have the 3D images which I find adds originality and professionalism the same as a slider would. Plus the blog loading quicker (it was the same for me but my comp is brand new) is definitely an advantage to removing it.
    Giselle recently posted..Fresh Batch (New Releases July 21st – 27th)My Profile

    • Yes, I also had the Slider only on my homepage that is imperative for me as I do not want to be distracted when reading a post!!

      And yes, A slider needs to be done right and the iamges need to be catchy and of high quality- but to do this you need time, time I’m right now more willing to spend on reading or writing posts :)))

      And you are right! , I still do them for my posts regardless so I cannot stay completely away from the pretty :))

      YEAH for the loading time !! woot!
      Danny recently posted..Super Six Sunday – Pushy’s Super Six Love StoriesMy Profile

  14. I honestly didn’t know that those had a name! I’ve always loved looking at the sliders when a blog has them, but I seriously didn’t realize that you could click on them to link to a specific post… I feel so blonde right now… I did enjoy looking at them though! They’re always so pretty and interesting and I do read what they say which has prompted me to go check out a book before… but I suppose it can be a little much. Sometimes I get so distracted by looking at all of the features sliding by that I forget to go down and read the actual posts until much later. I also enjoy a simpler blog design, but if the layout is simple enough then some blogs can pull the slider off. If the blog is already super filled with things, then I would say no. Your blog could handle it! (LOVE the new design by the way, simple gorgeous). So if you truly love making them, then I say do it once in a while… maybe you could only do your favorites from the month and add to it as the month goes on so that they can stay up longer?? It just depends on how much they mean to you; if it’s worth it.
    BTW while I’m an old follower, I recently created my own, new blog which you should totally come check out! Please? 🙂
    Nichole recently posted..Review of A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn DaviesMy Profile

    • Lool I ad to laugh so loud now : ” I feel so blonde right now” – don’t worry you are in good company my fiend :))

      Thank you soooo much for your compliments on my design and layout – I’m insanely in love with it myself even though I have it for quite a while now. I think it’s the longest I ever had a layout:))

      Thanks for your feedback and CONGRATS on your new blog! :)))
      Danny recently posted..Super Six Sunday – Pushy’s Super Six Love StoriesMy Profile

  15. They do make load times slower. I’m hardly ever on the front page long enough to watch the whole thing slide by. I do love the graphics you do but I feel the time is better invested in ones that are going to hand around on the sidebar longer than just a week.

    I rarely ever click on them from a slider – personally I don’t think many sites do the slider well. Yours was one of the only sites I felt did it well.

    I don’t know of any other little gimmicks that come to mind – I’d rather have the load time be quick for me since I jump around to a lot of blogs. I hate over cluttered sidebars and the “read more” feature.
    Pabkins recently posted..Guest Post: Shopping List for a QuestMy Profile

  16. I generally read the blogs that are on my RSS feeder. So I usually wouldn’t even notice a feature slider. It looks nice though. When I’m finding new blogs, I am indeed attracted to blogs with things like feature sliders. Not because I care that much about feature sliders but it’s one of the things that makes a blog look more professional.

  17. Personally I really love feature sliders! I think they’re super pretty and they definitely put a blog on a whole new level in my mind because they look so professional and polished. I know how hard it is to make these kinds of graphics and I have MASSIVE respect for anyone who takes the time to do it for all their posts. MASSIVE RESPECT. However, I’m not gonna stop reading or read less of a blog simply because it doesn’t have fancy feature slider graphics. If you have time to do them I say go ahead, but if you don’t then don’t sweat it. Personally I’d love to have the time to make graphics for my posts, but I know it would take up way too much of my time. 🙂
    Julia @ That Hapa Chick recently posted..NEW CATCHING FIRE TRAILER!!!!My Profile

  18. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good results.
    If you know of any please share. Thank you!
    plan cul arras recently posted..plan cul arrasMy Profile

  19. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I
    can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my
    own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions?
    Appreciate it
    Buy Twitter Followers recently posted..Buy Twitter FollowersMy Profile

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