Week 5: Do (not do) the slide.

Friday, August 5

This week's tip is breaking my heart.

So hard, in fact, that I considered ignoring it and keeping my blog exactly as it is. I'm a firm supporter of my own pleasure - I eat chocolate, I read decadent books, and I drink green tea wine. So it was inevitable that, at some point, I'd come to a crossroads in my blogging journey:

Blog better, or blog funner?

Google tells me to go with better. Sliders are hell on your SEO. Girlfriends who blog tell me to go with fun. Who cares if it's better not to have a slider - you're blogging because you love it, right? Theme design experts are torn. There's the Our themes don't have sliders... because sliders suck crowd (incidentally, that's an actual post I read on Yoast - a bloody good one, too.) And there's the A dynamic blog needs a slider crowd. I like that crowd. I agree with that crowd. I have been running with that crowd since I found out sliders were a real thing.

And yet, I have defected.

I am now, officially, #TeamNakedBlog. And here's why:

  1. Even 'mobile friendly' sliders wreak havoc on your device. Nobody who visits my blog ever told me that, until I asked. So... I'm sorry. I didn't know I was annoying you with my flickering, reloading, moving-too-fast slider images. This reason alone was enough to make me disable my slider, and then I was hit with...
  2. Site visitors either don't see, or don't read, your slider. It's called Banner Blindness. Savvy interweb surfers recognise ads on a page without even looking at them, and sliders look like ads. So you ignore them.
  3. At best - your visitors get a glimpse of something interesting, then it's gone. At worst - they just get annoyed. Even if your visitors can view your slider on their device, and they look at it, sliders generally slide. Which means that whatever your visitor was looking at on the slide, it's probably gone now. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm a lazy bugger when I browse. I don't hit back buttons, and I sure as hell don't scroll back on a slider. If the information is not right in front of me, I move on.
  4. All your informative goodness gets pushed way down the page. Your visitor then has to scroll just to see all the meaty treasure that is your content. But you worked so hard on your content! That's what your blog is all about. That's why you are doing this. And if it's pushed down low on the page, to make way for something that is either A. Wreaking havoc on browsers, B. Ignored, and C. Annoying... well, what a waste of your lovingly crafted thoughts.
 So I kissed my pretty slider goodbye, and to be honest - I get what everyone is saying now. I have a pretty big blog header (haha, did you think I was saying a pretty big head? That's how I read it when I proofread this post!) so piling an image slider on top of that, my first post was actually 2 finger scrolls down the page. Now I can see my top post header with zero scrolling involved. That's good, right?

Well, that's my story for Week Five, but I'd really be interested in what you use to make your blog pop! Do you have a slider? Have you considered getting rid of it? Do you have a hero image? What is a hero image? 

I'd love to hear from you. I'd play the pity card and say it's to cheer myself up over my missing slider, because attention. But in the 20 minutes it's taken me to write this post, my heart has healed. The miracle of blogging, I tell ya.
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