Cleaning Up the Right Rail

Part of adapting to a sideways world involves de-cluttering your sites to provide a cleaner, more focused experience for your readers. It is still important that we use every page to showcase some the great stuff that we have to offer. However, it is equally important that we don’t create a chaotic a visual experience in that effort.

To that end, the DC team has dutifully considered all of the right rail widgets and whittled them down in order to provide some clear guidelines for what we think should–and shouldn’t–be living in your right rails. Here’s what we’ve come up with:


  • About 
  • Featured Posts (Just one or two, though — and it should be your very best, investigative or data-rich stories.)
  • Ad position
  • Multimedia features (Limit this to 3 so as to show off your ongoing resources and interactives, but without overwhelming the viewer.)
  • Facebook widget
  • Email list sign-up
  • The lovely new Twitter widget

Please remove:

  • #NPRedchat promo. (Until we have another event, that is. This way it will be new and eye-catching for your regulars, but not take up too much space in the meantime.)
  • Recent Posts (Readers can see this in the feed and know to go to the homepage if they are interested.)
  • Featured Posts (The way that most of us are using it now, that is. Tidy this up so as not to overwhelm. (See above.))
  • Around the Network (Most people who come to your site are going to either be interested in your state or in the subject. We decided that this can go since it doesn’t further either of those interests.)

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