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10 Time and Space-Wasting Widgets You Should Delete From Your Blog Today

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10 Time and Space-Wasting Widgets You Should Delete From Your Blog Today

    It’s easy to get so excited about your new blog that you want to use every bell and whistle that you can get your hands on. But if you’re serious about building a significant readership or turning your blog into a business, going overboard with widgets and plug-ins can actually hurt you.

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    Here are 10 time and space wasting widgets your should delete from your sidebar today:

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    1. Subscription Count/RSS Widget. This is a great idea if you have a legion of subscribers, since nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. Otherwise, it can work against you by functioning as negative social proof. If your RSS widget shows you only have a handful of subscribers, many readers will wonder why they should subscribe if no one else is doing it.
    2. Calendar. Calendar widgets were fun and interesting when the Internet and blogs were new. But now, they’re really not. If someone wants to see something you’ve posted at an earlier day or month, they can always check out your archives page.
    3. Irrelevant Affiliate Ads. I often see new blogs whose sidebars are stuffed with all sorts of random banner ads and affiliate offers. It’s important to remember that people won’t click on your ads just because they’re there, and they’re definitely not more likely to click just because there are a ton of ads on the page. Relevance is key, so stick to promoting just one or two offers you know your readers will find useful and relevant.
    4. “Share This” Sidebar Widgets. Unless your blog is the most groundbreaking and incredible thing they’ve ever seen in their entire life, a visitor is much more likely to share single posts or pages than they are to share the homepage of your blog.
    5. “Hosted By” Badges. Most visitors don’t care who hosts your blog. And if they do, they’re more likely to respond to a well-written review post about the pros and cons of your hosting service. If you want to make affiliate sales through your hosting provider, it’s a much better way to go about it than a standalone widget in your sidebar.
    6. Blogroll/Link Exchange. If you must have a list of links of other blogs, move them to a separate page. Your sidebar should be reserved for the things you absolutely need your readers to see or do (and having them click away to someone else’s site shouldn’t be your priority).
    7. Facebook Stream. Facebook page status updates out of context can be distracting to your readers. If you really want them to become a fan or friend of your Facebook page, skip adding the feed preview and just use a simple and compact “Like” button instead.
    8. Recent Posts. It’s much more useful to have your most popular posts listed in the sidebar. Recent posts can easily be found in the archives or on your blog’s front page.
    9. Tag Cloud. No one uses them and no one has ever left a blog just because it didn’t have one.  Use a search form instead, so people can find exactly what they’re looking for instead of having to weed through post tags.
    10. Blog Ranking/Technorati Widget. Your Alexa and Technorati rankings don’t mean much to your average reader (unless you’re blogging about blogging), and I can guarantee you they won’t be looking it up just because they noticed it on your sidebar.

    If you give your reader too many calls to action at a time, they’ll generally decide on inaction, since it’s far easier to do nothing than it is to choose from a plethora of options. The best thing to do is to keep it simple and save your sidebar space for the most important actions you want your visitors to take on your blog.

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

    There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

    Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

      What Does Private Browsing Do?

      When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

      For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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      The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

      The Terminal Archive

      While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

      Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

      dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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      Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

      Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

      However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

      Clearing Your Tracks

      Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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      dscacheutil -flushcache

      As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

      Other Browsers and Private Browsing

      Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

      If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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      As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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