Remove the Meta from your Sidebar!

By Daniel Scocco

If you browse across some WordPress blogs, specially recently launched ones, you will notice that a lot of people keep the Meta section that comes with their theme on the sidebar. If you do, remove it!

removethemeta.gifThe Meta section includes some admin links like “Login” or “XHTML Valid.” While those links might be useful for the owner of the blog, they offer no value at all for the reader. Sometimes the Meta might even be counterproductive, since it also carries a link to the WordPress RSS feed. If you are using Feedburner some of your readers might end up with the wrong feed if they click on these links.

The next time you set a WordPress blog up, start by removing the Meta section from the sidebar.

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48 Responses to “Remove the Meta from your Sidebar!”

  • – $100,000 online

    Great tip. I didn’t think anyone kept that since widgets now come with wordpress. People need to upgrade.

  • Daniel

    You would be surprised to see how many blogs still have that, and some big ones as well.

  • Matthew K. Tabor

    Excellent point, DBT – not only is there little value, it can be confusing for readers.

    If readers ever have to ask, “What’s that?” about something on your blog, it shouldn’t be there.

  • Jeremy Steele

    In addition, please don’t use the default blue kubrick theme!!!

    It is amazing how many blogs use the default… everything.


    I did this exact same post back in May:

  • Daniel

    Yeah I had also covered this previously (February) as well.

    Lately, though, I started seeing many blogs using the Meta still so I felt it needed a reinforcement :).

  • Frank

    Totally agree with you. The only “possible” useful links in the Meta sections are the XML/CSS validation links. If you want those stick them in the footer (small).

  • GnomeyNewt

    Totally. Remove that meta section people! I never understood why that part is automatically added to the theme, specially the login link to the admin section. Lots of scripts have admin login areas that are not linked anywhere.

  • Stefano

    login is useless )if users can’t register to the blog).

    however, about link to feed for those using feedburner, fb plugin (or some equivalent hack) should redirect them to feedburner. if not, link to feed in meta is an error, but you should still correct autodiscovery in header template.

  • Gary Bridgemaster

    Timely tip! I just started my blog a few days ago and was wondering about removing this section.

    I’ll be following your blog and looking through past tips.

  • Ramkarthik

    Daniel, thanks for the short and good tip. I have also seen few of my friends having like it. I’ll have to tell them to change it.

  • engtech @ internet duct tape

    and while you’re at it.. get rid of any thing that people aren’t clicking on.

    less distractions the better.

  • lomig

    it’s done. Thanks for the advice / tip !
    i completely forgot that it was at the bottom of my sidebar…

  • Amanda

    I always remove it. I call it the ugly section


    Good point Daniel. I don’t really understand why this is even default on WordPress. The validation links can be done in the dashboard, and the Admin link should be shown only when the admin is logged in.

  • Bret

    I removed this a long time ago and blogged about how it was taking up valuable real-estate in the sidebar. It’s nice to have if you want to view your site and then login, but completely unnecessary.

  • Community Building Blog

    I couldn’t agree more – the whole META sidebar is irrelevant and serves only a distraction to your content.

    – Martin Reed

  • Mike

    I do agree with everything you say, but you should make a mention and point to an post that I’m sure I’ve seen here before about redirecting all of the WP feeds back to the FeedBurner one using a plugin or otherwise. Then at least that the people who did sign up for the feed through that meta link will be counted in the subscriber stats.

  • MajoTajo

    I need my META it is easier for me to login and also for people to register and login. Why would I remove meta? So I would have to each time type in /wp-admin ?

  • Mike

    MajoTajo, just set up your admin page as a bookmark and you won’t have to type it.

    Also, why would you want to deal with people being able to register to your blog if you are not going to have them be authors of posts?

  • MajoTajo

    I keep their emails, update them on what is happening with the site, and I don’t really like to use bookmarks because I don’t just write post’s from my pc, but also from library, school, work 🙂

    Yes I do use subscribe to comments plugin , but again those emails sometimes are fake where by registering with my blog have to be valid emails :).

    Anyways if your blog is about you or some sort of money making thing yes I agree on removing it, but if your blog is just a blog that you write to help other bloggers I don’t see point of removing it.

  • William Profet ::

    This the first thing I do anyway when I install WP. Thank you for the reminder! 🙂

  • NewsScribe

    I liked having the Meta on my sidebar, because it was a nice shortcut to my admin page. Although this may not be such a good thing. I removed it, and the blog does look better.

  • GnomeyNewt

    @NewsScribe: You can put a link in your bookmarks/toolbars link section or on your homepage, if you have your own custom one.

  • JTPRATT’s Blogging Mistakes

    Great Tip! I usually do remove that section, but it’s still on a few of my blogs. I’m going to get it removed right away now! Also – seems like this last exploit in WordPress was some kind of XHTML deal anyway….

  • Maureen

    Can anyone tell a total newbie how to remove this section?? Thanks for a really helpful blog!

  • geri

    Wattah! It was insane! My blog is 1 year and a half, and I still have my Meta on the sidebar! I’m embarassed. lol 😆

    What about the Archives and the Calendar? Is it okay to remove it too from the sidebar? TIA

  • tom

    but HOW!?
    i’ve been trying to get rid of it for 2 days – this is the nearest i have found to someone even talking about it

  • skykid

    Sometimes it gets really hard to decide what is to stay and what do go from the sidebar. The Meta can be convenient , but I agree that it does not provide any value to the readers.

  • Sydney Web Design

    hi good tip, i’m building quite a few wordpress sites and like to see them looking great without all this clutter. I’m putting wordpress tips on my blog

  • B

    And now for the absolute beginner: how to actually remove the “Meta” thing?

    You guys just said it is a good idea, but how do you do it?

  • faziats

    To remove it, log into your Admin page.

    Appearance > Widgets >

    If you’ve added it, it should appear on the right hand side.

    Click on Edit > Remove > Save Changes.

  • Leanne Boyd

    Hmmm. I am on WP 2.7, using the Blue Grace theme. The only time the admin login link shows, is if I am logged in. When I log out, the admin link changes to “Register.” And the other link I’ve left there is Login/Log Out. I guess my question for all these folks who are taking out their Meta links section…. for your particular theme, is there another area for Registering? For logging in and out? On Blue Grace, this IS IT. I’ve taken a couple of other arbitrary links out of this Meta section, but I figure registering and logging in are kinda important. LOL.

  • Leanne Boyd

    P.S. And I strongly recommend that, before making any changes of this kind to the core pages… back them up, eh? Much easier than frantically searching the Codex when you make a big boo boo.

  • ultimateweb

    Removal is not simply explained. Apearance > Widgets > Remove is one thing but if a list of widgets is displayed in WP 2.7 and NONE are installed.. it’ll have to be removed from the theme itself.

  • headrheum

    I’ve just found an answer, check this one out:

  • Alex Newell

    I like the meta section on my blogs so it’s staying there! it is handy for logging in – and is does not have to be at all prominent

    There are WAY more important things to do on any blog…


    “Meta Is Better!”

  • John Pollard

    Stupid post IMHO without supplying the answer til 32-35 comments down. I’ve got a tip, Be Smarter than That!.

    My site was showing meta for some reason although it was not showing as listed in the widgets side bar section. Possibly for the reason 35 alluded to. To remove it I first added it to the right side, saved, and then took it out, and it disappeared if this helps anyone.

  • Narayan

    Ok How does one remove it? Nothing seems to be working. I have tried all advices so far.
    Yes, if you create them on right side and then remove it, well it dissappears, but the bottom section is always showing the META and everything else that is attached to it. Going nuts with this issue. Please if someone can help, I would appreciate it very much.

  • Antoony

    Yes, I agree. The META really should not need to be shown to visitors. It is useful for webmasters, but not for visitors. Except if the visitor is allowed to register, then the link to the login page is required.

  • Ant Gray

    I’d say, login and wp-admin links are useful, but last should be seen only by admin, of course. And they may be moved to main navigation bar, or footer. Because dedicated block in sidebar is too much.

  • Andy

    I got lazy and searched google rather than my dashboard for how to remove this. Seems obvious now. Thanks

Comments are closed.