Sidebar is taking a break

I started Sidebar in the fall of 2012. At the time my vision was to create a “Hacker News for design”, a place where designers could come to showcase their work and discover new resources.

As often happens with these things, the vision changed a bit along the way, and the end result was a design newsletter. No comments, debates, or editorials. Just five links, every day.

Since then, I’ve tried to never miss a day – or if I did, catch up the following morning. The only concession I made to the grind was switching from seven days a week to five a few years in.

But now, over a decade later, I think it’s time for me to take a break for a variety of reasons.

The Reasons


The me of ten years ago thought nothing of allocating half an hour every single day to look for interesting design links. These days though, I have to confess I often find myself wishing I could get those 30 minutes back.

I now run the State of JavaScript and State of CSS developer surveys (among others) and that takes up a lot of my time. I also have two young kids, and despite my best efforts they are not yet good enough at web development to be able to help in any meaningful ways (although the three-year-old is showing promise).

That lack of time makes it very hard to maintain the site, which runs (very poorly) on an out-of-date codebase that is in dire need of an upgrade, and as a result many issues have gone unfixed over the last couple years.


I could justify the time expenditure when Sidebar was self-sustaining, but for a while now the site has cost far more to run than it makes. It turns out, sending 20 emails a month to about 60,000 people costs quite a bit of money!

It’s admittedly my fault for not working harder at getting sponsors, but again: no time.

Elon Musk has done many great things for humanity, such as pioneering new and innovative ways to reduce his own wealth and reputation at a speed rarely before witnessed. But one misstep on his otherwise-stellar résumé was his decision to restrict the Twitter API.

As a consequence, I’ve had to drop Twitter authentication as a log-in method in favor of plain old email/password, which has resulted in a huge increase in the number of spam submissions to the site.

In parallel, design content seems to have either dried up, or else been driven to platforms like Medium and Substack, which I try to avoid linking to (because of intrusive pop-ups, paywalls, etc.)

Also, a number of other sites which I relied on for finding content have also either closed down, or switched to a less frequent newsletter-only format, meaning sifting through my feeds and social media to find links is becoming more of a hassle every day.


I’m not exactly sure how any of this is AI’s fault but it seems like these days blaming AI for anything that goes wrong online is a safe bet, so I might as well join the trend.


Can’t you just hire someone?

I’m sure a more competent and better organized person would simply hire someone else and delegate fixing all the above issues to them. But even hiring and managing someone takes time and focus that I don’t have right now.

Why not sell Sidebar?

Even though Sidebar feels like a very personal project, I wouldn’t be totally opposed to selling it. The big issue is that Sidebar’s value comes in its audience, and I would rather let the project die than betray the trust of Sidebar subscribers by selling their email addresses to an unscrupulous entity.

For that reason, any sale would have to be to someone that the Sidebar audience already knows, trusts, and respects in the web design community. If that’s you, feel free to get in touch.

When is Sidebar coming back?

It might be a few months until I can clear my plate and circle back to working on Sidebar again. Hopefully once I manage to have a couple weeks of free time ahead of me I can come back to the site and give it the attention it deserves.

I’m going to keep the current Sidebar site up at Just this one time, you might have to ignore an SSL warning or two until I can figure out how to set up that domain name properly…

There are still some great sites and newsletters out there for design news and links:

Look at that. I guess I just can’t stop myself from compiling design links after all…


If you’ve made it this far, then I’m going to assume you’ve read or subscribed to Sidebar at some point in the past decade. In which case: thank you! I’ve loved running this little site all that time, and only wish I could’ve done an even better job.

In the meantime, let’s keep in touch on Mastodon.

– Sacha Greif