How to Choose a Content Layout for Your WordPress Blog
It’s no surprise that people will judge your blog based on its looks. But should you then give up on using tools to improve your blog writing, or learning the finer points of Gutenberg, or tackling at least the basics of Elementor? Of course not! Even though people will look at your blog posts as much – and maybe even more – as they’ll read them, you’ll still want the contents, the words, to be top-notch.
But you also know that you have to arrange those words so that they conform to how people read. You know that you can’t post blocks of text without any breaks and expect people to work their way through it. So while you have to be mindful of the layout of every blog post you create, you also have to think about how the content as a whole will be presented. You need to think about the content layout for your WordPress blog.
In this article, we’ll show you:
Whether you like to think about them like that or not, websites are very functional digital assets. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a blog’s content page or a landing page for an online store, these digital objects are there to present some kind of information and enable the users to perform some kind of action. This barebones approach is to a large extent supported by a layout.
The way different information and elements are selected to appear on a page and then given their place will make or break the page. Ideally, the layout is what the person designing your website uses to showcase the most important information for the visitor. A good layout can also guide the user’s attention to a certain element on a page, like a call-to-action.
It wouldn’t be fair to call layouts instruments of visitor manipulation. They are also there to provide the best estimate of the information that’s important to the user. But a layout can also be the gentle guiding hand getting the users to perform certain tasks.
You should also remember that we are beings that have evolved to place our sense of vision above all the others, at least that’s what one would think based on how much of our brains’ processing power we allot to it. Choosing the proper layout can greatly enhance the user experience by making the website – or in your case, blog – more navigable both in the sense that users can easily find ways to move around the blog and find what they want on any given page.
Another thing that content layouts tend to do is provide a sense of predictability and familiarity. By employing some of the standard content layout options your visitors are already familiar with, you’re cutting down the time they need to get their bearings around the blog. So while you’re free to explore the limits of your WordPress page builder, you’ll do just as well, and possibly better, by sticking with the classics.
Grid Content Layout
Belletrist – Blog Theme for Writers
The grid content layout is incredibly popular in websites that have nothing to do with blogging but have plenty of content to share. When you go to YouTube, for example, the main page will display videos in a grid – possibly separated into different categories. Either way, you’ll see content displayed in several columns and rows that are uniform in size – the hallmarks of the grid content layout.
This type of layout is very practical if you have lots of content to share with your blog visitors and you want to get as much of it as possible in front of them as soon as possible. Maybe not ideal for a fledgling blog, but an older, the more established blog can do wonders with this type of layout. Just don’t forget to include a search box somewhere, to help out the visitors who are looking for something specific that might be hard to find in the wealth of content you’re serving.
You should also pay special attention to the design of each element of the grid. You’d be surprised how much information a grid layout will let you pack into a content card – you can have an eye-catching photo, a legible title, and even a subtitle or a short excerpt for additional information. Or you can let the visuals speak for themselves if you’re running that kind of blog.
Masonry Content Layout
Kolumn – Blog Theme
The masonry content layout is like a grid content layout in that it uses those content boxes to pack images, headlines, and excerpts in them. It’s unlike the grid content layout in that it doesn’t uniformly display them – the size and the placement of different elements varies, providing a more dynamic experience.
Don’t let the lack of uniformity of size and shape fool you, though – this blog layout can look extremely well-balanced. The trick is in the gaps between the “tiles” – they give this layout that sense of order that offsets the varying size of the “tiles.”
The masonry content layout serves perfectly when you want some pieces of content to stand out from the crowd. Because you’re not obligated to keep them in a strict grid and the same size, you can easily take out some of the pieces you find most valuable, boost their size and give them a more prominent placement on the page.
Single-Column Content Layout
Allure – Beauty & Fashion Blog Theme
Single-column is arguably the best known, possibly even the oldest, blog content layout. Imagine a page, and the page isn’t divided into any columns – all the space devoted to content presentation forms a single column. That’s what a single-column content layout looks like.
The downside of this layout is that it doesn’t present many pieces of content all at once. The plus side is that it can present the content in much greater detail. The single-column layout is incredibly flexible and open to experimentation. You can have huge, full-width featured images for every article, together with a title, subtitle, and a short excerpt.
You can also have content boxes that push the image to the side and focus more on the textual contents of the pieces of content. It’s almost like the grid-style content card spread out horizontally and afforded more space for more words.
But if you prefer not to use visuals at all, you can simply use this layout to list the articles and their subtitles one after another – people usually scan the content on a page, after all. This type of layout is playing into that particularly well.
Multi-Column Content Layout
EasyMeals – Food Blog WordPress Theme
Instead of having a single column, you can add another one or two to your layout. If you add too many of them and populate them with the same kind of content, you’ll create something along the lines of a grid layout. You want to use those extra columns for something special.
For example, you can add a column that contains the tags for each of the posts in the main column. Besides that column, you can add another one that contains, for example, content cards for the most read or most popular, or simply related pieces of content on your blog. It can also contain your biography or some other information about the blog.
When you’re choosing a content layout for your blog, you shouldn’t forget to listen to your guts. The layout will become a part of your blog’s visual identity, and as the mastermind behind the blog, you’ll get to pick how your blog looks, too.
Apart from that, you’ll want to take a hard, long look at the kind of content you are currently producing for your blog, and what you plan to do in the future. Here’s something you should ask yourself:
How image-heavy do I want my content to be? Will I have access to high-quality visuals?
What kinds of posts am I creating? Am I going for quantity or quality (neither being a bad decision)?
How often do I think I’ll be able to publish content on my blog?
Do I have multiple categories of content I wish to produce? Do WordPress taxonomies come into play?
What device do people use to access my blog? What’s their preferred layout?
The answers to these questions might nudge you towards choosing one blog content layout over the other. You shouldn’t be afraid to change things up – much like rebranding or website redesign, a change of layout can bring a much-needed breath of fresh air to a blog.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Most of what we do online as creators – writers, designers, page builders, even admins – is to cater to the tastes of the people who consume our creations. It’s rarely a good idea to make it harder to enjoy the products of our work, so we spend a lot of time making our content user-friendly.
For people who design websites, and who are in charge of figuring out a blog content layout, this means presenting the content in a way that balances the most appealing elements of the content itself with the established ways of displaying things and the boundaries set by page builders. The results usually fall in one of the established categories, though, so don’t worry if you’re in charge of coming up with a content layout for a blog.