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Which is the best blog layout – 2 columns vs. 3 columns

Jun16

Written by:
2010/06/16 12:25 PM RssIcon

Layout and design is so critical to a successful blog and website. Get it wrong and you will struggle for months even years to get traffic and loyal readers.

Most blogs nowadays have themes or templates that pre-determine the design and layout of a blog or site. The most common ones that I have seen and used are layouts that are presented in either two or three columns.

I have traditionally used a three column layout with the content column being the larger middle column. But my question to you is which one is best?

I would like you honest opinion as to why you use a particular column layout and why you think it is best. I am striving to make my blog better and better. This is just one way in which I can do so. With your help I can achieve this.

If you have noticed, I just recently change the layout of my blog. Still a three column layout that mimics a Two column layout.

Advantages of a two column layout

  • Two-column-layout Most common – So many blogs have this layout. It is well known and accepted.
  • Thinner Layout – You don’t want those pesky horizontal scroll bars with smaller resolutions.
  • More space for content – With the main content area bigger you have more space for content.
  • Key content more visible – With the main content area bigger, it tends to be more visible.
  • Faster load time – With less information the site should load faster.
  • Appears less cluttered – This is due to the wider sidebar area over the two thinner side bars of a three column layout. Appearances can be deceiving though.
  • More content above the fold – With a wider content column your readers will be able to see more content without the need to scroll.

Advantages of a three column layout

  • three-column-layout Centred content – With a three column layout the main content window is generally centred on the page. This feels better for me and is easier to read. A symmetrical balanced design.
  • Main content is longer – Generally you won’t have more content on your side bars than on your main content area. This will then be longer. This sig­nif­i­cantly decreases the chance of your side­bars span­ning far­ther down the page than your con­tent area, and makes for a more aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing experience.
  • More willing to scroll – People are more willing to scroll to read content than to read side bar information
  • More information on the side bar – A three column layout has more side bar real estate, allowing you to place more side bar information there.

Your Thoughts

So what do you think? Help me out here. Tell me which layout you prefer and why. Tell me why you think I should change my layout or why I should change. Should I compromise and have a merging of the two?

What say you?

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