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3-column Web Design

Planning a website first and foremost means thinking about design. Where will your content go? Where will banner ads go? How can you best utilize your sidebar banners? You can create the world‘s best content in your niche but if your website visitors find it hard to navigate through your website and find that priceless content, then is it really wort it?


You may think that your only options are paying $1000+ for a professional website custom made by a designer or browsing through free template gallery and picking your theme which, to be fair, is a pretty hard thing to do. But whenever I talk to my clients, especially with someone who’s never had a website before, I recommend picking a 3-column layout and then altering everything to specific needs.


What to know about a 3-column layout


These days the opinion about 3-comumn layout is twofold. Some it consider a relic for the 90‘s, however many web designers I know as well myself beg to differ. We agree that the design that has been so popular throughout 90’s and 2000’s does have several disadvantages. But there‘s a reason why 3-column layout has been one of the most popular layouts. Therefore, with a few changes it can still do wonders to nearly every website.


If you choose 3-column layout, you need to make sure that:


  • Your website needs to look well on mobile. Mobile browsing is growing and 3-column layout is not the best choice for that compared to 2-column layouts. However, nowadays there are responsive 3-layout that adapt to various types of mobile devices.
  • Limit your content and ads on side columns. The main problem with 3-column layouts is the danger of too much content in one screen. When your website visitor has to choose between two articles or ads, that’s one thing. But if there are 10 pieces of content on each column it may lead to indecision from your readers.