There are a lot of great themes out there, and many of them feature a sensible graphic design concept: COLUMNS.
<- Look over here,
Look over there ->
And you can probably see some! Yet the themes are so controlled that you can’t just create a miscellaneous post and put columns inside. Until you install the EZ Columns plugin. What this does is give you fine-tuned control over the look-and-feel of your post, just like in a word processor or brochure creator. Have a look at this page here. Notice how the text takes up 2/3 of the horizontal space and the photo takes up 1/3. This very simple layout would not typically be possible in wordpress without specialized css (and you do not want to go there). What this plugin does for you is format the content css behind the scenes and leave you with little codes to implement them. For example, here is what that page looks like under the hood:
Notice that the EZ Columns plugin adds a few new icons to your post editor and inserts codes into your post. The plugin inserts those little “ezcol_1third” tags which are instructions for how to render the columns on the final post. This page uses the “ezcol_1third” tag to tell the photo to take up one column, then the “ezcol_2third” tag to tell the text to take up the two thirds worth of space left over. The “_end” at the end of the tag just indicates that tag as the last one before going on to the next row.
Once you learn the codes and play around with them for a bit, this can be a hugely helpful way to lay out your posts & pages in a way your theme doesn’t directly allow. On this page, the top is spread out one-third-two-thirds, but the middle section is a four-column grid set up using the “ezcol_1fourth” tag.
The last thing that is awesome about this plugin is the very important fact that it works on smartphones and tablets. If you didn’t know it yet, about 60% of all web traffic now comes from devices, not laptops or desktops anymore. So it is crucial that your web is what the IT world calls “responsive,” that’s a tech term that means the same website changes shape to respond to the screen size in which it must display. EZ Columns is a smart plugin which wraps the columns so they stack vertically if there’s not enough room for them to stack horizontally.
If you haven’t done so, now is the time to pull up your web page on as many devices as you can access, and go through every single page of your website and make sure it is responsive. Today, most themes are fine, but you must stay vigilant as things constantly change. One poorly rendered web page is enough to kill your credibility and leave you behind for the next big thing.
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.
Victor Davis is the author of one short story collection, Grains of Sand, and is publishing a second book, The Gingerbread Collection, in the spring of 2016. He shares his writing and reading adventures at his blog Mediascover. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. His Books & Stories are available on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.