Why are most themes in 2-column?? (26 posts)

  1. healthgurl
    Posted 9 years ago #

    The 3 column format offers so much more real estate, that I'm surprised I can't find more.

    Is there an issue of bugs with the 3-column format?

  2. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I find most 3 column theme to be too busy.
    (says me creating a 3 col for his next theme....)

    And 'real estate' depends on screen size ?

  3. Kassad
    Posted 9 years ago #

    It is just that an average blogger needs only that much functionality. Those, who keep more informational sites favor the three column layout.

  4. healthgurl
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Is is a big pain to modify an existing 2-column theme into a 3-column?

    Themes I like:
    Blix (who doesn't like blix :) )
    North-West Coders
    Minimalist plus

  5. archshrk
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I use Treacle http://wordpress.org/support/topic/31553 for my main site http://archshrk.com

    Most of the 3-column themes I've seen are too 'flat' for my tastes. Trisexual Theme is also good except the colors are too busy for me. http://wordpress.org/support/topic/45077.
    I'll have to look into other ones. Links would help.

  6. healthgurl
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Thanks for the link to jarkolicious! That's one pretty theme...

    I don't mind the colors, it's all the links, that make it 'busy' for my eyes. BUT, I'm nitpicking on that...it's REALLY a lovely, very professional-looking theme.

  7. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    "Blix (who doesn't like blix :) )"
    Me !

    "a big pain to modify an existing 2-column theme into a 3-column?"
    It is not as easy as it looks if you are unfamiliar with css.

  8. healthgurl
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Podz, PODZ...you don't like Blix?!?! Tsk, tsk...

    I think it's awesome. Nice, simple, easy-on-the-eyes. But I'm having a visual love affair with a couple of new themes I've seen today.

    I wish there were some easier ways to find some of the better-looking themes. I've used the 'viewer' here, but it seems that some of the better looking ones have made it in... (Not 'griping'...just commenting :) )

  9. archshrk
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I like the subtlty of this theme
    I didn't even realize it was 3-columns at first because the right-most column is for flickr previews.

    But if you really want a mind blower look at this 4-column theme...

  10. I use 2 because it's all I need and 3 is messy.

  11. TechGnome
    Posted 9 years ago #

    "Blix (who doesn't like blix :) )"
    Me !

    Me neither. Not a big fan of it. Of course I'm not a big fan of a lot of the canned themes out there. 75% of them pretty much look the same. Mine included no doubt. There's only so much one can realy do on the originality front. I usualy find it easier to create my own.

    I prefer 2 col layouts primarily because content should be king. You get more than 2 cols, and your "side" info starts to become the focal point. I try (note "TRY") to keep the side bar for navigation, and a few extra tidbits. Take a look at my latest work. In my opinion it's clean, simple and elegant, and allows the content to remain at the focal point of the view.

    However, blogs are supposed to be personable at the same time, and have a tendency to reflect the personality of the writer. There's nothing wrong with that.


  12. vkaryl
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Could have never produced "blix", far as I'm concerned. NOT my idea of a "neat" theme, and it's a royal PITA to work with from a lot of angles. Just do a search - there are probably a hundred threads in the last few months about problems of various kinds with it....

  13. moshu
    Posted 9 years ago #

    If you try to help WP users here in the forum - you start to hate Blix because of the zillion questions (as vkaryl pointed out).
    Simple? Simple, my a**... :) - Newbies should be banned from using it (OK, it's not the only one in this category).

  14. healthgurl
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I've looked at a LOT of blogs, and I still really like blix because it's clean with lots of white space.

    Hey Moshu, I like yours, too!! I REALLY like white space :)

    I've hired someone to install and 'fix' blix for me, so hopefully it will turn out ok.

    To me, the design doesn't get in the way of the content, and it's easy to navigate around the blog.

    What type of problems have people been having? I won't be making a ton of mods...once it's loaded, and my header is customized, I'm only going to be blogging.

  15. James Huff
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 9 years ago #

    What type of problems have people been having [with Blix]?


  16. katie1
    Posted 9 years ago #

    After scouting about a zillion themes, I finally picked Blix as my starting board because it was clean and uncluttered which I happen to like. I'm not one for LOUD colours or loud themes, either, for that matter and Blix is neither of those.

    In keeping with the learnng process, I've since modified the theme severely to suit myself, and my needs and I haven't had any probs with it re:coding or design.

    I converted the original Blix theme into a 3 col liquid layout without any difficulties or problems and to answer HealthGurl's query, No. I don't believe converting existing 2 column layouts into 3 column layouts to be any more difficult than crafting a 2 column layout from scratch.

    If you know CSS & HTML and you have the time and patience you can craft anything from anything.

    "To suggest baning newbies from using Blix", which IS A CLEAN LOOKING THEME is ridiculous and a narrow point of view, even jokingly. Because if you did, actually, do that then you'd have to ban everyone (newbies) from using WordPress.

    Let's face it: you support guys/girls get a hellva lot MORE requests for help from newbies using WP than one CLEAN LOOKING Theme.

  17. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    you support guys/girls get a hellva lot MORE requests for help from newbies using WP than one CLEAN LOOKING Theme.
    Wanna bet ?
    The default theme looks clean - we get thousands of questions just on that.
    Blix ? We get lots too.

    And I for one don't care how "clean looking" it is - if it doesn't work properly, predictably and be usable for your average person then it should not have been released.

  18. katie1
    Posted 9 years ago #

    You pose an interesting point of view, podz.

    While I agree that all themes should be... "properly, predictably and be usable for your average person"... I’m interested in knowing how one defines an average person?

    In terms of knowledge, what would be the clear benchmark required before allowing said person to use publicly offered themes?

    I’m also interested in knowing how one defines a theme to be “properly, predictably and be usable�. I encountered nil problems with Kubrick's or Blix theme – but I also know CSS & HTML. I’ve also learned the basics to php, which up until I actually became a WP member I didn’t know existed.

    On the whole I try to self-resolve my own issues, even if it takes me days or weeks before I concede and actually submit a support request.

    On a purely educational note, it would be interesting to run a Poll on theme usability by wordpress members. As part of this Poll there should be a section that asks to what degree of CSS & HTML & php knowledge one has.

    Perhaps then there might be a clearer understanding as to where the majority of problems arise - theme or something else. What do you think?

  19. Beel
    Posted 9 years ago #

    IF I were podz I would mean that the theme should come "fully assembled and in proper working order" regardless of the user's level of expertise - which some do not.

    I haven't used or perused Blix so I don't have any input on it, but as long as WP is fully customizeable and not "They can have any color they want, as long as it is black" there will be "support" (do it for me) questions.

    I have been around quite awhile and it seems the majority of problems are not really "problems" but the inexperienced attempting changes, often major, in both the css and php output. That lack of experience often results in new threads started without doing much, if any, "legwork" on one's own. This includes the simple task of searching for an answer before posting (at least 3 threads on the sidebar "dropping" in IE were started today). That's just the way 'tis.

  20. katie1
    Posted 9 years ago #

    On that I agree. Most threads started in your forums are by members attempting major changes to their beloved themes, and doing so without knowledge or understanding on how things work. I also agree that the majority of threads started in the forums are by some - not all - members who haven't taken the time to learn required aspects of this new toy.

    So you're completely right. That's just the way it is.

  21. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    What Beel said :)

    I'd add that I know no php, but I do know how to reverse my mistakes.

    "As part of this Poll there should be a section that asks to what degree of CSS & HTML & php knowledge one has."
    Anyone who said 'excellent' to CSS ... in comparison to who ? Eric Meyer ? Dave Shea ? Me ? You ?

    There still persists this ridiculous notion that people need to know PHP to use WordPress, yet no-one says they need to know Perl to use MT, or .NET to use Sharpreader, or C# to use a zillion other programs.

  22. katie1
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Nor is it implied that members need know css & html in order to use wordpress, but knowing both would certainly help, and I’d imagine, cut down on the influx of support requests that stem from theme changes. As a support maven, one who puts in hours of volunteer time you would surely have to agree.

    I’m not here to start quarrels or create disharmony. As a new member I was under the impression that an open invitation was extended to all to join in on forum topics and conversations so to enrich WordPress with different views, opinions and knowledge.

    Whilst I made reference to the fact that I had undertaken learning of php for myself, I did not in any way make reference that everyone should undertake this learning curve in order to establish a website powered by WordPress. I have done so simply because it interested me and nothing more.

    I may not be a support maven but I would like to think that I can contribute something to this project, even if my something challenges people to think in broader terms.

  23. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I'm not picking any arguments either :)
    It gets frustrating when we see people say "My sidebar is wrong but I don't know PHP to fix it". It's not entirely their fault they think that way and just that frame of thinking means people cannot start to see the actual problem.

    Like Beel (and others) I've been here a while and despite the fact that the forums are very busy, the nature of the questions changes over time. 18 months ago, we had CHMOD questions coming out of our ears, then CSS leapt to the fore and now it's what you see. I think the other part of the equation is that people neither expect their work to break nor expect to have to fix it. I'm sure like me that you have learned more by breaking something than not. The fact that many many sites get direct help from here yet never mention that fact also leads others to believe that it is all 'simple' when in fact it's all quite complex at times.

    There are actually many themes out there for which I cannot recall a single forum request for help with. This could mean that their users have searched and found, but it also reflects that for some themes their authors have taken time to write clean, well-commented css, that they have put a README into the theme folder too so that when a user wants to change something, all the major pointers are there. It's no secret that I dislike the default css simply because it is not written with the 'default' user in mind - with a lot of comments, some reorganisation and a decent README it would be fine - as it is it still causes problems for people.

    And I don't mind questions about theme changes - they mean that we can sometimes come across new ways of doing things - but what I mind a lot is the same theme generating the same questions over and over. I would bet that if we required that everyone here who had received help must display a "Fixed by the Forums" button then theme authors (among others) may take more care - if they want their url everywhere and any kudos that goes with it, then do the work and earn it please.

    And every contribution here is very welcome :)

  24. katie1
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I'm smiling – grinning actually - because when you get going, you flow.

    Podz, in case no one has mentioned this before, your input and vast knowledge of wordpress - as well as other topics - is greatly appreciated, even when you're feeling incredibly frustrated. Kudos for keeping it in check when helping the unenlightened.

  25. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I do ? :)

    With regard to your second point, the thanks has to go to everyone who takes the time to come here and answer a question. In a discussion in #wordpress recently, the point was made that while coding has some l33tn3ss attached to it, support is a thankless task. I disagreed. I said that Matt may be a hero to many for what he does with WP, but everyone who answers a question for someone becomes their hero too. It never fails to make me smile when I see a "THANKS!!!!" or similar here and I would be amazed if others didn't like that either. (Which is another reason why it is so very important that people come back - it not only helps close out threads but can also act as an incentive for someone to answer another question).
    The forums overall are due to the input and behaviour of the vast majority of users - not just a few individuals.

    And as for frustration - it beats all of us at times - and as twee as this sounds, if you can remember that a question is only difficult when you don't know the answer, if you have that answer, help :)

  26. qxcvz
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Very interesting thread to read, here. I see WP's little nuances as a fun puzzle. Not knowing php or css properly makes it all the more exciting... ;)

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