A grid layout is when you want to show your posts and pages in a justified way. It makes websites look more professional while giving the visitor other options for reading more content. The real purpose of any given website is to keep the visitor engaged. What better way is there than to show pages that a reader may be interested in? While internal links from one page to another are beneficial, sometimes the display of the articles works even better.
Before you begin, you should bear in mind the difference between posts and pages. Posts are the content that you might add on a daily basis. Some people will write two or three posts per day to fill the site with content. Pages are the static materials that are often used for content that never changes. For instance, an “About Us” page is considered static and will remain in one location on the site indefinitely. The same could be said about “Contact” pages.
A WordPress grid layout is capable of focusing on specific categories when it comes to showing content for the website. For instance, you could show two rows of three columns all centered around your most popular material. This would show the visitor six different pages he or she could proceed to visit.
Usually a snippet of the post or page is available within content of a grid layout. These snippets are intended to interest the visitor by telling him or her the basis of the topic. This could inspire that person to click on the page or post in order to read the whole article.
On the Home Page
The home page is a great place to put a grid layout for additional content. Many owners will use this as a place to put the most recently created posts. Another good way to utilize the home page is to show the most popular categories. This information is found through tools such as Google Analytics. If someone visits the site directly, they will be shown what most visitors find interesting.
On Other Posts
A grid layout could be beneficial on the bottom of posts. Instead of visitors coming to an “end-of-content” scenario, they will see several other posts that are related. The extent of how these are related may be up to the plugin you use. However, posting content from the same category on the bottom of the post could help drive the visitor to continue reading.
Specific Static Pages
Another common use of a WordPress grid layout is to show specific static content on the “About Us” page. For example, a company could create bios regarding key employees on static pages and then show all of these on a single “About Us” area in a grid. This could be done with locations, services, key products and more. This helps reduce the clutter of having all of those pages listed while still making them accessible through the website.
Adding a Grid Layout to Your Website
The easiest method to include a grid layout is to install the right plugin. To do this, you go to the “Plugins” section of your WordPress dashboard. On the top, you’ll see a button for “Add New.” Once that is clicked, you’ll be able to enter in “grid layout” in the search box on the right hand side. You’ll be able to select from a wide variety of plugins based on your preferences. Here are three you may want to try:
1. Content Views
Content Views allow you to arrange the grid according to several key factors such as category, tags or even keywords. You can also arrange the grid according to chronological order based on ID numbers, dates or alphabetical titles. The Pro version of the plugin allows you to drag-and-drop fields in order to create that perfect look.
2. Post Grid
If you want simple, yet effective, Post Grid is an easy to use platform that gives you a great deal of control for creating grids on your website. One of the highlights to this plugin is the ability to share content on social media through sharing buttons. It also works with a few eCommerce plugins such as WooCommerce.
3. Page Builder
Not only does Page Builder give you the ability to arrange the layout in a grid, it also has a ton of other tools for design purposes. This plugin adds another tab to your editor and builds the layout directly into any page or post without the need for shortcodes.
Most WordPress grid layout plugins will utilize shortcodes. These are small snippets of codes specifically for WordPress that you can copy and paste into any page or post. We recently posted an article with more details on shortcodes for WordPress. Once the grid has been designed, this code can be placed anywhere you need it.
Grid Layout In a Theme
Some themes are capable of displaying a grid layout without additional plugins or code changes. These are often themes that are centered around news sites or artistic blogs. There are two common methods that themes will use for a grid layout: a) in the “Customize” screen, or b) as a widget.
Grid layouts are one of the best ways to keep people on your site and reading the content. Many visitors don’t want to sift through your website to find relevant material. Proper placement of these layouts can help boost the time spent on your site as well as enhance the capacity for leads and sales.
What kind of a layout does your website have? Are there certain pages your new visitors may be interested in reading other than the page they are visiting?