interesting, I don't know the answer but would like to hear from the experts. also, what about 2-col for the homepage and 1-col for single posts etc
I am starting a new site and I am wondering whether to go with 1-column page or shall I include a sidebar??
My home page will target a problem and sell a product that solves the problem. I will be targeting Search traffic and my site(wordpress based) would be a medium site, with 100 pages/posts. Except for the home page, most of my pages will be informative and the sales pitch will be minimal.
I want the site to look professional and nice but at the same time should have a good conversion. I know conv, depends on the content but for the sake of this discussion, lets assume that I have a good sales copy.
2-col: Most people have come across more 2-col sites than 1-col. So a 2-col design might be visually acceptable to them. Also, it makes the site look good and professional with proper navigation.
But there will be links on the sidebar to other pages of my site which, as I said before, will have less pitching. Now this might rob me some of my conversions.
1-col: I believe 1-col gives an impression that site is thin, probably spammy. And it doesn't looks not as professional as a 2-col site. But since there are no links to divert the visitor to other pages of my site, it might be possible that conversion will increase.
Whats ur take?
PS: when I say that 1-col site don't look professional, I don't mean portfolios etc. I am pointing toward content sites. I have never come across a 1-col content site that looks half as decent as a 2-col site.
Nobody to clear my doubts here???
I run a few one-column content sites, i.e. http://www.tuneaguitar.org/, and they do not perform any differently to my two-column content sites. They receive the same CTR.
I can't provide any advice in terms of sales copy - but personally, I'd go for a two-column.
Last edited by Charles; 31 October, 2010 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Wrong URL!
I'm no expert on design for CTR or conversions, but I can point to a 1 col site I created that gives me insane conversions
Admittedly the target market are people who are less familiar with the Internet, and conversions tend to be higher anyway, but the website itself certainly doesn't hurt the process.
If you want your home page to deliver maximum conversions to sales then it needs to be a sales page with a primary call to action i.e. 1 column
There are 2 aspects to this:
1. the traffic getting and pre-sales pages such as the blog
2. the sales conversion page (landing page)
Most marketers that are pushing a product have a single column sales page on a separate domain. Then there are many external sources pushing targeted visitors to this sales page.
I think you are headed in right direction, most of the good looking professional sites I see are single column home page, with 2 column content pages within the site to make for easier navigation.
HOWEVER, it really depends on how much content you have and what constitutes a "conversion" for you. Here is a site that I used with 3 columns because of the content volume and the multi-step conversion process.
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There is no "best" template for conversions when comparing 1 column or 2 column. A great web designer who knows what it takes to get customers to convert can make each of those templates convert with equal success.
There are too many other factors on the page that affect conversion to even consider trying to boil it down to 1 column vs. 2 colums. Whether the page is 1 column or 2 columns is probably the LEAST important conversion factor.
Looking at your need, I believe one column site (homepage) would work great in conversions and as you already sorted a nice solution, other pages can have 2 columns. However, there are many great themes available that has all navigation nicely sorted at footer so your visitors don't get lost on one page.