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  1. #1
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    Should I use grid-structure in my newspaper site layout?

    I'm developing a complex newspaper style theme for WordPress. I want this theme to be customizable by many users (e.g. if I made it available to download).

    I'm torn as to whether or not I should go with a grid-based structure for this theme. Would that make it easier for end-users to change column widths, etc? By grid-based structure I mean something like grid960, Blueprint or this: http://www.webnicer.com/

    Do grids work well on other platforms (e.g. mobile phones)? Are they considered among the best practices? If you've used grids before in a client project, how easy have they been to maintain if the client wanted to make changes later on?

    Or would it be better to avoid the grids altogether?

    I need your opinions, thanks!

  2. #2
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    68 views yet no replies? I'll never understand these forums. Nobody here knows about CSS grids?

    Oh well. I'll give 'em a shot and come back to let you know how it goes, just in case somebody else comes around with the same question.

    Be well.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    There are plenty of people who know about CSS grids. But they probably don't understand why you posted this in the HTML and XHTML forum instead of the CSS forum.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  4. #4
    The CSS Clinic is open silver trophybronze trophy
    Paul O'B's Avatar
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    I never use grids and from the resulting mess that gets posted in these forums I wish others didn't either. You not only have to know css but you have to know the grid structure as well so now you are dealing with two layers of complexity.

    I'm sure they work very well for those that spend the time studying them but I can't see casual users taking the time or effort to maintain them.

    In fact I've been trying to debug a simple page for someone in the forums today and a simple fix was not possible because of the grid structure. It also took hours to debug as there were thousands of unused styles and looking through firebug to determine which style actually got applied was a nightmare. In fact there were several classes and ids from different locations applying to multiple elements which made a simple change impossible.

    I'm sure in the original form the grid was fine but once an inexperienced user gets hold of it then all bets are off

    However I may be in the minority as alll I see on here are the broken ones and not the ones that went well

    Sitepoint has some articles on grids here that may be of interest:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2009/...ss-frameworks/
    http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2009/...c-class-names/
    http://www.edgeoftheweb.org.au/program/kevin-yank/

  5. #5
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul O'B View Post
    I never use grids and from the resulting mess that gets posted ...
    Thanks for your comments, Paul. I keep hearing about things like CSS Frameworks and wonder if I'm missing out on something, but then I take a look and wonder what the attraction is. Your down-to-earth comments help put things in perspective, and produced a much-needed smile.
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  6. #6
    Resident curmudgeon bronze trophy gary.turner's Avatar
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    Along with Paul, I, too, see only the screw-ups. Among those tangled wads of brain cramping confusion, the generic blogging apps, (think Wordpress et al, for example) are the worst. They are overly complex to begin with, due to trying to be all things to all users.

    In its simplest form, grid 'systems' are not that bad, as long as you write your own, and limit the possibilities to a reasonable degree. Where we commonly use column based layouts at the top level, so-called grid based layouts are row oriented, each row broken into columns.

    Use a top down grouping of contexts, and keep the layout styling orthogonal, and there'll be few problems. Try to get cute with multiple configuration possibilities, and you'll create a whole pot load of problems.

    cheers,

    gary
    Anyone can build a usable website. It takes a graphic
    designer to make it slow, confusing, and painful to use.

    Simple minded html & css demos and tutorials

  7. #7
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    Grids sounds nice, but it's too restrictive for me. a collegue of mine who is designer decided to use the grid system, but ended up with a grid system supporting 24 and 36 columns. That way he had more control over the width of the columns. But still he had trouble fitting in banners that were of a specific size than didn't match up with his rigid grid system.
    I tried grid systems once, but I think Ican decide for myself how wide a column should be. On top of that: most designers don't care about grid systems, so grids aren't of much use to me as a web developer.


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