Sharepoint templates - i can't edit it

I am trying to get to grips with sharepoint and i’ve managed to edit the master templates and create page templates but when i apply them to my site it doesn’t seem to affect the main content area. There are 2 columns on the homepage which contain divs with a border which go full screen. My template should have a menu floated to the left which doesn’t appear and the content area should be much smaller.

The pic below shows the divs including a few random ones that make the page really long and are empty. I can’t delete them or work out how to edit the page structure. The ‘edit’ function doesn’t do a lot and i can only add or amend webparts to the existing structure.

Any help appreciated.

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