What is a grid website structure? Do Web Projects Need it?

What is a grid website structure?

Are you fed up with messy, unorganized website layouts?

Let me Introduce the grid website framework, a visually attractive and well-organized approach to website development.

This structure not only improves the user experience but also the overall appearance of your website.

Continue reading to learn more about the grid website structure. I will explain how it may help your website reach new heights.

Well, being a part of a professional Gippsland web design team helped me to get an idea of this great method.

The meaning of a grid website structure

A grid website structure refers to the use of a grid layout in designing and building a website.

A grid website structure refers to the use of a grid layout in designing and building a website.

The grid layout is a series of intersecting lines that divide a webpage into rows and columns, creating a series of cells.

Normally, the grid is used to arrange the content of the webpage such as buttons, texts, photos, and videos in an organized and structured way.

This approach helps to create a consistent and balanced visual hierarchy, making it easier for users to find and understand the information they are looking for.

I wanted to emphasize, in web design, grid-based layouts are considered a fundamental tool for creating a harmonious and unified visual design.

Also, according to the W3C(World Wide Web Consortium) the use of grids “can improve the visual structure and legibility of a web page”.

Elements of Grid Website Structure

basic elements of a grid layout of a website
Elements of a grid layout of a website

Examples of grid website structure

Following are some examples for the websites which use grid layouts

Website
Main Features
Type of Design
Category of Website
www.behance.net
Responsive design
Minimalistic
Portfolio
www.shopbop.com
Grid layout for products
E-commerce
Fashion
www.nytimes.com
Grid layout for articles
Blog
News
www.youtube.com
Grid layout for thumbnails
Video sharing
Entertainment
www.upwork.com
Grid layout for projects
Professional
Freelancing

Advantages of using a grid layout

Organization

Grids give a clear and ordered basis for layout. So, it always help me to build consistent and visually appealing layouts.

Flexibility

I always understand the structure of a grid-based website within a couple of seconds. This helps me to do simple changes to the website quickly without damaging the consistency, which helps me to save lots of time.

Responsiveness

I can easily rearrange grids and alter the design to match with different screen sizes.

Accessibility

The grid-based websites give a clear picture of the navigation. So, this layout ensures that any user can access my website and navigate without any hassle.

Efficiency

Usually, I design a single grid layout for a web page and reuse that for all other similar pages, or maybe for some sections. This method always accelerates my website projects.

How grid layout enhances the User Experience?

A grid’s structure and organization provide a clear and consistent visual hierarchy. This makes it simple for users to navigate through the website and discover the information they are looking for.

Also, grids make it easy to construct flexible designs that adapt to multiple screen sizes. So the consumers have a great experience no matter what device they use.

As a very responsible web designer, I always want any user to navigate the websites even though they have a disability or are not familiar with the technology.

According to the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, using a consistent layout and clear visual hierarchy in a website can make it easier for people with cognitive or visual impairments to navigate.

Well, this is what a grid layout does! So, using a grid layout, I can construct accessible websites that are useable by people with disabilities without any hassle.

Types of grid layout in web design

Fixed Grid

A fixed grid has a given number of columns and rows, and the grid’s elements are put in specific locations. Usually, I use this grid layout for my clients’ portfolio websites.

Fluid Grid

In this layout, columns and rows resize to fit the size of the viewport. Therefore this grid layout is more suitable for responsive designs.

Basic structure of a Fluid grid layout for a webpage
Structure of a Fluid grid layout for a webpage

Semi-Fluid Grid

In this layout, you may see the features of both fluid grid and fixed grid. That means, even though the layout is fixed, some elements adjust their size based on the viewport.

Most of the times, I prefer this layout when I want to take control of the layout while providing a better experience for the users in any device.

Modular Grid

Modules are the base of this layout. If there is a group of grids repeated in a grid, we can consider that group as a module.

Well, I always use this type of layout for ecommerce website development projects.

example for a modular grid layout for a website
An example for a modular grid layout used in one of our ecommerce websites

Asymmetrical Grid

There’s no fixed number of columns and rows for this layout. And, the grid may contain elements with different widths and heights.

I’d say, this is the type of layout which gives the web developer more freedom to play with the layout. So, if the client asks for a more dynamic and creative design, I always go with this layout.

Hierarchical Grid

In this type of layout, the hierarchy of the site is obvious to the visitors. For that, the structure is defined based on the level of importance.

I often use this layout for content driven websites like blogs

Column Grid

A column grid can have any number of columns. However, 12 and 16 column grid layouts are the most common types.

12-grid layout for websites
Structure of the 12-grid column layout
16-grid column layout structure
Structure of the 16-grid column layout

You can use Bootstrap to create column grids easily.

Tools and resources for creating a grid layout

Name of the tool
Features
Grid Designer
Can export the code in different formats
The interface is very simple
Bootstrap Grid Generator
Generates custom Bootstrap grid layouts
Can export as CSS or SASS code
Responsive design
CSS Grid Generator
Create custom CSS grid layouts
Customize the number of columns, rows and gutters
Can export the code as CSS
960 Grid System
Widely used for creating fixed grid layouts
Based on a 960px wide container
Compatible with most web browsers

Website grid calculators [online tools]

I often use these tools to quickly do the math and build the fundamental grid layouts.

However, I recommend double-checking the values to make sure that the layout looks good on all platforms.

Apart from that, remember that each website’s design may have unique requirements, so you might need to change the layout later.

Best practices for designing a grid website

Create a clear grid structure

Deciding the grid structure is the most important part of creating a grid layout.

First things first, I always decide the number of columns and the gutter value for the layout before kicking off any web project.

Ensure simplicity

Complicated layouts will always lead you to confusion. That’s why I always recommend trying to keep your grid’s design as simple and straightforward.

Utilize whitespace

The space around and between elements in an element of a website is known as whitespace or negative space.

If you want to maintain the harmony of the web page, you must pay attention to use white space well. More importantly, then the users will find it easy to read the content on your website.

Conclusion

I’ve been using grid layouts for all most all of my website design projects for a number of years. However, there were several projects in which I had to deviate from the grid so that, I can make the design more appealing.

Another thing I should tell you before ending this article is, you must use other design aspects like typography, colour, spacing, graphic, etc. to make your website more user-friendly and appealing.