Two Content Columns, No Sidebar

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there is no sidebar on this site. (The closest we come are the widget space in the footer.) Instead, we’ve got an extra wide window, with two columns of content. This was something that grew out of sitting in the Post Formats session at WordCamp Portland 2011 (liveblog transcript found here and here). Basically, post formats allow you to format different types of posts in different ways (similar to how Tumblr works).

If you are already sorting content by type, why not take it a step further and sort content within the page layout as well? For me, it made the most sense to sort my content into long-form and short-form sections. That way, no matter how many links or tweets I post, longer articles still get the time and attention I’d like to afford them, despite being more infrequent.

The process of doing this wasn’t too bad in execution, though I did end up spending a long time exploring the WP_Query entry on the WordPress Codex, since I’ve not done much query tweaking in the past. Basically, I tweaked the CSS of the page to be wider tweaked, the div this template wraps the sidebar in to be wider, then commented out the sidebar itself. Then I made two queries, one for each column. The second column simply searches for the last 20 posts in either the “aside” format, the “status” format, or the “link” format (basically all posts that should never be more than, say, a short paragraph). The first column searches for the last 10 posts that AREN’T in “aside”, “status”, or “link”. This was necessary because “standard” posts have no searchable post-format slug to query against. Simple, eh?