What about article layout?

What about article layout banner image

You may have noticed that this article has a slightly different (and hopefully better) look to it than my previous ones. How did I do this? Whilst reading articles on other blogs and websites which interest me, I forced myself to be aware of their layouts. What were they doing? What made their articles look good? Professional? Nice? Readable?

Before I start talking about how you can improve your article layout (the theories of which I have used on this article), I think it would be good to point out that you don’t have to follow anything I have written here. If your content is interesting and informative, not having any design skills is not the end of the world. If people get out of your article what they were expecting to, they will forgive you for not having a professional layout.

Breaking it up (or down)

Header Images

These are the large images that are at the top of the article. They are used to draw the reader in to read the article. They can also be used to explain pictorially what the article is about, as well as be used for the actual title of the article itself.

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It can also be used when you are posting the link to your article on say, Twitter so there is instant recognition when they come to your site – and know they are in the right place! 😉

Featured Images

What exactly are features images? The box is there but not everyone knows what exactly it does.

Image of features image option

They are an image (also known as a thumbnail) which is completely dependant on the theme that you are using. Some themes use them, some don’t. And if they do, it depends how they use the image to where it could be placed. But a lot of the time it will be placed above the title of the article, or just underneath it. It can also be used when showing a snippet of the article on a page or (again) Twitter. As an example, this theme displays the featured image directly under the title.


As the saying goes:

A picture is worth a thousand words

And this can be considered more true if you are using pictures and images to help explain something. As with featured images above, I used a screenshot of the WordPress feature so that it is instantly  recognisable what that section is about. Images are even more important when you are writing step-by-step instructions for using a piece of software, or showing comparison between the quality of two different cameras.

Image of the word Pow




A simple image can also be used to break up a lot of text. Sometimes a fun bit of clipart is all that’s needed. POW!


What we think, we become

Okay, not necessarily what I mean here, but there’s nothing wrong with a good quote. If you have a lot of text and you need to break it up, sometimes an image just won’t do. Or even you can’t think of the sort of image you could place there. This is where a quote could come in handy. Maybe you need to emphasise something in your text or inform people that scan our articles an important fact.

sometimes an image just won’t do

There are many reasons that you might want to use a quote in your articles:

  • You need to break up a lot of text
  • You want to emphasise an important point
  • You want to emphasise a quote from someone
  • To point out to people scanning your article there is something of worth here
  • When you find that an image isn’t relevant at that point

Whatever you use a quote for, they can be very useful to your audience.

Bullet Points

Bullet points are handy for lots of different reasons. As in the previous section, they were used to point out different reasons for using a quote. They are called un-ordered lists (ul if you are a coder!). If you are writing a set of instructions – showing someone how to use a piece of software, or bake a delicious apple pie, you will probably want to use numbered lists (called ordered lists – ol).

Bullets can also be indented further to create sub-points:

  • Why you would want un-ordered lists
    • Because they look cool
      • They have different designs
    • They can look professional


  1. First you would create an ordered list
    1. Click the button with the numbers
      1. Hover over the button
      2. Click mouse button
    2. Start typing
    3. Press enter to go to the next number
      1. Pressing tab will indent and start sub lists
    4. Pres enter twice to come back a level
  2. Press enter after final number twice to close

So there you can see how both types of lists work and what they are for.


I probably should have started with this one, but I got there eventually. Titles are extremely important when writing in article. They both help break up your article and give indications of what each section they ‘head’ is about. But you also have different levels of headings. For the main heading, you would use either H1 or H2, the next level down would be the next size down, and so on. This is also good for search engines as they use headers when indexing your site.

And so…

There we have it. Some simple pointers to help with the layout of your articles which I hope will be useful to you.

Have I missed anything? Do you have any further tips on improving the layout of articles? Feel free to comment below and let me know!