The Rule of Thirds is a design principle stretching back to ancient times. It’s related to the Golden Ratio of Pythagoras and Euclid. Architects and artists (including Leonardo da Vinci) have used it for centuries. Your mobile phone camera invites you to use the Rule of Thirds by overlaying a grid in your viewfinder.
The Rule of Thirds divides your visible area – whether you’re dealing with a website screen (not the entire page!) or an individual photo or image – into a grid of nine equally spaced squares or rectangles. The columns are all the same size and the rows are all the same size. This might give you nine squares, if your original image is a square – but most often it gives you rectangles.
Place important elements on your page or in your image along these lines or their intersection points, to create a greater sense of balance and interest.
Here’s an example:
While the basic layout of your website can’t be altered without changing your WordPress theme, you can apply the Rule of Thirds as you put content on the page. For example, an image with text wrapping around it should only be about one third of the width of the content area. (Because the Visual Editor in WordPress is not a true WYSIWYG editor, remember that you will need to “play” with the size of an image, checking how large it looks in the content area by looking at the page that visitors see on your site.)
Of course, occasionally rules are broken – for instance, you might have an image that is very narrow and will stretch across the entire content area. But paying attention to the Rule of Thirds will go a long way toward helping your site look more professional.
Links for helping you to apply the Rule of Thirds: