We recommend using 2 columns in most cases, and we really discourage more than 3 columns unless there is a powerful businesses reason to do so.
Why fewer columns are better
Less is more. Fewer columns feels simpler
The goal of each webpage should be to communicate the pertinent information with clarity.
A few years ago, webpage screens were packed with information, and therefore 4-column sites weren’t uncommon. However, technology has improved and web users have become adept at scanning for information. Today's webpages need to present information very clearly.
Fewer columns allows for more white space and compliments a central layout design. A website should not fill the whole screen with information, and therefore it doesn’t need as many columns of information as websites from a decade ago used.
Of course, there are always exceptions, such as Craigslist.org
. However, most people would not hold up Craigslist
as a beautiful website.