Thanks for the explanations which I understand.
I used the column based approach because I didn’t know any other way to get the masonry type layout which is important for my application. Previously I tried using the Cactus Masonry plugin but you cannot control the image and text blocks separately which is what I need to do.
It is easy for me to make the browser render the items in the correct order but I’m going to struggle to retain the type of visual layout I need.
The shortcode based Toolset I use https://wp-types.com/ is great a manipulating custom posts but not so good at the more unusual screen layouts.
Any help you can give would be appreciated.