What Should Be The Standard Width Of A Website?

While designing a website, a designer often comes to an indecisive situation where he is not certain about using a standard width of its website. A width archetypal for all size of screens may hard to tell but the facts on ‘browser display statistics’ given below will give you a better understanding on creating your website at an width size that is considered for most of the websites.

  • 48% users use high screen resolution – 1024× 768
  • 38% – Higher
  • 8% – 800×600
  • 6% – Unknown

By taking above data into consideration we can see that nowadays only 8% of total users are using 800 X 600 resolution. And this shows that usage of and wide screen monitors and high screen resolutions are increasing as the technological advances taking rapid place in this industry. Needless to say, this impacts common web design principals especially when it is about keeping a web page at the standard width.

Whatever you do, even though you take out a real impressive static program, getting the accurate number of users using what size of screen for browsing is not possible. In this case, what is the solution you should look for;

You can Create a Resolution-Independent Site

Creating a resolution-independent site that uses percentage, not the absolute values can be a good idea but if you are using too wide screen, the website is stretched to the point of comedy. The liquid design is more flexible as compared to its fixed counterparts but has its own drawbacks. What happens is that the width of the web page increases to the size of monitor and probably makes the web page difficult to peruse. This certainly is not right as it doesn’t leave good impression on users. Liquid websites work fine on the screens but not all the time. So we can not really say it is the best solution for every website.

Fixed Web Page for the Pages with Heavy Text

if your website is going to have lots of text content, using fixed width web page template is an ideal solution for your website. Create the web page keeping 800×600 people in mind. I know that this type of screen users make sheer percentage, but you would have your bases covered. For instance, on a website, the percentage of users browsing the website on 800×600 screen resolution is as little as 3% if we compare it with the people using higher-end monitors. So what can we do in this case is that we increase the page width to about 900 Pixels or in some cases 960 Pixels. The downside here is that people with 800×600 resolution lead to bad usability experience but on the other side, it benefits a lot many others.

Keep the Width that Compliments your Content

The best way to choose ideal width of the web site is to take content in reference. The width at which the content can be displayed at its best should be the ideal width size of the website. This is not obviously all about keeping the points for ideal width of your website in consideration but is important though.

Whether you use liquid or fixed website for any screen resolution, you need to understand the requirement of content on your website which should be defined before designing and developing the website. The choice is yours.

Kabir Bedi is the senior web consultant based in India who has great expertise in web designing and web development services along with custom web design and ecommerce web development India, with an experience of over 10 years. He consults his clients from all across the world and help them achieve their business objectives with the great solutions he offers to them. Visit author's website

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Article Published by Souvik Banerjee

Web Developer & SEO Specialist with 10+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development, specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".