View Full Version : Page Widths

05-25-2010, 09:13 AM

I have read and re-read this subject and am going round in circles.

I wondered how people were approaching the issue of website page widths.
I still see many that are just sub 800 px to fit a minimum spec 800 px screen, I also see ones that won't shrink to that and are around 1000 px and aren't fluid. I then see fluid ones that stretch to fill whatever size screen they appear on.

Do people tend to have their own way and stick to it or are there instances where a clients design dictates the width, eg, they may want 3 columns each with a graphics top, watermark and bottom so it is difficult to create those in a fluid way so the page will minimise in width to those 3 columns.

I hope that makes sense, it's just that I am finding it increasingly harder to define a width for a site when I am effectively given a blank canvas on which to work, by the client.

Any thoughts gratefully recieved.


05-25-2010, 09:25 AM
It is always a compromise for me. I tend not to go for fluid (%) width designs as I do not like the way they look and they can be unpredictable when it comes to managing content. I tend to work up to 950px for a three column or up to 850px for a two column layout but that is all dependent on design, content and audience.

There is no right or wrong for page widths you just need to understand the potential implications of what you choose and then weigh up the pros and cons of each approach.

05-25-2010, 11:41 AM
Thanks for your thoughts. So it is no longer taboo then to design a static site that is over 800 px wide.
I am thinking of a 3 column one so will take that on board.
Incidentally, I did learn at school "i before e except after c" so apologies for my spelling of received if it reflected that "I is a dunce".

05-25-2010, 12:52 PM
It is inevitable that some compromises will be made but weigh up how many people would have screen res of 800 up to those who prefer a different size. If I was doing a site aimed at the over 60s I'd think about keeping it at 800px.

05-25-2010, 02:00 PM
Always, always design for the people you're making the website for. Most of the websites I make are purely for the american market. If you're making a design that is 900px wide and a substantial amount of your target audience are getting horizontal scrollbars, you've missed out. Site width is mostly about usability, not accessibility.

05-27-2010, 01:43 PM
Ok, many thanks for your varied thoughts on this.
The site in particular is for a local accountancy firm so I think, initially, I'll go with 3 columns, 2 fixed and 1 in the middle fluid.
Let's see how I get on.