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Website Width

Posts: 46
Joined: 16 Aug 09

Website Width

Hey Guys,

Having some troubles deciding on an optimal website width for my second site - any help would be great!

I realise the 800x600 resolution is quickly giving way to the more modern 1024x768 (Hi-Def) borwser settings and would like to capitalise on this trend.

However, with the standard two-column webpage design prescribed by Mark, I feel anything above 800px wide (approx) will make for uncomfortable reading (i.e. lines of text too long?)

My intention is simply to provide the best viewing experience to my end-users - so would my best move be to opt
for a happy-medium somewhere in between 800 and 1024px (eg. 900), stick to 800px or choose the full 1000px?

To assist your judgment, here is a link to my site in 900px wide res: (please excuse my header, I realise its not set to page scale - instead please focus on content readability).

Many Thanks - Mike.
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Posts: 848
Joined: 28 Jun 09

I, too, had similar thoughts and here's what I'm doing. I'm still limiting my width to the 800px for the most part, but even if I did go a bit wider, I would simply either let any left/right sides be a little bigger or not include them in the 800px... In other words, the content is at least limited to 800px. As an example, to take advantage of the wider 1024px, I would take 800px for content (IE main/middle column) and 200px for any left/right columns. That would still leave about 24px, but that could easily be taken care of by centering the rest (in part to account for scrollbar and also in case someone had a wider screen resolution). Personally, I like the centering as opposed to left justified, because to me, it seems less cluttered and easier on the eyes. But you might test to see what works for you.

I'm on a WS laptop, and I have a few forums (not this one) that use the full width of the screen and it I do find it MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to read. I usually aim for around 10 to 15 words a line, personally. Why? Because most of the fiction we read is in that range, and smaller chunks are easier to read, especially if you know a thing or two about speed reading. Also, notice newspapers and many magazines are usually around 4 to 7 words per line. Makes for easy chunks for speed reading. On the other hand, textbooks, notorious for putting people to sleep, will often go anywhere from 15 to 25 words per line. Just because a page is wider doesn't necessarily mean you have to fill it all with information ;)

That's my take. If you want to take advantage of the wider screen, keep the content to 800px and use about 200px for any left/right margins,leaving the extra 24 alone for scrollbars and anything else that the page might need.

(BTW, if you notice, the content of the posts here in Affilorama fit right in that 10 to 15 words per line.)

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Posts: 46
Joined: 16 Aug 09
Hey Grady - Thanks for your prompt reply, great advice.

I think i'll follow suit and opt for the 800pix standard res as I feel i'm am in danger of spending too much time fretting over the optimal width and not actually making much progress!

Best of luck with your site/s - Mike.
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Posts: 869
Joined: 14 Mar 08
Yeah I have to agree with Grady.
800 content and 200 surrounding left/right etc.
I do not know many people even using an 800x600 res anymore for their monitors.
And if you are, time for a

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Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.

-- Robert Brault
Posts: 1895
Joined: 01 Jun 09
I imagine that someone who's still using 800 x 600 would have to do a lot of scrolling up and down and sideways. On the other hand, that resolution helps those who have trouble reading/seeing small text/images.
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Posts: 25
Joined: 01 Apr 10
I run with a width of 960px. If I remember right 960 works for 90% of users now days. Pretty cool...

I remember when I first started designing websites the standard width was 600px. Not alot of room for a side bar and content!

Check it out: ...

Wonder what it's gonna be 10 years from now.
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This topic was started on Jun 06, 2010 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.