In the ever changing world of new technologies, the realm of website design is constantly adjusting to keep up with new, updated methodologies and software. One thing that has been changing over the years is the size of an average monitor screen as well as the average browser size and browser resolution, causing website designers to reconsider the dynamic nature of their website design.
Complicating this even more, the landscape of the web browser itself has been changing over the years. Today, a large portion of web browsing and online searches are done on non-traditional devices such as mobile phones and tablets, creating even a higher need to consider the dynamic nature of each website.
When starting a website design project, one of the first factors that comes up for consideration is the decision of the website width. Website width can be determined or designed in a number of ways.
The traditional route and the one that is probably the mostly widely known is the fixed width design-a concept where the website designer builds a website to a specific number of pixels. This causes the website size be set and display at the same width between all browsers, mobile devices and tablets.
Another option that has been popular in recent years is a website design with a fluid or “liquid” layout. This design technique adjusts your website width based on the size of your user’s browser window or browsing device. Therefore, if an individual has a large size monitor and uses a web browser that stretches the entire width of the screen, a fluid layout would accommodate the user and size the website to fit the wide screen.
More recently, however, the responsive design has been invented and carries a similar idea as the fluid design. It is more advanced in that it addresses the more recent issues of website browsing on multiple types of devices including variously sized computers and their browser screens, mobile devices such as iPhones or Androids and tablets like an iPad. By accommodating all types of users, regardless of their web browsing preferences at any one time, a responsive design is often referred to as the “holy grail” of website design methods. This feature-rich approach comes with the downside of extra complication and complexity, including multiple versions if images at different sizes, and considerable testing.
When starting your website design project consider the type of users who will generally use your website and think of the most appropriate route to take when setting your website width. Whether you choose to design your website in a fixed width, fluid or responsive design, none of the routes are wrong as long as your website displays properly on your target market’s screen and carries a high conversion rate.