Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Standard Web Page Width

I have been building web pages for over 6 years... and have been using a standard web page width of 778px for 800px monitors, unless the client requests otherwise. The concept is to avoid (left/right) scrolling and make a good user experience.

Most of the justification came from the analysis/tips in Jakob Nielson's book on "Homepage Usability" - dated in 2002. Most other articles I've read suggest this... but the trend is changing, as these monitors become fewer.

Floating widths are cool - and useful. But they take longer to develop and I only do those on request, at an extra fee. However, since my statistics show that less than 2% use 800 px monitors, I am about to change my policy...

But what width to use? Of course I will build for the 1024px monitors... the next size up. This is the largest percentage for screen resolutions now - about 34%. But I am considering only using 960px width for the regular content. That will allow for those who don't open their browser all the way. And it will allow the background colors/gradients to properly frame the page.

More info:



Screen Resolution Statistics
One of my websites gets 7,500 visitors per month on average...
21% use screen resolution 1024x768
18% use 1280x800
10% use 1280x1024
10% use 1440x900
7.6% use 1366x768
7% use 1680x1050
3.4% use 1920x1080
3% use 1920x1200
2.8% use 1600x900
2.25% use 1152x864
1.6% use 1280x768
1.5% use 1280x720
1.25% use 1360x768
0.9% use 800x600
0.9% use 1280x960

So it seems that less than 1 in 100 use the smaller 800 X 600 monitors...
Any thoughts?


  1. A standard page width of 960px still makes sense to me, Robert, and thanks for linking to my blog post on this subject. Your comment "...it will allow the background colors/gradients to properly frame the page" is another excellent point.

    Taken another step, using an oversized background 1600px wide and having it centered while calculating the view for various size monitors can create some dramatic effects to please a broader audience, also.

  2. According to w3schools in 2002 52% of surfers used 800-width resulotion. Today 57% use a resulution with width >1024.

    My statistics for one of my webshops says that about 75% of visitors are using 1200+ in width (mostly swedish visitors). I'm about to implement an extra right column with extra content that is not shown today and that is not vital. I work with ecommerce so an extra column with product tips, offers or similar is great for an potentially hidden (but scrollable) area. The content would not be shown otherwise. A possible supplement could be to use javascript or server-side to move the content in the extra column a the bottom of the site if resolution <1200.