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  1. #1
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    I'm curious to hear responses here, some of you are designers, some just gadget owners who browse furiously. I'm debating hiring someone to widen my website (width of menu) by about 20px, possibly up to 35px since it's much thinner than most fixed width websites. It uses a "960 pixel" standard for design with 940px for the main content container and 10px on each side for "gutters" for space and any other spillover of effects (like ribbons, etc.) I had no idea until recently even what the "960gs" grid system was. I learned design by building websites and discovering how good designers architect sites.

    I certainly would love to have the extra potential 30px and move to a 978 or 980 pixel width, which IMHO is the widest any website should go. I say "for mortals" because those with very high end budgets can play around with expanding sidebars like Facebook (if you open your browser wide enough, you'll get the sidebar and it disappears on smaller screens.) Variable width simply does not work when you need to plan spacing for advertising and other display objects.

    While I was initially going to deal with the pain of making it wider, I discovered that so many mobile devices use the 1024 width - and those with windows using standard browsers will require space for the sidebars and the scrollbar as well, making the effective display at least 30px less but you'd still want some space. So that leaves me with a safe bet for 978px, although the current 940px width that the interior of my site is looks just good enough on 800px wide 7" mobile devices and is barely usable in portrait mode.

    So... what do you guys think? Should we do the widening? Worth the trouble? What have your experiences been and what do you guys prefer? I'd post a link but respect being a first time poster and can provide one if someone wants to view it and comment.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff George Dolidze's Avatar
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    Hi! Welcome to the forums.

    I would say you should keep it at 960. It's pretty much the optimal viewing size, and unless you are running out of space, there's no point in making the page wider.
    My freelancer website: DolidzeDesign



    You only need a parachute if you plan on skydiving twice.

  4. #3
    Senior Member chrisHPZ's Avatar
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    Size dimensions of a website really depend on what you want your website to be optimized for. Granted it is easier to code websites using pixels and fixed-widths due to the exact nature of that unit of measurement, but it's also important to remember that many people also use mobile devices to view websites. Because of this, you may want to study a bit on liquid formats. Using percentages and ems in your web design projects allow for your websites to scale properly across any browser. And as with fixed layouts, liquid layouts have their disadvantages. It's been in my experience that developing liquid layouts redefines everything you know about creating website layouts. Fixed width websites may not look the best on the higher resolution monitors. I use a 1920x1080 25" monitor myself. Yes it is a huge monitor, but I needed it for other things I like to do. The ability to have two applications running in a split-screen mode (Flash and AfterEffects for example) is essentially to my workflow. W3Schools has statistics on the most popular monitor resolutions in use today. You might be surprised to know that in January of this year, 85% of internet users viewed websites on monitors that display at larger than 1024x768 resolution.

    As far as answering your question about widening the website and if it is worth the trouble, I would say it is absolutely worth it. The reason why is you're going to run into problems with alignment that you'll need to solve. When you solve them, you HTML/CSS coding skills will have increased. This adds to your skill level.

    http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_display.asp
    Ronald Roe likes this.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisHPZ, post: 226033
    Size dimensions of a website really depend on what you want your website to be optimized for. Granted it is easier to code websites using pixels and fixed-widths due to the exact nature of that unit of measurement, but it's also important to remember that many people also use mobile devices to view websites. Because of this, you may want to study a bit on liquid formats. Using percentages and ems in your web design projects allow for your websites to scale properly across any browser.
    Fixed layout seems easier until you begin to grasp how fluid/liquid layouts work. I have found it's actually easier to code fluid/liquid layouts. Fluid/liquid layout, coupled with media queries is definitely the way to go. This was a fairly recent discovery for me.
    chrisHPZ and AlphaMare like this.
    Ron Roe
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    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  6. #5
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    I agree with what is being said above. 960px is a good size

  7. #6
    Senior Member chrisHPZ's Avatar
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    I am proud to say that I'm not having as many issues now with liquid formats that I used to have when I started with them Just like anything it is a learning process that becomes easier the more you do it. Now if only I could program Flash animations as easily as I can make HTML/CSS layouts. I really need to set a month aside for nothing but actionscript. I know Flash is on its way out, but I don't think that will happen any time soon.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisHPZ, post: 226127
    I know Flash is on its way out, but I don't think that will happen any time soon.
    Could just go ahead and learn HTML5 Canvas.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."


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