There is a push these days to make wider and wider web pages. After all, we’ve all got bigger monitors, right? We all use them at 1024 x 1280, right?
Well, maybe. Maybe, not.
As always, ask yourself, “Who is my target audience?”
Many people want a site that fixed at X number of pixels wide. And its true: a growing number of us have the slicker, fancier monitors so we can see those great big web pages.
But remember that your customers may be among those who can’t see those web pages, even if they do have the big fancy monitor.
Because of monitor resolution. In plain English: monitor resolution determines how much you can see on your monitor at any given time. For example, if your computer is set to show things on your monitor at 1024 x 1280, you’ll see a lot more of the page, but with smaller text and images. If your computer is set to 800 x 600, you’ll see less of the image but with bigger text and images. Think of high resolution meaning you’re standing a ways back looking at something, and low resolution means you are standing up close looking at something.
Younger people and those with better eyesight will be at 1024 x 1280, or even higher. But middle-aged and senior citizens tend to sit at 800 x 600 or even 600 x 486! They need everything enlarged so they can read it decently. Yes, browsers can enlarge text, but not all surfers know that. Not to mention: that doesn’t do them any good when they need to use their computer for anything other than surfing.
A lot of web designers and business owners insist on creating sites for higher resolution monitors by pointing to the statistic’s given by W3Schools. The problem is that these folks are using faulty logic: most organization’s traffic is not of the same demographic as that of W3Schools. Even W3School’s site says their statistics may differ from others. But the biggest thing to consider is their demographic: people with good eyesight, many of whom are fairly young.
Is that your primary demographic for your business or non-profit? No? Then be flexible. Find other ways to get your message across without being limited to that wide screen. There are lots of ways to use that web page real estate and keep it looking good for people viewing at any resolution.
For those interested in learning more about monitor resolution, a search for “monitor resolution” in any search engine will give you lots of details on the subject