Best screen resolution for website?

  Newuser3068 11:23 24 Feb 2003

For the first time I am venturing into building a website. I am putting together the pages in Adobe Photoshop/Imageready 7.0 and building the site in Adobe GoLive 6.0.

I am not sure what image dimensions to use for the size of each page. If I design the pages to suit my own screen resolution (1024 x 768), they overflow the page when it's viewed on an 800 x 600 monitor setting. Can anyone help me with advice on how to overcome this problem, please?

  DieSse 11:43 24 Feb 2003

You really need to suit the lowest common denominator, which is 640x480 - there are still millions of systems around like that.

At the very most 800x600 - which is probably the commonest resolution today.

You can get simulation viewers, which will let you see what it looks like at various resolutions - but there is no complete substitute from actually trying it with a monitor set to the various different resolutions.

  Sir Radfordin™ 11:45 24 Feb 2003

PCA did run a poll on this fairly recently and I think most people are using a system set at 1024 x 768 so you should be ok.

But as DieSse points out there will always be some users who have this set lower.

  Stokey 12:47 24 Feb 2003

The results of that poll surprised me at the time. Nearly every "home user" I know personally uses 800 x 600. The regulars on this this site are not, I believe, (and I include myself) "yer average home user" -- therefore what you set your site up for depends on your target users.

  Stokey 13:02 24 Feb 2003

I've just been to your site. Very nice! Have you thought of using tables, say three columns, or more, and leaving outer two blank, then at either 800 or 1024 etc the pages would always be central with no-one missing anything no matter which res they used.

Just a thought.
Regards S.

  Cantillion 13:09 24 Feb 2003

Only very few visitors to my site have a resolution of less than 800x600, so I designed my site with that in mind (you can get free statics for your site that will provide you with this info). In my opinion, you should go with 800x600.

One way to cater for all is to put your page in a table set at 100% width - that way the table will expand or contract to fill the whole page :-)

  Newuser3068 14:31 24 Feb 2003

Thanks guys - that's all really useful advice. Could I please pick your brains a bit more?

1. If I design the pages for an 800 x 600 display, then at 1024 x 768 the page is obviously going to be too small for the browser window. Is it safe to assume that the image will always default to positioning itself in the top left-hand corner of the window? If so, then I can presumably add more decorative (but unimportant) image material on the right-hand and bottom of the image, so that it still shows a full screen at 1024 x 768, rather than boring white margins of unused screen?

2. Stokey and Cantillion - your table suggestions are interesting. Do I understand you correctly that a table will always adjust itself to fit the full browser window, regardless of the screen resolution?

3. Does anyone know the exact size in pixels of a browser window at settings of 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768? Presumably some of the pixels are robbed by the browser itself for menu bars, etc?

I hope I'm not taxing you too much with all these questions! Thanks a million for your help.

  Sir Radfordin™ 14:42 24 Feb 2003

If you put the information for the page in a table that is 1x1 and always 100% you know it will always fill the screen. You can test this yourself by not having the screen maximised.

Question 3 is a good one to ask but there can't be an answer because everyone has things set up differently. For example, people change the font size used by windows or the size of icons, or the number of toolbars.

Stokey - I agree with you, and was also surprised. But am finding that more PCs are being shipped at the higher resolution, and most TFT panels have a native resolution of 1024*768.

  Newuser3068 14:01 25 Feb 2003

Thanks guys - I think you've given me a lot to think about. Much appreciated.

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