What Should the Width of a Web Page Be?

How Wide Should My Web Page Be?


What Should the Width of a Web Page Be?

by Christopher Heng, thesitewizard.com

I was asked by a visitor how wide he should make his web page. This article addresses that question.

Some Approaches

Although that visitor was looking for a definitive answer, there is actually no single answer that suits every site. Nor is there any requirement written in stone about the width of a web page. It depends on your content, design, aesthetic sensibilities and audience.

Here are two common approaches.

Some Suggestions

If you are following a tutorial to design a website, and you don't have any specific requirements, just use the width that the guide says to use. For those using my Expression Web tutorial, this means that your site will use a width of 100% (like thesitewizard.com). And if you use the Dreamweaver tutorial, your page will use 80% of the screen width. And so on. In general, these methods work fine for the typical website.

On the other hand, if you are asking this question because you are trying to fit a gigantic picture on your page, and are wondering about the upper limit on its size, I suggest that you don't change your entire layout just for that image. Create a smaller version of the picture and put it on the page (ie, a thumbnail), and link to the larger picture so that visitors who want to see it in its high resolution glory can do so with a click. If you like, you can even use one of those fancy scripts that pop up a larger image over your page since they seem to be the fad these days.

And of course, if you know what you're doing, then there's nothing to stop you from using any width you want. As I said at the start of this article, there are no hard and fast rules. If it is your own site, and you're the designer, the final decision is up to you.

Copyright © 2017 Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.
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