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There are many challenges which web designers must address when developing new and innovative web sites. With the array of monitor sizes and screen resolutions now available in the market, one of the greatest challenges a designer faces is to create a design which is visible, eye-catching, and easily comprehensible by as many people as possible. However one of the more technical problems which web designers face is whether the design should be a fixed width design or a fluid width design. This article explores the difference and importance of Fixed Width Web Designs and Fluid Width Web Designs.
A fixed width web design is when the width of your website is preset to a certain pixel width. This design approach will be more constant across an assortment of browsers, monitor sizes and screen resolutions, making it easier to ensure that appropriate line lengths and usable navigation schemes are maintained. The most common web resolution is currently 800px wide. However resolutions are very quickly moving towards making their standard resolution 1024px wide, This allows the use to display a great deal of content. Fixed width web designs are best used when the layout of your web design include large images but is not advisable for augmented amounts of text on the web page.
Websites with a Fluid Width web page design automatically enlarge to fit the width of the web browser in use. This means that the web page will essentially increase certain areas such as background image or colour to ensure that the web page will fill the width of the screen. Fluid Width Web Designs are often used for websites with side columns, websites with an increased amount of content on the page, and on websites where the exact alignment of the page is not essential.
Whether it is Fixed Width web designs or Fluid width web designs which your ultimately decide on, it is essential that web designers keep in mind that a website’s ultimate goal is to meet the user’s requirements. Therefore it is critical when embarking on a web design for your website that your take in to consideration the needs and limitations of your target audience and keep this in mind when you make your choice.