Have you ever been to a website and the site is really small or really big and you have to scroll back and forth and up and down to see everything on the page? Well that all has to do with two major factors, what size the website was originally created in and what screen resolution your computer screen is set for. If you’ve been using computers for some time now, than you are more than likely familiar with the 800 x 600 screen size. As recently as 2003, this was still the most popular screen size and was very popular with web designers for many years. Special care was taken when creating web sites so that they displayed perfectly on monitors using this screen resolution – the web page width was usually 780 pixels (the 20 pixels were reserved for the web browser scroll bar).
However, over the years with increased use of high resolution monitors the number of people using 800 x 600 screen resolutions has gradually fallen. Now less than 1% utilize the 800 x 600 size, and since 2003, 1024 x 768 has been the most popular display setting used. Over the years, as wider and higher resolution screens have become more affordable, and therefore more prevalent, the use of even higher resolutions has become common place. Though 1024 x 768 is still #1 (22%), the last two years 1280 x 800 and 1280 x 1024 have started to gain ground, each claiming more than 10% of the market.
In order to keep pace with the ever changing technologies and improvements in quality, speed, resolution, color, screen size, etc., web designers are required to create sites that not only conform to the technology of the day, but be easily upgradeable as the technologies change. This is one of the main reasons why it is critical when developing any new website that it is built with a content management system in place. Content Management Systems (CMS) utilize databases which mean that the majority of information required to display the website is stored in a database that can efficiently be applied to any compatible website design template. For example, a site designed with a CMS in 2002 with a fixed resolution of 800 x 600 could be “imported” into a brand new 1024 x 768 design, including completely different navigation, colors, layout, etc., therefore helping to keep costs down when keeping the site up to date.
The majority of sites currently developed by inConcert Web Solutions are in the 950 to 1000 pixel width range and most of our websites include a Content Management System built in. In our next article we will discuss some of the decision making processes that go into creating the design and where resolution of graphics, images, and text play a role.
DID YOU KNOW: If you need to zoom in or out on a website you can hit Ctrl + or – on your keyboard to move in and out. Hit Ctrl 0 (zero) to return to normal.