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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb 100% Page Width a Bad Thing?

    I was recently hired full-time by a community college to re-design their website, so I have been looking to http://www.edustyle.net for some inspiration.

    If you go to this page: http://www.edustyle.net/site.php?site=1867 you'll see they are putting the site down because the interior pages have a 100% page width. While I'm not crazy about the design, itself, (not a huge fan of left justification, and the design isn't consistent with the front page), I don't see how having a page at 100% is a bad thing. It looks like they are trying to accommodate the design for as many screen resolutions as possible, which is good for usability.

    Can anyone shed light on this or have a differing opinion?
    Terri Eades - Web/Graphic Designer - www.terrieades.com

  2. #2
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    The example you posted is a fixed width layout @ 950px. Check the css(firebug) for #container and you should see for yourself.

  3. #3
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    100% width is what I always use, although of course there are minimum and maximum width constraints. No design is usable at 1px viewport width, and line lengths over 70 characters tend to be hard to read with normal leading.

    Left-justified text is the way to go on the web, since browsers do a rather poor job of justifying text. Also, justified text can make the text harder to read for people with some types of dyslexia.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

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    SitePoint Member feros's Avatar
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    Setting an upper width limit is a must imo. Monitors and resolutions are getting larger, but a huge amount of people still browse full-screen. Forcing your users to resize their window just to keep from straining their neck reading all of your text is bad.\

    Just my 2 cents
    Matt Coddington - Freelance Web Designer

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    Generally you should never justify type on the web because the justification will 99% of the time result in large rivers. Rag right is best served on the web for readability.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    Im a bit confused as to what is being said but I will say this. 100% page widths are not a bad thing if they work(no bugs etc). Firstly no matter how big your browser is, it will always fill up niceley with no big gaps in your window. Secondly, people with all resolutions can view the full functional site(except for below your minumum resolution etc).

    100% page widths that work without bugs are much harder to make than fixed widths, but a designer should be able to handle that.

    So yes they are a good things.

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    Ever tried to read lines of text that stretch all the way across a 22" monitor???

    Letting a page expand to fill 100% of the available viewport will cause problems if some user has the viewport at full screen.

    So you must either use a fixed width or use 100% width but with a min and max - say min about 750pxand max about 1000px or even less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr John View Post
    Letting a page expand to fill 100% of the available viewport will cause problems if some user has the viewport at full screen.
    Not necessarily. But letting lines of text expand to fill 100% of the available viewport will cause readability issues. The page can still fill the viewport, but you need to constrain the measure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr John View Post
    So you must either use a fixed width or use 100% width but with a min and max - say min about 750pxand max about 1000px or even less.
    Using pixels for this is really not a good idea. It's what the em unit is for. Different users can have very different font sizes; some may have 9px while others need 100px.

    The minimum width depends on the number of columns you have, too, so it's not appropriate to state that a fixed value such as 750px is recommended. The maximum width should make sure that lines of text don't exceed 60-70 characters (regardless of font size).
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr John View Post
    Ever tried to read lines of text that stretch all the way across a 22" monitor???

    Letting a page expand to fill 100% of the available viewport will cause problems if some user has the viewport at full screen.

    So you must either use a fixed width or use 100% width but with a min and max - say min about 750pxand max about 1000px or even less.
    that's true.

    also, it isn't consistent with the front page. you have 2 extremes. one narrow home page (which people disliked) and the inside pages are super wide (which people also disliked)...

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure most of the commercial sites have a minimum width of 1000px or so which is pretty standard and because it fits the majority of people who have 1024px or higher resolution. Last time I checked, a very small percentage used anything less than 1000px. Or did I fall and hit my head and make all that up...

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast dekree2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    The example you posted is a fixed width layout @ 950px. Check the css(firebug) for #container and you should see for yourself.
    Agree with you bro. It is a fixed width.
    Do You 8vertise?
    Do You IanKree.com-To Wake Your Financial Genius Up

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    SitePoint Wizard webcosmo's Avatar
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    Instead of generalizing all sites to 100% width, it should be dependent of the type of the site. Sites like forum or having free flow texts work good with 100% width. Whereas sites like e-commerce sites which used lot of images its better off with a fixed width.

    Thats just my personal opinion.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru cyjetsu's Avatar
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    I disagree. I think any site can be adapted to a 100% width. You just need to make some of the columns dynamic. I cannot think of any reason why this can't be done.


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