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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reworking my site. Since I've started I've more than doubled my
visitors. A slight change in the keywords did that I beleive. But anyway,
I did up all the graphics so that everything fit nice and tight into my screen.
But I think that is where i messed up. I was setting up my wifes new laptop and decided to check out my site.... argh... had to smack myself in the forehead. My computer resolution is set for 800x600 and the majority of visitors 65% (i checked) are using 1024x768.
I've since gone back and checked a lot of different sites and there doesn't seem to be one standard. Does it make a difference you think?

Jock
GoKart-Tees.com
 

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On any site I want to reach a general audience, I always make sure that the content will all show horizontally at 800 x 600. That's way better than it was a few years back - having to suport 640 x 480, while still looking reasonable at higher resolutions, was a genuine pain.

It's pretty common to center the content so that it's not stuck at the left edge of the screen.

But it's also possible to lay out your pages within a table that's set to a percentage of the window's width (like, say, 85%). That way the width of the page will be stretched to fit 85% of whatever the visitor's window size is, whether it's full screen or not. This is definitely more flexible but it requires that you preview the design at many screen resolutions and window sizes to make sure your elements don't do unattrative things at one size or another.

I used to use percentage widths most of the time but eventually I decided that I didn't want my content wrapping oddly or showing up in ways that I didn't intend; on my commercial sites I now tend to do a fixed width that will all be visible at 800 pixels wide but still look good and work well at the higher resolutions.

One thing to remember, too, is that users who are running at 1280 or higher will often have several windows open at once, with none of them maximized to the full screen size.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
lots of good points BWS. I've always started sites with a main table then worked in the content from there. Also due to the footer i used I had to set the table width to 780 pixes. So it doesn't do weird things at higher res.
But with say 65% of users using a 1024x768, would it not be better to set that as a standard? If your using a percent then wouldn't you still get the wide gaps between the contents. Also if I change my screens resolution, does that truly reflect what they are seeing?

Jock
 

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I think I'd rephrase your question like this: should you optimize your site for *only* 65% of your audience?

If you change your desktop resolution to, say, 1280 x 960, then yes, you're seeing exactly what someone else would see at that resolution. The thing that can really throw a wrench in the works is if someone has their system fonts set to display (in Display Properties) as Large, when you have them set as Smal (the default). But in that case they probably think the whole Internet is out of whack :).
 

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BWS said:
I think I'd rephrase your question like this: should you optimize your site for *only* 65% of your audience?

I think this is a major point.

For an ecommerce site, you don't want to alienate 35% of your potential paying customers.

With solutions like Bradley posted (using a fixed width table like Yahoo does or a more fluid width design that expands and contracts the content based on resolution), you are more likely to keep your visitors on your site longer because the design isn't creating navigation problems with them.

I've been doing it both ways so far, depending on the particular site design.

I would never design an ecommerce site with a fixed width focusing on screen sizes larger than 800x600. That would mean people with smaller resolutions would get horizontal scrollbar (which is a big no-no :) )
 

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OT a bit:
I was browsing my site in Windows CE the other day looked pretty cool :) My dad just got an HP Jornada with wireless, I want one!

The standard is to design in 800x600, just don't put "best viewed in 800x600" at the bottom of the page, that is lame :)
 

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Yes, you definately have to do a lot of preview work to make sure at least 95% of viewers don't get turned off by a bad layout/design/etc. (that may look good for someone else, but not on thier screen). Test At least IE and Firefox for everything, as well as font sizes (very small to very large settings -- note that it's also not generally a good idea to override these settings by settings a specific font size, such as 12px, since some people do actually need it larger) and resolutions. If you cover all of these you're in pretty good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok, thanks all for the input. something to NOT forget next time i get into updating the sites.

one more for you all, if you don't mind.
I added a ticker to the top of my page for sales.
I'm thinking wayyyyy busy. maybe move it to the lower part of the flash?

Jock
http://www.gokart-tees.com
 
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