Monday, June 25, 2007

The horror of 800 pixals wide websites


One thing I have noticed is an increase in the number of webpages that are formatted to be 800 pixals wide, and only 800 pixals. This blog is one, facebook is another, and there are many other examples. This is awful. My screen is around 1400 pixals wide, and 1600 pixal wide screens are common. In this case you loose half the width to blank space. Meanwhile I am forced to scroll down the screen to read the copious amounts of text.

So why is this? I think the main reason is that some of the cool effects (like rounded corners) rely on images of a certain width. I think I am going to rebel and redo my blogs look so that it can increase in size. I still want my header image though, which limits the width, so I am going to go with the following:

  1. Have three sizes 800 pixels wide, 1024 pixels wide and 1280 pixels wide and then use javascript to decide which to render to.
  2. Use a larger image, but only show some subset based on the width.
Both are not ideal, but I do not want to force people to view my blog at a fixed width loosing the benefits of their screen real estate.


P.S. I now have six friends on facebook.


David Currie said...

Handy to be able to read two blogs side-by-side though! Another reason I haven't widened mine is because photos inline with the text look silly when a decent sized paragraph has been stretched to just two lies.

Alasdair Nottingham said...

The main reason that web sites are fixed widths is so the web author can make sure things look the way they want it to. Your comment about the photos is an example of this. If we really want to make reading two blogs side by side really easy why are blogs centered on the page and not left or right aligned?

Thinking this through I could create a few different stylesheets for each different width and use that to provide the difference. Then the user of the blog can choose the width they want.