1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Fixed width or Dynamic

Discussion in 'HTML, Graphics & Programming' started by Slime101, 3 Feb 2006.

  1. Slime101


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 12,841

    Location: Lost!

    Which do you prefer and reccomend?

    (could a don make this a poll?)
  2. Cuchulain


    Joined: 28 Dec 2004

    Posts: 7,589

    Location: Derry

    Fixed width is easier for the designer but it's a lazy way of creating web sites, as I'm bone idle it's what I'd choose, most of my customers however prefer proportional :(
  3. fluiduk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 13 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,567

    Location: Manchester

    I always go for fixed width.

    Easier to work with
  4. Augmented


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,464

    Location: London Town

    I don't believe there can be a definitive answer encompassing all situations - it all depends on context and requirements. I certainly can't say I prefer one or the other.

    In general:

    • Text-based e.g. Blogs: must be fixed content width (short line-length of about 10-15 words) and then fluid or fixed for everything else (nav, meta etc.).
    • Applications - depends on what the application does.
      • I prefer narrow-fixed for lots of data-entry [Screen scrolls with the tab-focus].
      • For a 'tactile' interface, then fullscreen-fluid, as I'll be doing most stuff with the mouse [Screen scrolls with mouse - and I prefer not to have to scroll manually].
    • E-Commerce (follows on from Applications): Fluid-fullscreen for many products, allowing me to browse freely. Narrow-fixed for few products.

    I prefer use of white-space over filling all white-space with content - that doesn't relate to fluid vs. fixed.
    Last edited: 3 Feb 2006
  5. Moredhel


    Joined: 11 May 2004

    Posts: 4,786

    Location: Gloucester

    As a user I find that I prefer fixed width sites, I really don't like proportionally sized sites because I use a widescreen resolution so I find sites look odd when they go to the full width of the page.

    That said I don't like fixed width sites that stay in the left or right hand side, they should float in the center. :)
  6. hendrix

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Aug 2004

    Posts: 1,889

    Location: Grenoble, France

    It normally depends on the type of site i'm designing really. But i guess my main preference has been fixed width for pretty much all the site's i've made to date.

    Guess its just personal preference really :)

  7. robmiller


    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    If IE supported it, it's nice to have a layout that's fluid up to a certain point, so that it shrinks if the user's browser is small and grows (but only to a readable width) if it isn't. You can probably achieve it in IE with some Javascript hackery, but I've not really investigated it. Something like:

    #content { width:75%; max-width:40em; }
  8. Inquisitor


    Joined: 12 Apr 2004

    Posts: 11,788

    Location: Birmingham

    If done right, I think fluid width sites can look really nice, for example http://www.2host.co.uk/. I do however, also like well done fixed width sites, although I find they're more effective for small scale websites.

    To be honest, though, it all depends on the type and purpose of the site.
  9. zetec452


    Joined: 15 Sep 2003

    Posts: 9,454

    I didn't think 2host was a fully fuid website though. Its been designed for 1024x768. Unless im mistaken on what fluid means?
  10. Inquisitor


    Joined: 12 Apr 2004

    Posts: 11,788

    Location: Birmingham

    Well it seems to work with any resolution I throw at it... 1280, 1024 and 800 all display fine on it. It's certainly a very nice site :)
  11. zetec452


    Joined: 15 Sep 2003

    Posts: 9,454

    Yep your right. It does work on all resolutions. It is a very nice website indeed.
  12. Herojuana

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Nov 2007

    Posts: 1,261

    Location: Lancashire

    So if I'm making a fixed width website, what do you think is the best width to use which will accommodate most resolutions?
  13. TwoSaints


    Joined: 19 Dec 2007

    Posts: 2,663

    Location: Newton Aycliffe

    I use a fixed size of 800px, that is because my site is a photo website, and that is the width of my landscape format pictures. :)

    deviant art is a good example of a fluid design. :)
  14. Tripnologist


    Joined: 12 May 2007

    Posts: 3,894

    Location: Bristol

    It's said that text is easiest to read when each line contains something like 78 characters including spaces. That number may be slightly off as I can't recall the exact number but it's close.
    For that reason, my company almost always does fixed width.

    I hate having to read text when it goes from one side of my 20" monitor to the other. I can only imagine how bad it would be on a 24" or higher.
  15. Shoseki


    Joined: 12 Jan 2004

    Posts: 3,172

    Location: Brighton

    My experience is, fixed width is better for image heavy websites - images don't scale, and so if your template uses specific sized images, headers etc then fixed width may be for you.

    Saying that, I once made a special variable image header that wowed some of the people I worked with :D www.vast2007.org that header is v large and if you have a higher resolution, it automatically shows more image...