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1 Sep 09, 2005 04:02    

Hey everyone...

I was wandering through the 'showcase your blog' area and noticed that some blogs work well at my screen size and some really don't. The thing is that I don't have a huge screen, just a 17inch and I have my resolution set to 800x600, which is about average. But I've noticed that not all blogs are made for this resolution (which is fine) and I was wondering if it's something that should be considered in making new skins and creating new blogs.

I'm sure that the people who use the 1024x768 and up sizes don't really notice it, but using a smaller resolution sure makes little things like this noticeable.

Just wondered if anyone else had noticed this and considered it a problem.


2 Sep 09, 2005 04:06

I have a 15" screen on my laptop and I use 1024 on it. I can't stand to use lower resolutions.

But your point is a valid one. I try to design skins that use the whole width of the screen and scale well to various resolutions.

3 Sep 09, 2005 04:19

I agree with personman - when I did skin stuff I wanted them to look good in multiple browsers AND multiple resolutions. I *like* my 1024 wide screen, but for testing will drop to 800 wide. Problem is not everyone tests skins this way. I also like to see what happens when I increase my font size in my browser. Lots of people will go to a higher pixel resolution then increase the font size so they can read stuff easily. Problem is you can't really design around every possible combination of resolution and font size...

Anyway that's why my skins tend to use percentages instead of fixed widths, even though the most popular skins use fixed widths. 800 pixels (or slightly below that) is a good fixed width because the days of 640 by 480 seem to be over.

Is there a particular skin you want to use but can't due to your preference for 800 wide? A long time ago I tuned up a handful of existing skins to work cross-browser and multi-resolution, so I might have something you're looking for.

4 Sep 09, 2005 04:28

I prefer using percentages, too. That seems to achieve the best consistency across several resolutions.

5 Sep 09, 2005 04:49


Screen sizes will be an issue for ages. It used to be that 800x600 was the norm, but that is changing. The problem is exacerbated by a "liquid" design (compared to fixed-width), which floats the text into available space.

I utilize a "liquid" design for our pages (because I hate to see wasted space) and I continually check to make sure that it looks OKAY at 800x600.

What do you think?

There are some javaSCript games one can play with screen width (shoving certain CSS files at various screen resolutions), but I prefer a "one size fits a majority" approach.

Perhaps a new monitor is in your future? 15" used to be the deal, but 17" and 19" are becoming more and more common. With wider screens, one can UP the resolution and still retain the same image size.

Good luck and please, let us know how our pages show up in 800x600 (because I use 1280x1024 and 1024x1280, respectively, on my two monitors).


-stk :D

6 Sep 09, 2005 04:54

I'll chime in here with 2 cents change... I think the original poster is making a big assumption saying that 800x600 is average, since even the lowest-priced laptops these days come with 1024x768 as standard... Unless the OP has a specific reason for using 800x600 (vision issues, etc) they should consider increasing to 1024x768. In my opinion, that 17" monitor is going to waste on an 8x6 resolution.


That being said, it's a very valid point that skins, (and all web design, for that matter) should be done so as to be viewable across multiple resolutions. Not many designers pay attention to good design practices by adhering to web accessibility guidelines and compliance to standards. Browser manufacturers add to the problem by building browsers which don't comply with standards, and which sometimes don't even match their own counterparts across OS platforms. (ahem... IE)

Ideally, people should be using 'percentages' and 'ems' for layout control and consistency across platforms. Consistency in text size can be achieved with near-100% accuracy across browsers by using a percentage to control the font size in the body tag, and then using 'ems' to control the text size within individual elements.

For designing for lower resolutions, I can't live without the "web developer" extension for firefox. It allows you to quickly identify block level elements with colored outlines, and also to resize the entire browser window to a custom size. It offers several dozen quick features similar to those which, together, are a very powerful tool in a designer's kit.

I think a resolution of 1024x768 is more fairly called "average" these days, with 800x600 being the bare minimum. I don't know anyone still running at 640x480.


7 Sep 09, 2005 18:18

Ok, so you're probably right and I probably made an assumption with my contention that 800x600 is about average. Still, I'm glad that my concern was taken in the way it was intended. As a web designer I test on all screen sizes as well and I use percentages instead of a fixed number so that my work is scalable across all resolutions. I use 800x600 because my current screen at home is small (15") and when I use 1024x768 the print is so tiny. Sure, I'd love to have a larger monitor and work at a higher resolution, but like many others the funding just isn't available for such things.

I know that resolution is a problem for many designers, much to their dismay. Having to test and plan for every eventuality is virtually impossible, so we do the best we can and hope we don't end up being stoned by the crowd for something they don't particularly favor.

As for b2evolution and most of the skins I've encountered, they view well at 800x600. There were just a few instances that I noticed when I was browsing through the blog showcase area. I had hoped that a dialogue about it would perhaps make more designers aware of the need for scalability and forethought in their design, so that it is viewable by everyone.

At the very least I think that has been accomplished. Thanks for the comments!!! B)


8 Sep 09, 2005 20:32

I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but in Windows you can increase the print size so things aren't so small with larger resolutions. Right click your desktop and choose properties. Then click Settings, then advanced. Change the DPI settings.

9 Sep 12, 2005 23:42

My [url=]b2evolution[/url]-powered site is made for people using a 800x600 screen resolution with various font size (it can also be changed using the CTRL+middle button up/down) with extra information in the additional part for 1024x768 users.

When I check ly visitors' display capabilities, I notice the following figures for September (and March in parenthesis) 2005:

  • 640x480 and less: 0,2% (0,4 %)

  • 800x600: 13,4% (22,0 %)

  • 1024x768: 67,6% (64,9 %)

  • 1280x1024 and more: 17,9% (11,8 %);

  • unknown: 0,9% (0,9%)[/list:u]It appears 800x600 users changed their display to 1024x768, 1280x1024 or more. But now most video games consoles to be released in the next two years are going to have Internet access as default, maybe would it be interesting to check some sites on a TV set: the most common resolution is 640x480 or 800x600 there...

  • personman wrote:

    I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but in Windows you can increase the print size so things aren't so small with larger resolutions. Right click your desktop and choose properties. Then click Settings, then advanced. Change the DPI settings.

    I use very high resolutions (1280x1024 to 2048x1536) using higher fonds. However, most applications and most web sites appear to not correctly handle that configuration... :(

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