Uncle Jim's Web Designs and Tutorials
Writing for Multiple Resolutions
Site Design Optimization Recommendations
Author: Jim Stiles
The Resolution Revolution.
What is a Designer to do?
The goal of any professional web designer is to achieve a website that looks and performs great in all screen resolutions and is cross-platform and cross-browser compatible. Largely due to W3C's tireless work, platform and browser compatabilities are becoming more compliant every day. However, the problem of different screen resolutions can not be solved as easily.
What resolution should I design for?
800x600 is widely accepted as the most popular screen resolution and would logically be the resolution of choice for your site. It is the default screen resolution for Windows and is generally not altered by PC users. Although 1024x768 is still only at 25 - 30 percent, it is on the rise and should not be readily dismissed.
Is it worth the pain?
The bottom line is that you need to weight the time it will take you to rewrite your web pages, (probably your entire site), against the need to keep your visitors with smaller screen resolutions. This largely depends on the type and purpose of your web site. If you are developing a personal site purely for information purposes only, then probably not. However, if you are developing a site that relies upon your visitors for profit, then it is very important to keep all of your visitors returning to your web site.
There are more than 40 different screen resolutions. 1024x768 is the most popular resolution used, followed by 1280x1024 and above, and 800x600. Most all users have at least a 800x600 resolution and can therefore be considered the minimum resolution your site should fit (unless you are writing for PDAs or cellphones).