Largest website width to support 1024×768 resolution

Currently, web designers are advised to support browser resolutions of widths 1024px and greater based on current browser usage data. The idea is that you want your site’s design to look good, and not require a horizontal scroll bar for those users. But screen resolution and browser width are not the same thing, because of browser chrome, scroll bars, and because many users browse without their window being maximized.

Common advice is that for the 1024 resolutions you have a maximum width of around 960 or 980px to work with. But if you really need to get every last pixel in, I can confirm test results from Windows XP running at 1024×768, with Internet Explorer 6.0 fully maximized, gives you a width of 1007px to work with.

* Of course, fluid layouts are also nice.

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  1. Chris Bultman said,

    November 6, 2009 @ 10:30 am

    Nice thoughts Phil. I’m personally not a fan of fluid designs. I like to have more control over a user’s overall experience. In terms of browser resolutions, I think designing for 1024 is critical because the overall effectiveness of a website when using that extra real estate. Besides, new computers come standard with 1024 resolution so that’s pretty nice.

    Keep up the good thoughts and work.

    Talk to you later,

  2. mario said,

    November 25, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

    Hi Phil, don’t forget that widths of scrollbars tend to increase in most browsers when user sets display properties -> appearance -> font size to large / extra large (e.g. from 16 to 21 pixels in opera). Just discovered this myself last week ;)

  3. Phil Freo said,

    November 25, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

    Mario, true, but in that regard there are plenty of things that can make you lose space. The most common is that people very frequently don’t have their browsers maximized. This was an attempt to measure the absolute maximum width we could hope for, but going smaller is certainly helpful in many cases.

  4. Mango said,

    August 19, 2012 @ 4:03 am

    I have just started using a full 1000px width and seems to work ok with iPad, netbook etc. beat having the wasted strip down the side.

  5. Rahul Bansal said,

    October 5, 2012 @ 2:18 am

    Yes “mario”, i am agree with your point for width of scroll bar may be 21 width wide in some browsers. So standard width for web page should be 1003px for 1024 resolution system.

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