Web Design

Screen Resolution - Large MonitorThis post is an update to a the screen resolution post that Susan wrote back in 2008. It is interesting to look at our visitor data now and see how things have changed in terms of screen resolution.

With more and more people favouring both mobile devices and large monitors when browsing the web, there is a huge disparity in screen sizes. This can make it difficult for a web designer to know what resolution to optimise for.

Liquid layouts – where the website’s design stretches to fill the screen – have been very popular in the past, and are still a good bet, but it is always best to know how your visitors are using your website and what you can do to help them get the best out of it. This includes choosing a screen resolution that isn’t going to leave you with acres of empty space on your website.

Let’s take a look at how Hallam’s visitor data has changed since Susan wrote her original post.

In 2008, Susan wrote that the most popular screen resolution among Hallam’s visitors was 1024 x 768. Looking at our visitor data now, that resolution is still widely used, but it now comes behind a much higher resolution of 1280 x 800. And we can see that there is a much more even split between the top 5 than there was in 2008.

What screen resolution should you design a website for?











The traditional resolution of 800 x 600 appeared in 6th place in 2008. N0w, it languishes in 19th place, with only 0.56% of our visitors using it.

And at number 10 on our list in 2011? 320 x 480. This means that a still small, but significant number of our visitors are now using mobile devices to visit our website.  Many websites now have mobile versions to cater for this ever-growing portion of the market.

So, in answer to the above question: it is clear that, as we began to see in 2008, there is an inexorable march toward high resolution monitors.  When designing a website, you need to make sure that you take this into account. If possible, design a mobile version of your site too, because this market is likely to grow even faster, and the last thing they want is a website that is not mobile-friendly.

2 responses to “Update: What Screen Resolution Should You Design a Website For?”

  1. Susan Hallam Susan Hallam says:

    I’ve done a little digging around, and 320×480 isn’t the only mobile device resolution we should be keeping an eye on. 320×480 represents, of course, your Apple iPhones,iPods, and a small number of other phones.

    But lots of other mobile devices are in use, and of course you can take a look specifically at your mobile traffic results in Google Analytics.

    I think this is so interesting that I may just have to write a little blog post on the topic!

    Thanks for the update, Helen.

  2. MobileAppsJockey says:

    Take a look at the cellphone/mobile phone screen res chart here; shows breakdown by sreen size:
    or by brand of phone

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