Web Design Choice Of Fixed Width Vs Liquid Layouts

Web Design Choice Of Fixed Width Vs Liquid Layouts

If you have worked long enough for​ your web design company, or​ if​ you have tried designing a​ site on your own, you should already know by now that there are two kinds of​ web page layouts that you can choose from. Fixed width layouts are those wherein the​ width of​ the​ entire web page is​ set at​ a​ specific value, while liquid layouts are those wherein the​ width is​ flexible depending on how wide the​ online visitor's browser is. Choosing between these two layout methods can be a​ little difficult for​ a​ web designer, as​ each has its own benefits and​ deficiencies. Let us look through each and​ discover everything you need to​ know for​ you to​ make the​ right choice.

Fixed width layouts allow you to​ start with a​ specific size that you set. This allows you better and​ direct control so that you know how your page will look like, at​ least most of​ the​ time. They work best if​ you work with print backgrounds, as​ they allow for​ minute adjustments in​ the​ layout without inconsistencies across browsers and​ operating systems. On the​ other hand, with a​ liquid layout, you base the​ layout on a​ percentage of​ the​ browser's current window size. Liquid layouts allows for​ an​ efficient use of​ space given by any browser window or​ screen resolution. They are often used by web designers who want to​ get as​ much information across in​ a​ very limited space. Your web design company may ask you to​ choose one from the​ other depending on the​ needs of​ your client.

What is​ at​ stake for​ you and​ for​ your web design company when you choose between these two windows? Well, the​ method you choose has a​ large bearing not only on the​ final site design and​ aesthetics, but will also affect the​ ability of​ your online visitors to​ scan through the​ contents of​ your site. Furthermore, the​ layout can affect the​ ease, by which readers will find what they are looking for​ in​ the​ page, and​ can also reinforce or​ ruin your marketing efforts in​ the​ website. Thus, your web design company may stress the​ importance of​ choosing the​ right one depending on the​ message that the​ client wants to​ communicate across.

The Web Design Benefits and​ the​ Drawbacks

To help you and​ your web design company to​ decide on which to​ use, I will present the​ benefits and​ the​ drawbacks for​ each type of​ layout.

Fixed Width Layout

1. the​ web design Benefits

I. Allows you to​ come up with pages that look entirely identical no matter who is​ browsing and​ what type of​ browser is​ being used.

II. Elements such as​ images and​ graphics will not tend to​ overpower the​ text contents especially in​ smaller monitors.

III. No matter how wide the​ visitor’s browser is, the​ scan length will not be affected when there are large segments of​ text.

2. the​ web design Drawbacks

I. They will cause horizontal scrolling in​ small browser windows. Users generally dislike having to​ scroll horizontally.

II. Fixed width layouts usually result to​ large coverage of​ whitespace in​ large monitors such that there is​ a​ waste of​ unused space, and​ further vertical scrolling may be needed than necessary.

III. This layout can not deal with font size changes quite well. a​ small increase in​ the​ font may be tolerated, but larger increases can not be handled well that your overall layout may become compromised.

Liquid Width Layouts

1. the​ Web Design Benefits

I. This layout can contract and​ expand to​ fill in​ all available space on the​ page.

II. All available space is​ used up, thereby allowing you to​ display as​ much content as​ you need to​ in​ larger monitors, yet still remain viewable on smaller ones.

III. This layout can provide you consistency in​ relative widths, therefore allowing your page to​ respond dynamically to​ restrictions and​ specifications that may be imposed by your client, such as​ larger font sizes.

2. the​ Web Design Drawbacks

I Liquid layouts do not offer precise control over the​ page width and​ the​ elements on the​ page.

II. This layout may result to​ columns in​ the​ text which are either too wide for​ comfortable scanning, or​ too small for​ the​ text to​ show up very clearly.

III. Liquid layouts tend to​ have problems when dealing with elements in​ the​ page which has fixed width (i.e. image and​ graphics). if​ the​ column does not have enough space, some browsers may increase the​ column width, and​ all other elements in​ your page may not be in​ the​ proper order.

Many designers usually go for​ the​ mixed approach. You web design company may also suggest you to​ use both layouts depending on the​ page and​ the​ part of​ the​ site you are making. You can, for​ example, set your main columns to​ fixed width but make your side columns, headers and​ footers more flexible. With time and​ experience, you will eventually learn how to​ make the​ most out of​ the​ features of​ each layout type to​ come up with an​ optimized site.

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