There are millions of computer users browsing the internet every day and each one is looking at a different size monitor using a different resolution. How each person sees the graphics on your website varies depending on their screen and there is no uniform standards for making your site friendly to everyone.
What is Resolution
Screen resolution refers to how many pixels your computer monitor will display, both vertically and horizontally. If you have ever visited a website that did not fit your screen, making you scroll to the right to see the rest of the page, it was not entirely the designer’s fault. The website was just not created with your screen resolution in mind.
Not too long ago, the most common computer monitors featured a resolution of 480 X 640. A number of people still surf the internet using this screen resolution, while today’s popular monitors use a 1024 X 768 screen resolution and most websites are optimized to be viewed on these higher resolution screens. Those still using lower resolution displays will see websites quite differently than those the site was designed for.
Today’s monitors offer computer users a choice of several different screen resolutions, with the lowest resolution being 400 X 600. With so many choices, it is often confusing for users to decide on the best settings, especially if they are not aware of the differences.
Problems Created By Screen Resolution
Visitors to your site that are using monitors with low screen resolutions will usually not see your entire page on their screen. They will have to scroll horizontally to see the right side of your page. Those using a higher screen resolution than what your site is designed for may see a small, thin strip that can be rather frustrating.
Solutions for Resolution Problems
Some website designers create their website pages based on the smallest screen resolution sizes. This way, individuals using low resolution screens see the page as it should be and anyone using a higher resolution screen will have to adjust their resolution to see the page correctly.
Another option is to design your site pages based on the most commonly used screen resolution, 1024 X 768. By closely monitoring your website visitor statistics, you can see if this is actually the most popular resolution among your visitors. If it is, but you still have a fair amount of visitors with different resolutions you can add a message to your website letting your visitors know the best screen resolution, as well as instructions on changing the setting.
A final solution to resolution problems is an elastic website that looks the same no matter what screen resolution it is displayed on. This type of website design is much more complex, but it is often the best option for those who need a good looking website.