The growing number of devices used by online users has changed the ways in which businesses design their websites.
Laptops and mobile devices have unique screen resolutions, Internet browsers, and operating systems. Web designers must know how to optimize their sites to meet the changing needs of these devices and their users.
Understanding how websites that are developed using fixed-width and fluid-width designs can accomplish these and other goals helps you choose the right one for your business.
Fixed-Width and Fluid-Width Designs Improve the User Experience
Website designers face many challenges when creating websites that generate revenue for the businesses they serve.
Your site’s content is displayed differently depending on the device being used. Matching the design of your site to the display and functionality of today’s mobile devices is one of the biggest issues to address early on in the design process.
The right layout and design make your content easier to read. Users can navigate through your site’s pages and find the information they need quickly. This supports engagement and enhances the user experience.
Website developers use fixed- or fluid-width designs to accomplish a wide range of goals. Fixed-width designs consist of a fixed wrapper. Inside this element are other design elements that have fixed widths.
In a fluid-width website design, the design elements have percentage widths. This allows them to change in size according to the display resolution used on a given device.
Why Use a Fixed-Width Design?
Websites designed with a fixed-width appear the same regardless of the display. Creating a fixed-width website is typically easier than a fluid-width site. It ensures that the layout will be viewed just as it was designed.
Using images and other media is easier on a fixed-width website. Businesses can implement the use of forms without any issues related to their display on different devices.
The visual quality of your content is maintained regardless of the size of the display. This prevents problems related to your content’s readability, ensuring that your site is easily viewed by its intended audience.
But fixed-width designs may interfere with a site’s functionality. Users can experience higher proportions of white space and smaller displays may require the use of horizontal scrolling.
Is a Fluid-Width Design the Right Choice for Your Website?
The elements used in a fluid design adjust to the screen resolution of each device. The combination of percentage widths and fixed widths gives developers flexibility in determining how content is displayed.
Using a fluid web design can make your site easier to use. It creates consistency in the amount of white space that a user sees, which results in a visually pleasing layout across all devices.
Small displays won’t require an additional horizontal scrollbar, further enhancing the experience and making navigation more efficient.
But for website developers, fluid-width designs can be more complex. They may not always display the elements correctly, and designers are less able to predict how a website will be seen by its visitors.
Any multimedia content must also consider the various display needs. Web designers need to know how to include images, videos, and other elements in ways that provide a consistent experience and deliver your marketing message without any disruptions.
Is your website taking advantage of these or other design strategies? Are you unsure which design would work best for your business website? Understanding how each design works helps you choose the best option for your website.
Fixed-width and fluid-width designs provide unique benefits to web developers and website visitors. But they can also have limitations that you need to know about.
Choosing the right design strategy and knowing how to implement it will create a website that meets the goals of your business and its audience.