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Asking The Readers: Fixed or Fluid Designs?

February 17, 2008

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Welcome to Asking The Readers! You are invited and encouraged to share your responses and opinions. Super Blogging has a fantastic community full of friendly and wise readers – so don’t be afraid to read the post and the other comments, and then share your own thoughts and ideas. We love hearing what you have to say!

This time around I’d like to discuss two popular types of designing a page: with a fluid layout, or a fixed layout. A fixed layout is created by specifying the main wrapper to an immovable width or a certain amount of pixels, so the page will be one size no matter what resolutions it’s viewed in. Super Blogging is a fixed design, and so is John Chow. A fluid layout is created by not specifying a wrapper width or using percentages, which means the content will fill the entire page and stretch out to fit the whole screen, no matter what its size is. GrayBit.com is an example of a fluid design, and this is a fluid page as well. Most of the blogs you read are probably fixed designs.

The thing is, there are pros and cons to both the fluid and the fixed layout. A fluid design will fit any user’s screen and can be completely universal, while a fixed design often times has more usability and is easier to read, plus more easy to control. Depending what kind of site you have and what you’re trying to accomplish, either could work for you.

However, I’m asking you, do you prefer fixed or fluid designs, and why? Is one more easy to use and access over the other? Does one simply look better and the other doesn’t? Do you like reading sites with fluid or fixed designs, and which type of layout is YOUR blog or site using? Would you ever consider changing it to be fluid if it’s a fixed design, or vice versa? Let me know what you think on the topic, what you prefer, and why.

Please leave a comment and let us know! Depending on the responses received, I will take my favorites and include them in a new article or in the next Asking The Readers post, giving you credit and a link back to your blog featuring your response. In that future article I will also share my own opinions about fixed and fluid designs as well. Until then, I can’t wait to read what you have to say. The comments are open, so don’t be afraid to share. I look forward to your responses!

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Comments

9 Responses to “Asking The Readers: Fixed or Fluid Designs?”

  1. Wayne Liew on February 17th, 2008 6:05 am

    Stats will again play the role in determining which type of blog theme to go for.Just imagine someone using a widescreen to view a blog with fluid width. :lol:

    Wayne Liew’s last blog post..Blogosphere Summary Week #5

  2. robojiannis on February 17th, 2008 2:11 pm

    In the end, I would always go for usability. The tools to create an eye-catching design, while remaining in the usability principles are available and easy to use.If I were to make something more artistic, I would go with Flash, although it is not SEO compatible…

  3. J.D. on February 17th, 2008 4:29 pm

    Fixed width all the way.  Easier to plan, easier to implement, gives everyone the same experience.As mentioned earlier, widescreen monitors can pose a problem for those who read fluid-width blogs.  A simple solution for the reader is just to set your browser to a fixed width.  :)  That way you can have two or three browsers or other applications up at the same time. 

    J.D.’s last blog post..A People You’ll See In Hell Valentine’s Day

  4. Tay on February 17th, 2008 6:29 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your opinions! It’s nice to have a viewpoint from several different people and to have an idea on the thoughts of the pros and cons of each. I will share my own opinions in the followup post!

  5. Weight Loss Wand on February 19th, 2008 6:12 am

    I prefer fluid designs much more than the fixed ones. They give little bit of artistic look which is more attractive.

  6. Heath on February 19th, 2008 4:42 pm

    My personal preference is fixed, and probably a maximum of two columns of information.
     
    I’m a fan of clutter minimization, that being, not too many main sections on the page that I need to interact with. I like headers that are consistent and do not change from page to page, and I like a main text area, and a right formatted “extras” area.
     
    Dynamic formatting makes me feel like I’m moving from site to site, vs. the same website. The thing I hate the most is having to make my browser window larger to accomodate things with have shifted off the right side – I’m fine with scrolling down, but not with scrolling left and right.

    Heath’s last blog post..2 Accomplishments on President’s Day

  7. Tay on February 19th, 2008 6:43 pm

    Thanks to you two for sharing your opinions, and thanks Heath for your detailed response. I understand both points of view, so I appreciate you letting me know your opinions!

  8. Brown Baron on February 21st, 2008 12:53 pm

    I prefer fixed layouts. Haven’t really thought why but it’s something I preferred even when I started blogging.

    Brown Baron’s last blog post..Photobucket Improves Slideshow Tool

  9. The Differences Between Fixed and Fluid Width Designs | Super Blogging on March 26th, 2008 2:37 am

    […] may recall when I asked my readers whether they thought fixed designs or fluid designs are better. Now I’m going to touch on that topic again and let you know the results of the discussion […]

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