Do we really care about 800x600 people? (53 posts)

  1. bmg1227
    Posted 10 years ago #

    For the past few years, I have created blogs and websites that are fixed width, and fit inside an 800x600 screen resolution. Basically I'd center my stuff and make it no wider than 760px or so....

    My question, is how many people care about this? Is the percentage nowadays so minimal for people using this screen size, that we can target ours for the 1024x768 or wider folk?

    I'm looking to do a reboot on my blog, and wanted to know if I should shoot wider or not.

  2. Michael Bishop

    Posted 10 years ago #

    This isn't really a WP related support topic, and has been discussed on several occasions if you had searched.

    And for the record, I'm currently addressing this post on my old laptop that only supports 800x600.

  3. resiny
    Posted 10 years ago #

    You should look at your stats for guidance. Some sites get 80% of their users at 800x600, some (tech blogs, etc.) get only about 5%, you should take a look and see how many users you'd be alienating. If it's not a lot, then yeah, bring them out of the stone age

  4. Pizdin Dim
    Posted 10 years ago #

    "You should look at your stats for guidance."


    How do the stats show you that? Which stats? Apache?

  5. slakethirst
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Google Analytics of my own traffic has about 13% at 800x600, 46% at 1024x768, and the rest > 1024 ... I get a lot of search-based traffic, as opposed to regular readers, so I'm inclined to view it as an almost random sample. Were I redesigning for increased width, I'd shoot for a layout no wider than 960 or there 'bouts, to support the 1024 majority while allowing room for scrollbars and a bit of window tiling. But your mileage will most definitely vary.

  6. lhk
    Posted 10 years ago #


    I create for a variety of audiences. Especially when a site is read a lot in the former Eastern block, 800 x 600 still is an issue.

    Also, even I still use a 15" screen, just bought a new one at that, conceded with a 1024 x 768 solution, but anything larger than the 15" is mighty uncomfy with my workplace situation. So, don't assume that even all pros will be on 17" or 19" screens. There is a decided "end" to what is possible for people not working in architectonically configurable offices.

    That said, either I try to go for a fluid design, or I really look hard and long at the server stats. Often I offer a switching possibility, so that those who want to accommodate a lower solution have the chance to switch the theme to one geared to that screen width. As this is usually a "standard plugin" with many if not all blog and CMS softwares, I see no problem in the topic. I just offer the possibility to accommodate and well is well.

  7. spencerp
    Posted 10 years ago #

    IMO, you should always keep those that use the 800x600 res in mind. Not just because they don't want to use anything higher than that, but maybe because their eyes can't adjust to the font sizes and text in general in the higher res settings.

    I'm one of those people. =P But like lhk mentioned, fluid layouts would be the best goal to shoot for when making layouts. I don't usually make fluid layouts, but that's because I'm not a "professional theme maker" anyways lol.

    I usually just make it for 800x600, because that's what I'm used to designing for. =P So I guess what I'm saying is, build them to accommodate the "handicapped" too. What I mean by that is, those with some "eye problems" or whatever. =)


    P.S. Also, as an 800x600 res user, I hate the dang scroll bars at the bottom of the page lmao.. But that's expected though, when someone builds for anything higher..

    P.S.S I know my blog looks like hell in some browsers and stuff, but I'm in the process of making a theme..and hopefully it will display better then the one I'm using now. =)

  8. honewatson
    Posted 10 years ago #

    good points resiny.

    weblogs inc doesn't worry about 800 x 600

  9. bpfh
    Posted 10 years ago #


    I agree with spencerp: I know a lot of computer users > 45 years old who have problems with 1024x768.

    If your intended target audiance is the under-40's, this should not be an issue, though as lhk mentionned, some users are still on 15" screens (be it CRT or LCD's) but all 15 inchers I have seen can do 1024x768.

    From there, the implementation path is up to you.

  10. monkeypup
    Posted 10 years ago #

    I hate making themes 800x600 compatible. I also hate making them IE compatible. But I do. Because there's too many folks still using both to alienate them.

  11. manstraw
    Posted 10 years ago #

    If you don't care if people read your site, then do what you want. If you want people to read, I'd consider their needs. I don't think this is any different than having a bbq, where you know some people coming are vegetarians. Are you going to provide for them, or not? It might be extra effort, but it need not comprise design for a blog.

  12. DomFontana
    Posted 10 years ago #


    I think the majority of users are using IE, rather than Firefox or another browser.

    Also, to chime in, yes, I think any site or blog should be 800x600 compatible. You'd be surprised at how many people still use that resolution.

  13. JoeyLomanto
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Hey guys,

    I personally think it depends on your audience, I recently started my own site using WP ( http://www.joeblog.ca/blog ) and designed it for a miniumum 1024 x 768 assuming most of the people I plan to have on my site when its finished are going to be a little more web saavy.

    Maybe a websites target audience should determine its size.

  14. Michael Bishop

    Posted 10 years ago #

    JoeyLomanto, are you saying that because I still get great functionality out of my ibook that only operates at 800x600 (and won't budget a new laptop purchase until PhotoShop CS is universal binary) that I'm not web savvy?

  15. Dgold
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Designs wider than 800 are still compatible with 800x600 monitors, they simply have a horizontal scroll bar. Just like all the other users have a vertical scrollbar when the page is a skinny column that goes down and down. Somethin' to think about.

    I'd like to see more fluid-width themes, with static-width columns but flexible main-content-area.

  16. I much prefer fluid-width themes in general. Of course, I have a 1680 wide screen, so people designing for a fixed width of 800 take less than half my screen. I find that quite annoying and generally don't read those blogs.

    Design your theme to stretch as needed. If you want to make 800 wide a minimum, that's your call, but don't make it a maximum as well. Fixed width is the tool of the devil! :)

  17. chillbilly
    Posted 10 years ago #

    fluid is probably the most balanced solution and not all that hard ta set up either. I went way outa my way to force the defualt theme to be completly fluid so everyone can dig it no matter what resolution they've got...if only I can find a good balance for cross browser compatability now...im workin on though :)

  18. glowlite
    Posted 10 years ago #

    I design everthing fluid with adequate base font sizes using em or % CSS relationships throughout. It depends alot as to the purpose of the web site. Marketing sites dictate much different design than informational sites. I do think however it's time to embrace the 21st century, and let the 8x6 viewers either scroll away or fade away. Dialup users are also dwindling quite rapidly.

    I would have to agree with Otto42 ........

  19. lhk
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Hi glowlite,

    ...Dialup users are also dwindling quite rapidly...

    Wrong. Patently wrong.

    Dialup is standard for practically everyone too far outside of large towns to have access to a lot of phone/internet companies in a lot of competition. This is so even in the US American countryside. It is even more so the case for most of Europe, most of Africa and Asia.

    One might get the impression of something dwindling, if one lives in an at least medium-sized city well connected to all backbones and with a good infrastructure, as one's own friends tend to come from the same area and it's their responses by which people tend to form opinions on.

    E.g. I live a mere 50 miles away from a huge city in Europe, in which I worked and lived but a couple of years ago. Most of my friends are from that city and to them broadband access, flatrates and a large number of choices are "normal". When they visit me where I now live and notice the modem I still have, their eyes bulge. Even more so when I tell them, that we have no broadband here, nor radio/wire-LAN access points and that I pay quite dearly per minute for online access.

    So, as long as you want people outside the larger western culture cities to access sites you design for, you better stop thinking everyone has a 19" screen and DSL access.

    And yep, I noticed lately a lot of sites which cater exclusively to broadband speeds. I click out of them the moment I notice their huge overhead with file sizes.

  20. maerk
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Oooh, lots of comment here :)

    I find a fluid design is best. If it's fixed width it might cause problems for both big and small screen users.

    A good rule to go by is about fifteen to twenty words per line, in a nicely sized font (small fonts are evil!).

  21. Dialup is standard for practically everyone too far outside of large towns to have access to a lot of phone/internet companies in a lot of competition. This is so even in the US American countryside. It is even more so the case for most of Europe, most of Africa and Asia.

    -Broadband usage in the US was up to 70% among internet users as of last month. This month it's up to 73%.
    -Among all online households in the US (instead of "users"), it's right at 50/50.
    -Europe is running at about 20% broadband household coverage.
    -Percentage of *all* Americans who have broadband at home is 42%. Remember, however, that more than a third of households don't have a computer at all, and 8% have one but don't go online.

  22. lhk
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Hi Otto,

    what I said - 50/50 isn't "negligable" as glowlite assumed. And the USA is the farthest along regarding broadband.

    The more interesting statistic data isn't apparently available? How large the percentage of non-urban (= outside the bigger cities) broadband users is. Because sure as hell, these users will wait for a long while before they get anything better.

  23. what I said - 50/50 isn't "negligable" as glowlite assumed.

    Don't get confused now. 50/50 is among all households. In terms of actual heads, it's 73/27 among people who actually use the internet at home, and the rate itself is still increasing. So saying that half the people in the country don't have broadband is inaccurate at best.
    -42% of the people in the country don't have internet access of any kind, at home.
    -Of the remaining 58%, almost 3 out of 4 do have broadband, at home.
    -Now, 73% of adults say they use the internet at all, so about a third of those use it at work only. And broadband in the workplace is up around 90% among those people.
    So, do the math, and this gives you about an 80-85% broadband usage among people who use the internet *at all*, in the USA. Those are pretty significant numbers.

    And the USA is the farthest along regarding broadband.

    In terms of actual heads, yes, but in terms of penetration, no. The US is 19th and falling in that race. The Pacific Rim countries are way ahead, mainly because of population density, I think.

    The more interesting statistic data isn't apparently available? How large the percentage of non-urban (= outside the bigger cities) broadband users is.

    The info you want is here: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d06426.pdf
    According to the chart on page 18: Urban and suburban households tend to be running around 29% having broadband, while rural users are running at 17%. That's actually a really interesting report if you feel like flipping through it, but the gist of it is that broadband is increasing among rural areas. Mostly thanks to wireless and other technologies which mean that we don't have to run tons of wire out to the boonies.

    Because sure as hell, these users will wait for a long while before they get anything better.

    Meh. Depends on how you define "long while". I'd guess that as more wireless tech comes about and gets better, the rate of adoption of high speed services in rural areas will increase rapidly. While it's a little bit premature to not consider dialup users, it's certainly not unjustified to do so. Within the next, say, 4 years, most web designers will have excluded dial-up users as a primary motivating factor in their designs. Well, most have already, admittedly, but I think that that will actually make sense within 4 years. :)

  24. lhk
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Hi Otto,

    I haven't been delving too deeply into those reports, as PDFs load too slowly for me (sic!). ;-)

    However, I never trust statistics I haven't forged myself, so to speak ;-). I have quite a few differing news regarding the USA, e.g. the fact that quite a few areas outside of urban regions already have trouble getting a payable phone line, not to speak of DSL or cable, that connectivity prices in rural areas have been lately sharply rising, etc etc.

    According to our local statistics I should have the choice between at least 3-4 DSL carriers, my region is even listed as "DSL-enabled", but the plain simple fact is that there aren't even the distribution mechanics installed here. Still according to statistics my region has DSL... ;-) So you see why I tend to distrust such stats when I often hear completely different tales.

    As to web-designers and catering to dialup: 4 years doesn't even touch it, especially when we are talking professional, and even more so, when we are talking commercial design.

    Unless we talk about sites which are seclusive and exclusive to their immediate surroundings and a very narrow clientele, web designers have to cater to many necessities, dialup by the way being in my eyes even more important than accessibility of impaired people in this respect as it touches much more people. If you look at any well-designed, successful commercial site, you will notice that the real pros indeed do cater to analog users. Carefully so. These can bring in the exact same revenue as a broadband user.

    Privateers will have to ask themselves for whom they design and whether they can or want to afford to exclude large portions of potential users on the WWW (which doesn't consist of only the USA either).

  25. Uh huh. Tried Amazon.com on dial-up lately? It's painful. :)

    I see your point and even agree with it, I just don't think it'll go the way you think it will. I kinda tend to believe the 15-20% dialup figure, and believe me, I know people in some *rural* areas. I grew up in Arkansas for crying out loud. ;)

    Admittedly, in Montana or something where you can't even get a phone line, then getting high-speed connectivity is more difficult, but quite a lot of the US gets cable TV, and cable providers are falling all over themselves to get broadband to these people.

  26. webva
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Don't forget the bell-curve effect. There are probably as many of the "tech-savvy" 1024+ crowd that appreciate a fluid or 800px design as there are people on 800x600 monitors. Just for differing reasons.

    For example I just looked up to check as I was writing this, and I have 5 windows open. Two email programs, an accounting program, a spreadsheet and Firefox. I will often also have a word processor and IE open at the same time.

    I appreciate fluid & 800px site designs, because they take up _less space_ on my 1600px 19" LCD. Additionally, even a fluid design with the wrong (fixed pixel) font sizes is more difficult to read at higher screen widths. Go with the %/em size recommendations, above.

  27. pcmt
    Posted 10 years ago #

    If this website was fluid width it would be far less readable. Around 12 words per line (or 72 characters) is easy to read for most people. Sites that throw up a horizontal scrollbar for 800 x 600 users are more common these days but I think it's thoughtless to force this on the still sizable section of users with 800 wide. Of course pages scroll vertically, and that's why most mouses have a wheel. Horizontal scrolling is a different thing altogether.

  28. glowlite
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Thanks Otto42, you've saved me alot of keystrokes!

    We threw all the global data we could obtain in the middle of the table and sifted through it carefully. That was 3 months ago. At that time Canada led the US by slightly more than 1% in bb/dsl users. It seemed the only thing holding the UK back at that time was a lack of infrastructure. Our mission was to gear web design toward the people who actually used the internet.

    We also learned in the previous 14 months broadband/dsl users were increasing at the rate of 1%(+-) per month with no anticipated slow down.

    lhk seems to be in a situation thats common. But, that small percentage is just that, a small percentage. And it is dwindling quite fast. That segment is slowly falling through the cracks. It's just not cost effective marketing to attempt 100% saturation.

    webva - if designing is a hobby that's one thing, if it's for profit then I suggest a dual monitor setup, your worklife and productivity will improve greatly.

    PS- I think I still have a 10" amber monitor around here someplace if anyone needs it.

  29. Dgold
    Posted 10 years ago #

    pcmt said
    If this website was fluid width it would be far less readable. Around 12 words per line (or 72 characters) is easy to read for most people.

    That's the point of fluid width, the user can change the width and the line-length to whatever they feel is comfortable & easy to read. Just by clicking corner of your browser window and dragging it. Fluid width doesn't necessarily mean long line-length, it just means flexible/variable line length & user's option, reader's choice.

    Since this debate has been completely hashed on this and other forums, it's funny, but hard to avoid! I just wish I could find a good 3-col, fluid width WP 1.5 theme to play with, cuz that's what I like best.

  30. jwilliams
    Posted 10 years ago #

    I think it all comes down to who's going to your site, like a lot of people have been pointing out. If your site is titled "post generation X nerds U-nite!" then, well, you know, everyone will be looking at the page in firefox at 1600x1200. but if its a more general public website, then you have to worry about people like my mom who stroll up in IE at 800x600 with glasses on.

    Those variable width websites throw on a whole new twist. It's a hell of alot harder to get away with a good looking and functional variable width site imho though.

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