Advantages and disadvantages of fixed-width design

These are the advantages of fixed-width design:

  • The basic layout of the page remains the same regardless of canvas size. This may be a priority for companies interested in presenting a consistent corporate image for every visitor.

  • Fixed-width pages and columns provide better control over line lengths, preventing them from becoming too long when the page is viewed on a large monitor.

Consider also these disadvantages:

  • If the available browser window is smaller than the grid for the page, parts of the page will not be visible and may require horizontal scrolling to be viewed. Horizontal scrolling is a hindrance to ease of use, so it should be avoided. (One solution is to choose a page size that serves the most people, as discussed later in this section.)

  • Elements may shift unpredictably if the font size in the browser is larger or smaller than the font size used in the design process.

  • Trying to exert absolute control over the display of a web page is bucking the medium. The Web is not like print; it has its own peculiarities and strengths.

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