Optimal Screen Resolution for Web Design (2010 Update)

Posted by Mark Thompson - January 7, 2010 - Design/Development - 16 Comments

Back in the May 2008, I wrote a post that analyzed what the best screen resolution size was for designing a website.  I thought it would be a good idea to see how screen resolutions have changed in a year and a half.  You can see the results from 2008, along with updated statistics from late 2009.

May 2008 Results

Websites Analyzed: 6
Total Visits: 185,637
Date Range: January, 2008 – May, 2008

Resolution Visits %
1024 x 768 82,351 44.36%
1280 x 1024 29,989 16.51%
1280 x 800 28,790 15.51%
800 x 600 10,858 5.85%
1440 x 900 10,242 5.52%
Other 23,407 12.61%
January 2010 Results

Websites Analyzed: 4
Total Visits: 167,096
Date Range: October 2009 – December 2009

Resolution Visits %
Larger than 1440 x 900 40,128 26.60%
1024 x 768 38,229 25.34%
1280 x 800 31,577 22.51%
1280 x 1024 22,824 15.13%
1440 x 900 8,304 7.52%
Smaller than 1024 x 768 3,210 2.90%

Updated browser information from W3Schools

Date Higher 1024×768 800×600 640×480 Unknown
January 2009 57% 36% 4% 0% 3%
January 2008 38% 48% 8% 0% 6%
January 2007 26% 54% 14% 0% 6%
January 2006 17% 57% 20% 0% 6%
January 2005 12% 53% 30% 0% 5%
January 2004 10% 47% 37% 1% 5%
January 2003 6% 40% 47% 2% 5%
January 2002 6% 34% 52% 3% 5%
January 2001 5% 29% 55% 6% 5%
January 2000 4% 25% 56% 11% 4%

As we can see, computer screens are getting bigger and bigger.  The 800×600 resolution is almost non-existent now compared to 5-10 years ago when it was the dominant resolution. For web designers this is important data to analyze since it will effect how sites are being built.  The sites that we design are created for at least a 1024 x 768 browser, and actually 1280 x 800 and bigger are starting to become the norm.

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter