Optimal Screen Resolution for Web Design

Posted by Mark Thompson - May 30, 2008 - Design/Development - 7 Comments

UPDATE:  2010 Screen Resolution Statistics

Screen resolutions have changed a lot over the past 8 years. Computer monitors have migrated to offer users  much smaller resolution choices. The days of 640 x 480 have long since past.

This brings up a good question for web developers. “What should the average width of a website be?” Of course there are other parameters to consider such as the style of design the client chooses. Fluid website design, like those that expand 100% of the users browser regardless of their screen resolution, is one way to avoid having to worry about designing for the “average” screen resolution.

I analyzed 6 of our clients web statistics and came up with the following screen resolution statistics:

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

Here are some statistics from w3schools.com.

As the use of laptops and wide screen desktop monitors become more prevalent, we will start to see these trends continue to change.

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%
Date Higher 1024×768 800×600 640×480 Unknown
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 the use of laptops and wide screen desktop monitors increases, we must continue to keep an eye on how users are viewing the websites we develop.

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

yer shit get a new monitor!

anon too
anon too

640x480? Seriously....get a new monitor!


Hi, Are there more recent statistics for this? It'd be interesting to see how the numbers evolved over the last 6 months.


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I think it's best to design a web site which adjusts to fit the user's resolution. I hate it when I have to scroll back and forth across a page to read each line of text. I still use 640x480, anything higher makes my eyes hurt. Sometimes I see people using small monitors and very high screen resolutions, I don't know how they can do it without major headaches...


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