Site looks too large on certain screen size

  Beksters 19:24 PM 01 Sep 12

Hi, I was wondering if someone could offer me some advice please? I have recently designed a website for someone ( and have it set up with a width of 960px, which I understand is standard. The site looks exactly how she wants it viewed at 100% in various browsers on my laptop (17"), however she is not happy with its appearance on her laptop (15") at 100%. For some reason it seems to display a LOT larger. We have physically measured the width of the content at 100% on both screens and it is a good two inches wider on hers. Because of this increase in size, a lot of the content further down the page, which is immediately visible on my laptop, is cut off making the viewer have to scroll down to view, so the site loses its initial impact. Is there anything I can do about this? The site looks how she wants it at 75% on her laptop but she is worried about how it will look to other viewers with their browsers initially set at 100%. I understand that on a smaller screen, less of the site will be viewable but I don't understand why it displays so much larger. Is it worth decreasing the overall size of the site? I thought 960px was standard and should look good on most monitors? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  Ansolan 01:14 AM 02 Sep 12


Nothing wrong with the width as such. If the owner has a (possibly older) laptop with a low resolution screen, the site will look wider. You can see the situation somewhere like:

You should be more concerned with ensuring the site works for users than the owner. Good that you are using a basically responsive layout but core elements such as the contact form, page headings, navigation and product images do not work well on small devices. That site will see a fair amount of mobile use if ever getting any traffic.

Not trying to be too critical, I'm sure you worked hard and the site is pleasant but did note the owner said:

"I realise there are so many opportunities out there particularly via the web"

Not for that website at the moment. You need to get the site working for all/most users, sort out how people are going to buy anything (few will email ad hoc) plus how you will get people to the site.

Search engines aren't the only route but can help. At present they will regard that site as confusing, not even basics such as titles, descriptions, alt tags are suitable. You also need to set up core technical optimisation e.g. stop the site being available (and indexed) both with and without www:,mod=10&sourceid=chrome&,or.rgc.rpw.r_qf.&fp=75226a36e940693a&biw=1514&bih=830

So tell the owner not to worry about the resolution, just focus on what they believe the site is for and making that happen. Not beyond anyone and not magic, lots of research/online reading, hard work, focusing on users. If they stick at it, given a year or so the site could be of value to them. Purely from the search perspective, these offer a start:

  Ansolan 01:16 AM 02 Sep 12

Sorry about the URLs, just copy and paste.

  Beksters 10:08 AM 02 Sep 12

Thanks for the response. I am now looking into adapting the site to make it responsive. I created it in WordPress using the TwentyEleven theme and I'm not sure how easy it will be to make adjustments to, I may have to start again using a different theme. I've just posted in the WordPress forums for some advice on where to start with this.


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