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I'm about to embark on my most ambitious project yet, but first the most simple question:I know that people use a variety of browsers, OS and screen resolutions, so I'm wondering about two things:(1). What would the "experts" recommend as to the page width? I'm thinking of having the main page as 900px width, but with slightly protruding navigation bars, of a width of 954px ? This would work well with a screen resolution of 1024px. Would this be a sensible size?(2). I have been told that the measure unit that is best practice is ems. Isn't this, however, a proportionate measurement? Should I initially set the #wrap (the overall wrapper of the page) in pixels?Many many thanks for taking the time with such a simple, but rather fundamental, question.Mark.

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I'm about to embark on my most ambitious project yet, but first the most simple question:I know that people use a variety of browsers, OS and screen resolutions, so I'm wondering about two things:(1). What would the "experts" recommend as to the page width? I'm thinking of having the main page as 900px width, but with slightly protruding navigation bars, of a width of 954px ? This would work well with a screen resolution of 1024px. Would this be a sensible size?(2). I have been told that the measure unit that is best practice is ems. Isn't this, however, a proportionate measurement? Should I initially set the #wrap (the overall wrapper of the page) in pixels?Many many thanks for taking the time with such a simple, but rather fundamental, question.Mark.
I think the average width for a site is around 900-960px. (Google actually determined the average width of a website years ago, based on several billion pages. I'll try to find it. edit: http://code.google.com/webstats/ - somewhere in there.) A lot of css frameworks stay within this range (e.g. http://www.blueprintcss.org/). I think anywhere in there is a good size to go by. YouTube, for example, is 970px.Historically, ems have been used to compensate for browsers that could only zoom text as opposed to the full page. That way, when somebody zooms the text, the entire page will expand because the font size increases which causes the value of 1em to increase (since 1em is literally equal to the height of one "M" character). Use of ems in this way will also expand the page based on what the user's default font size is. You can usually set or view the default page font size in browsers under preferences or what have you.Pixels don't do either of these things. This has been an ongoing debate: is it ok to use pixels now? or are ems still better? In my opinion, pixels are fine to use, but I don't want to stir up a mindless em v. px debate. Edited by Dilated
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Hi Dilated,Many thanks for the info on ems. Considering that I will be using graphic backgrounds, and that I am already being quite ambitious in this site, I have decided to stick to what I know and use pixels.For future sites I will do some research into ems.Mark.

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