I’ve noticed quite a sharp change in screen resolutions from the Analytics logs on various sites.

The number of people using 800×600 resolution monitors or lower has got to the point where in most cases this segment can safely be ignored.

If you are designing for a minimum resolution of 1,024 px wide (which translates to a 984px wide web page layout, once you allow for scroll bars etc), perhaps 2 to 3% of your visitors might encounter the dreaded horizontal scrollbars. Not many. And if you are running a business website, are you that concerned with visitors who have such old technology?

Looking ahead, the next significant screen resolution to consider is 1,280 px wide. If you designed for this width, more than a third of your visitors would need to scroll horizontally – not good. So we are probably going to see 984 px width web designs the maximum width for a while.

Based on my set of stats, the following table shows the the main screen resolutions and the % of visitors who would need to scroll horizontally if you designed for this width:

Screen Width (px)% Requiring Horizontal Scroll
3200.01%
8000.6%
1,0242.7%
1,28038.3%
1,44061.4%
1,68075.7%
1,92091.3%

Down at the 320px level we are looking at the iPhone platform, and different rules apply here. Designing business websites for the iPhone platform means using a separate website, quite possibly yourdomain.mobi, so buy your domain if you can.