Accounting for window resizing in a site's design and layout
When designing a site's UI and layout, I've always wondered how much I should accommodate for the user resizing the frame (window/browser). I struggled to find any solid standard about how a site should adjust itself according to its root container.
Should it try and resize the contents by shrinking or enlarging the elements relative to the frame size? Should it keep the width of elements relative to the frame size and adjust the height to make the contents fit in vertically (like a newspaper column getting longer vertically)? Or should it simply not adjust the layout at all and provide scrollbars to navigate the content?
I've noticed that many sites do it differently and even the biggest sites like Google's own homepage and StackOverflow have minor breaks in the UI if the browser is shrunk:
This might be more of an issue of accounting for different resolutions rather than browser resizing but regardless, I'm really just interested in how the frame should deal with being smaller than the size it was designed for.
I'm curious to know if there IS a standard or general best practice and if not, I'd be interested to know your personal opinions on how it should be done and why.