I want to start supporting page widths below 960px (non-responsive), but I know this is not traditional. When I say non-responsive, I only mean that the page layout not change dramatically like you'd see on a phone. I would utilize min-width on the container to go below 960x, with a width on the container having the ability to grow to 1000 or so.

The reason I want to do so is for windows 8 splitscreen docking without scrollbars. If you open some of the most popular websites and dock them on an 1920 monitor you'll see that they have scrollbars. Even the MSN site uses 960 width and would have scrollbars when docked if the content didn't resize when scrunched.

960px is half of 1920 yes, but we've got the browser frame and vertical scrollbar to consider as well. Which on a 1920 screen resolution in windows 8 with chrome is 927px. So if you fit your page into a 927px container, people with large screen resolution can splitscreen dock without having a horizontal scrollbar.

I was even considering supporting lower screen sizes than that due to the extremely common 1440 lenovo desktop monitors and 13-inch macbook air resolutions to splitscreen without horizontal scrollbars, which would mean fitting the page content within a 687px container. (assuming that the vertical scrollbar + browser frame consumes 33px or less)

So anyways to the question: Should I support minimum page widths below 960px?

  • 1
    I personally rarely ever use splitscreen on my Windows 8 machine. From some data I have read, win8 doesn't have really large market share on desktops (rather small), so I'm not sure if it can pay out. Those are just my impressions though.
    – Luke
    Jul 19, 2014 at 18:33
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    True but even disregarding the metro ie docking, windows 7 docking is the same thing iirc. And im not too familiar with macOS but you can do the same thing with it as well. Jul 19, 2014 at 20:33
  • @Luke Windows 7 has dual-column docking, one of my brothers uses it to play games on one side and browse on the other
    – Izkata
    Jul 19, 2014 at 21:03

2 Answers 2


Yes. I believe public-facing websites should generally support mobile and desktop and every resolution in between.

Now whether you accomplish that through clever use of min-widths or with responsive design is really going to depend on the overall design of the site. I have a site that utilizes the min-width trick for widths of 720 pixels and above. But it switches layouts entirely through media queries for resolutions below that. The 720 pixel breakpoint I used really has nothing to do with the screens and devices out there and had more to do with my own site design.

By the way, Pure CSS from Yahoo is worth checking out. It has a very useful grid system much like Bootstrap or Foundation, but it's absolutely tiny by comparison at just 4.4KB minified and gzipped.


If your content is suitable for smaller windows than I don’t see a reason not to make it scalable.

But my main thought is, why bother? Are you going to support netbooks as well with 11 inch screens or less? I mean where does it stop?

How well do you know that people will use splitscreen, and not just resize till the page fits or use full screen? Even if you know that an important part of your user base will view the page in splitscren on a 1920 inch monitor what is stopping you from making the design 33px smaller? And what if 33px fall off the screen, does that make something unusable? Imo if that’s the case than there is something wrong with the design.

About the 13” Macbook. As long as the main content is completely visible scrolling sideways wouldn't be a big problem: Scrollbars only appear while scrolling and using a trackpad scrolling horizontally is as easy as scrolling vertically.

After reading my own answer I realized that I ask more questions than giving a straight answer. I don't mean to be harsh though, just trying to say that your time might be better spent on something else. But that is your call of course.

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