Website Setup and CSS

Posted on 2013-01-04
Last Modified: 2013-01-22
What is the best way to setup a website to take into account the size of a users screen.  Large apple 30 inch screens and small screen.  Also mobile devises.

Should I use a different CSS for each?  Should I only use percentage values in the CSS?

A little brief guidance here will be greatly appreciated.
Question by:rgranlund
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

Marco Gasi earned 500 total points
ID: 38744740
Very generally, the use of percentages are recommended in order to fit several screen sizes.

Developers don't agree if it's better to have only one site for all devices or several sites each for one device. Foundamentally, to have only one site makes mutch easier to mantain the site but probably it will oblige you to give up something in design and layout. To have one site for each device allows to always do the best for that device (and its user) but can make tha maintenance a hell.

You can learn more about responsive design here:

Surfing the web, you can find many framworks to design flexible layouts using grids:


Author Comment

ID: 38744754

For example, here is a wordpress theme:
If you decrease the size of your screen you will see the site respond but it will not respond if you make the screen bigger than normal.

What is the way to do this, pure CSS?  How would I get the images to be larger?
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 38744772
It's called responsive layout or responsive web design, and you can find a lot of material including tutorial, examples & templates on the web.
A good starting point is Ethan Marcotte's article in A list apart.
Some frameworks like twitter bootstrap, already contain sets of css rules to meet different requirements by different devices.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Marco Gasi
ID: 38744792
You have to set the viewport to 100%. This will make your site occupie all the available space. Once you have set the body width to 100%, you'll can design your layout using percentages. Simply search through Google for responsive web design and/or responsive css
and you'll find tons of infos to realize your site.


Author Comment

ID: 38744803
@Hagay and @ Marqus

What I'm really interested is how to make a background image stretch and shrink without causing it to pixelate?
@media 1140px         
@media 768px         
@media 480px         
@media 300px
If you change to any of these the image should get bigger or small.  How do you do that?
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 38744824
The best way is to use different images.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Marco Gasi
ID: 38744858
I agree with HagayMandel. This is also the tecnique used by css responsive images.
Anyway you can find interesting this:
LVL 110

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 38746623
... make a background image stretch and shrink without causing it to pixelate?
The browser can shrink it for you.  But you don't want the browser to enlarge it for you - the results will be visually ugly.  Agree with HagayMandel - create different images for different sizes.  You will get the best look and you'll save bandwidth and storage when you're working with smaller viewports.

PHP can interact with JavaScript to detect the size of the viewport.  That may help you create a custom CSS document that loads the appropriate background images.

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