Just 10 years ago the average monitor size was somewhere between 600 x 400 pixels to 800 x 600 pixels. Gasp! Imagine designing a site for either one of those two sizes today and you can see the designers run for the hills in horror.
As a design firm, the monitor resolution issue comes up quite frequently during the planning and designing phases of a project. Often, clients get upset when a design doesn't fit "their monitor" size or looks off size because the planning wasn't well thought out in the beginning.
So what is the average monitor resolution? What other resolutions should you take into consideration when designing a site and what sizes are falling by the wayside and should be discarded all together?
As you can clearly see the 1024 x 768 monitor resolution is used by almost half of the web community. Surprisinginly the number two resolution is 1280 x 1024 at a little over 17% just above the 9.5% 1280 x 800 users. The lowly 800 x 600 still holds an 8% grasp on user resolution but I predict a steady decline of this monitor size over the next year as new monitors begin to replace old tube monitors on home computers across the world.
The remaining six resolutions are all above even the moderate 1024 x 768 resolution.
So what's this mean to you?
Basically to design for a smaller monitor resolution (800 x 600) is an exercise in futility. Why cater to the 8% when the next step up covers over 90% of browser users? The 800 x 600 monitor is dead and should no longer even be considered useable, especially when planning and designing a website. The current web standard of 1024 x 768 is more than sufficient for almost all resolutions.