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Don't Resize the Browser

One of the biggest mistakes I think a website owner can do is resize a visitors browser window.

Think of the reasons why you are doing it and I'm sure you can only think of one.

Think of the reasons why you shouldn't and I'm sure the list will be quite long.

The only reason I can think of for doing it is... you want the browser to be at the correct width to display your page. If that is the same reason you came up with then just think of the impression that gives.

To me it says "my visitors are too stupid to resize their browser to view my content". Not only that, most of the sites that do resize broswers don't resize it to fit the content. What they usually do is maximise the browser window to full available width and height.

For people like myself who are using 1280x1024 and for a high percentage who are using 1024x780 this is really irritating. If I want my browser maximised, I am quite capable of doing that myself - I don't need someone making that decision for me. So what do I do when I visit one of those sites that treat me like an idiot - I leave without waiting to see if they have what I'm looking for.

So the reasons against resizing a visitors browser have already begun.

This raises more questions - if your site is designed for 800 wide and you must resize, why not resize the browser to 800 wide? Why maximise it? Is the javascript too complicated for you to work out how to do it?

Custom browser windows have their place I'm not denying that but they must be exactly that, custom windows that are opened by clicking on a link and not by resizing the visitors main window with an onload event.

Credit your visitors with more sense. First impressions count - do you want your visitors first impression to be "do they think I don't know how to use my browser!"

  • Do you agree?
  • Do you think these comments are unfair?
  • Do you resize your visitors browser onload?
  • Did you remove this "feature" due to complaints?

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