Liquid layout is the type of lay out in web designing wherein the width of the webpage adjusts and re-adjusts itself according to the size of the browser windows’ or screen resolution. The content of the page will expand and contract to occupy the entire screen width according to the available space.
Liquid layout has become immensely popular in almost every single web-based situation owing to its dynamic ability to adjust its width according to the size of the user’s viewport.
Liquid layouts are often preferred by the web designers especially when they need to get across plentiful information within little space. Contrary to the fixed width layout, liquid lay-outs minimize the need for scrolling, hence enriching the user-experience.
While there are some remarkable advantages of using liquid layouts, it also has some limitations. Below discussed are some pros and cons of a liquid layout.
|Image Source: Infragistics Quince|
Liquid Lay-out—The Pros
The end-users do not like to scroll up and down a web page too much. This is true for the higher screen resolutions where a lot of space stays bland and the visitors need to scroll down to read the entire content. Liquid web layout eliminates this hassle and the enables the visitors to read the entire content by re-adjusting and befitting page lay-out according to the screen width.
Liquid Layouts offers Better Accessibility
Liquid lay-outs are adaptive to any screen resolution. Since, the lay-out contracts and expands as per the browser window’s size, the amount of content shown at a time, increases. The empty spaces in between the columns are lessened, especially, when the pages are viewed at higher resolution.
Liquid Layouts Eliminate Horizontal Scrollbars
Horizontal scroll bars are possible concerns in fixed layout type. If the visitor’s screen resolution is higher than the original resolution of your website, than horizontal scroll bars will appear on the pages. The heck of horizontal scrollbars can be eliminated in liquid layout, since; the content would re-arrange itself as per the width of the browser.
Liquid Lay-out—The Cons
Unpleasant browsing experience
Since, the liquid web layouts adjust according to the screen size, width and resolution, the designing elements like the headings and sub-headings can get fragmented awkwardly as screen resolution contracts. There are apprehensions about how a website using liquid layouts would look on low or high screen resolutions. As a matter of fact, the liquid lay out can end up giving an unrefined display which might disrupt the browsing experience for the visitors.
Liquid layout can affect the functioning of flash graphics and videos
Some web designing elements are hard to resize. For instance, high resolution images, flash designs or videos are pre-defined and have a fixed size. So, while a webpage adjusts itself according to browser windows’ size, proper functioning of these elements can get hampered.
Liquid layout can seem weird in high resolutions
Liquid layout designs in high screen resolution can leave considerably blank areas and increase the white spaces. This white spacing can give an impression as if the site is lacking in content and can potentially degrade its value. The spaces between columns and paragraphs in the page content will look weird and inconsistent.
Liquid layouts, in high screen resolutions can widen the gap between the texts and letters, making a sentence look abruptly long. Similarly, on small screen resolutions, the space between the words will appear narrow so as to fit in properly. This will pose a big challenge as far as the text readability of the page is concerned.
The decision to go for a Liquid lay-out will depend upon certain factors such as the type of content, the structure and the amount of information to be displayed. Liquid layouts cost more than the fixed width types since it demand precise and meticulous programming acumen and have to pass through several trial and error modes.
About The Author: Saday Kumar is an Internet marketing expert and technical writer working with one of the leading Orange County Web Design Companies, B3net Inc. He writes blogs on various topics that range from latest trends in web designing as well as Internet Marketing strategies.