"Max site width" setting---Why?

I’ve been away from Rapidweaver for awhile, and just now getting back into it to create a couple of sites. I’m using responsive themes. My question is—what is the relevance of the “Max width” setting in the Master Settings for my project? If the project is responsive to various screen sizes and widths, then I don’t know why it’s important for me to select 1200px vs. 1400px maximum site width. And which “max width” should I choose?

Without a max-width, the content would just keep on expanding as the browser gets wider. On large monitors text would become unreadable as paragraphs become wider and wider, tending towards being one single line.

Responsive images would do likewise and just fill the width of the browser and become proportionally large in height.

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Thanks Tav. So what’s the “ideal” maximum site width? Is it somehow dependent on the content?

there is no right answer. opinions differ quite a bit.

  • legibility: narrower columns are easier to read long spans of text
  • style: sometime narrower widths are chosen as an affectation
  • monitor size: always getting bigger

i know, you probably want a concrete answer. :slight_smile:
i look to the front-end frameworks (Foundation and Bootstrap) as a guide.

if i’m not mistaken currently Bootstrap uses 970px and Foundation uses 62.5em (about 1000px) – and if you include some responsive extras in Bootstrap it goes up to 1200px.

somewhere in that range is reasonable


That’s a good explanation Isaiah—thanks!

I think there’s sometimes a case for having an unlimited width for the site per se but having most of the content in a container (e.g. 1-column stack) with a max. width. That way, the nav bar, background image, etc. can (if you wish) adjust to fit the width of the screen while the other elements are constrained.

+1 for @peterdanckwerts theory.

As @peterdanckwerts says - this is how you would normally write a site. It is just RW themes that force you to have everything inside a predefined max-width.

One of the things that initially made my Grummage stacks for Foundation so popular, was the ability to break free of the site width for backgrounds and even content if required, whilst keeping the main body of content centered within the max-width. On this demo page you can see the effect about half way down with the 6 picture boxes at full width, whilst the text below is contained.

Happily this is ability now also built in to all the Foundation column stacks as well.

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