When technology changes, so should we.
When I started doing website development, not that long ago, the standard screen resolution was 800x600 and some people had the new 960x720 screens. The standard at that time was to design for a fluid screen width with the difference between the smaller screens and the larger screens being relatively minor.
The site w3schools.com shows that in the year 2000 their average visitor had a screen size of 800x600 with only 4% with a screen size larger than 1024x768, whereas in January 2013, 90% of their average visitor had a screen size larger than 1024x768.
People now view websites on various mediums from smart-phones to tablets, slates and workstations. We need to ask, how does this affect website design. Often you can tell how old the website is simply by it's design width.
The trend nowadays is to design to a 960x1024 width site with a responsive template or theme to adjust automatically to the portrait or landscape view of the smart phones or tablets. A fluid width that will stretch across any screen size can look terrible on the new wide-screen monitors.
When deciding how the site is designed in relation to aspect, width and resolution it is important to consider all the different technologies on which your website will be viewed. Think about who is going to view your website and on what medium.
At The ICT Shak we offer a standard 960x720 site with a responsive template to create mobile friendly websites without the added expense of a mobile alternative site.