A few years ago, fluid widths were all the rage. Accessibility guys loved them, and it was cool to grab the corner of your browser window and see all that content slide around.
Heck, my original Joomla template tutorial published at joomla.org even showed you how to make them. We even sold templates that had the more advanced "jello layout" (fixed side columns and fluid middle).
But now, at Joomlashack, we don't make fluid templates. I firmly believe they are misplaced on today's web.
So here is my thinking, 4 years ago, lots of people were still using 800px screens. The main point of a fluid width was that you could have a web page that looked ok in a 1024px screen, but still could shrink down to the smaller screens still used.
Now, the trend in screens is the opposite. People are getting huge screens, 32% of people browsing Joomlashack.com are doing so with resolutions over 1440px!
With these big screens, and a fluid layout, you get a new problem - readability. Studies have shown that readability on screen will drop off as you go over 960px. So a fluid width will fill that big screen and a) look daft and b) slow your reading down.
There is a lot of discussion on the web about maybe rethinking the trend of designing for 1024, but remember, on those big screens, most people are running several multiple windows and will have that browser window only on part of the screen.
At Joomlashack, we have taken these trends and adopted a 960px fixed width format for all our latest templates. Not only will they perform better with modern screen trends, but it also allows us to leverage advanced CSS frameworks like the 960 grid.
Check out some of our new SEO-ready Joomla templates that are built on our 960 grid framework, because remember, what's good for SEO, is good for accessibility!