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Website Containers: The Safety Zone

Posted: February 19th 2016

The Container Conundrum

We appreciate that, when it comes to websites, some people may have a limited knowledge whereas some may be comfortable with the basics. On numerous occasions, when we have created a website design and sent it over to a client, they have asked a very valid question: Why is there white space on either side of the content?

Contain your excitement…

The answer, put simply, is that the content is contained within a container (say that ten times fast).

container-elements

But what is a container?

The dictionary definition for a container is ‘an object used for or capable of holding, esp for transport or storage, such as a carton, box, etc’. In essence, this is what a container is on a website. It is capable of holding all of your content inside of two invisible lines either side of the page.

This white space that you see is there to compensate for different screen widths (screen resolutions) as some screens are bigger than others. So, in effect, you could be viewing the website on a large desktop screen and it would still look the same if it was viewed on a smaller desktop screen because the spacing from either side will compensate for the larger screen width and it means that no content on your web page would get lost. Tablets and mobile devices have certain screen widths with their own containers, therefore, if you are viewing a responsive website on a mobile device, there may be just a small amount of white space on either side of the device (it may not even be very noticeable); but that container can help to ensure that your website stays responsive as none of the content will step outside of it. Think of it like a safety zone, all of your lovely website content is nice and safe within these two invisible lines.

A web page is just basically a series of containers ensuring that all of your content is kept together. The container is like your friend who takes care of you and makes sure you stay together and do not get lost after having several tequila shots and pina coladas on a night out.

Is not having a container a bad thing?

Not necessarily. We are seeing more websites that are full width now and are not always intended to be inside of a main container. It would require some extra coding to ensure that it works within a responsive design but, if done correctly, it may not even be noticeable to the naked eye.

Do I need to worry about containers?

No, not at all. Your web designer will ensure that your website is contained, responsive and be the best it can be.

If you have any further questions about website design, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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