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Most web sites that I see are centered, and I'm wondering if there's some sort of unwritten (or written) trend away or against left aligned sites?

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Most people seem to think that using center all the time is "cool", and left is "boring". (I suppose if you like making it harder to read, you should center everything. Even this comment.) –  muntoo Jan 21 '11 at 0:33
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@muntoo source? Sites are designed centered aligned these days because of wider monitor ratio. A fixed width site aligned to the left won't look good on a 27" monitor with high resolution. –  Jin Jan 21 '11 at 5:33
    
@Jin No, I meant that some people would align all their paragraphs to center. Not everyone. Some people. (Grrr... to them.) –  muntoo Jan 21 '11 at 5:47
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I think you mean the tendency for the fixed-width content block to be centred within the browser window, rather than alignment of lines of text - but would be good to clarify this in the question. –  e100 Jan 21 '11 at 9:29
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The question was with respect to the alignment of the blocks of content, not the text itself (text justification?). –  Rhubarb Jan 21 '11 at 16:09

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I don't have current statistics, but studies done by Smashing Magazine in 2008 and 2009 found that 94% of popular blogs and 89% of design portfolios were center-aligned. It's a small sampling of websites, of course, but it indicates that the overwhelming trend is toward center-aligned websites.

If I had to venture a guess, I would say that the reason for this is because of increasingly bigger monitor sizes. Most web designs simply don't look good on 20-23-inch monitors unless they are centered.

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Yes the trend is more for centre design. In the past left align was more common when the screen where smaller (and a bit more difficult to achieve, you were using tables to create centre alignment). Nowadays centred align make more sense because you can balance the empty space on left and right filling better the screen.

I think that left align can be still used for interesting play with background (like graphical mood effect, or advertise), but you have to be clever and inspired to achieve a good effect

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While using maximised browser window and a high resolution widescreen monitor, it wouldn't serve the user it the contend would be at the far left side of the monitor.

(unrelated: statistics show, that monitors bigger than 24" reduce work effectiveness.)

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unless you can link the source of the statistics, don't make unverifiable claims. –  zzzzBov Jan 25 '11 at 21:14

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