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See it LIVE!
This demo is a view of the gh-pages branch of the repository. It is automatically updated as commits are made to the branch.

Update: The layout now compiles with LESS! I changed the dropdowns to use code from Twitter's Bootstrap modified slightly for my design.


This layout was designed to be responsive, lightweight (7.5 kb), accessible (508 compliant), and usable in IE7+, Chrome, Safari, Firefox 3.6+, and Opera. It features a sticky footer that stays at the bottom of the page even if the content does not reach the bottom. When content goes below the fold the footer will follow the content and will only be visible if you scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Layout: Fluid or Fixed

Using LESS variables you can quickly modify the layout to be either fluid or fixed. Just set the @layout variable to either fluid or fixed in variables.less. By default it is fluid.

@layout:            fluid;//fluid or fixed

Then in these two blocks in site.less include a couple of mixins:

div#footer, div#header, div#body {
    .layoutInner(@layout);//fixed or fluid with defaults.
html, body, div#container, div#top, div#middle, div#bottom {
    .layoutOuter(@layout);//fixed or fluid with defaults.

This will result in a layout that expands to fill 100% of the viewport. You can also give it bounds by adding a couple of variables. Just uncomment these two lines in variables.less:

@layoutMax:         1280px;//optional if @layout = fluid. default is no max.
@layoutMin:         800px;//optional if @layout = fluid. default is no min.

Then modify these in site.less to:

div#footer, div#header, div#body {
    .layoutInner(@layout, @layoutMin, @layoutMax);
html, body, div#container, div#top, div#middle, div#bottom {       
    .layoutOuter(@layout, @layoutMin);

This will give a layout that expands up to 1280px and contracts down to 800px. You can also create a fixed layout. Just set @layout to fixed. The default width is 1280px wide. But you can change it by setting an optional variable.

@layoutWidth:       600px;//optional if @layout = fixed. default is 1280px.

Then modify these to:

div#footer, div#header, div#body {
    .layoutInner(@layout, @layoutWidth);
html, body, div#container, div#top, div#middle, div#bottom {      
    .layoutOuter(@layout, @layoutWidth);

Note: The header and footer will still visually extend to fill 100% of the viewport; only the contents will bounded by the width settings. Look at my blog's header on a screen with a resolution greater than 1280 pixels wide to see what this looks like.

Fixed header and footer

To fix the header add the .fixedHeader mixin to the #top class in header.less and remove the .gradient mixin.

#top {
    //.gradient(#2E2E2E, #666666, #1D1D1D);// comment out this line if using a fixed header.

Now the header will be fixed but the body content will appear under the header. To fix this we have to add padding to #middle equal to the height of the header in header.less.

#middle {
    /* for fixed header you pad middle so the body content doesn't get covered by the header */
    padding-top: @headerHeight;

To fix the footer add the .fixedFooter mixin to #bottom in site.less.

#bottom {
    /* this line fixes the footer */


Since it is responsive, it adjusts to look good on mobile devices as well. These two lines in index.htm's head section target mobile browsers.

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="styles/css/mobile.css" media="screen and (max-width:600px)" />
<meta name="viewport" id="view" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, minimum-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0" />

The mobile stylesheet makes the footer a single column and increases the padding around the navigation items to make them more tappable.

This layout was tested on Safari on iPhone 4. Not sure how it looks on other mobile devices.

For more information

Check out my blog post about it here


A simple starting layout for a web application




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