Responsive vs. Adaptive Web Design

There are two approaches for web designs – adaptive and responsive designs. The adaptive design has different layouts for different screen sizes and adjusts itself accordingly. At the same time, responsive sites use one layout and adjust the navigation, content, and other elements accordingly to screen widths. 


What is Responsive Website Design?

As the name suggests, the responsive website responds to the changes in the user’s screen and adapts itself accordingly. It is also called a Static Layout. The screen resolutions adjust according to the size of the device. There is only one webpage layout in responsive web design, which is adjusted per the screen requirements. 

The contents will adjust and expand if you open a responsive web page on the desktop. Opening the same responsive web page on the mobile screen will change the elements and squeeze itself according to the available space.

Pros of Responsive Layout

  • It provides the same experience on all devices.
  • There is only a slight difference on different devices.
  • It requires less maintenance due to a single layout.
  • Less time is required for its development.

Cons of Responsive Web Design

  • The biggest issue is of loading pages. As it has one layout, there is a lot of problem with the loading speed.
  • It is harder to integrate ads using a responsive web design.
  • A developer must work within certain limitations and choose certain design techniques, considering all devices.

What is Adaptive Website Design?

The adaptive web design has several fixed layouts for various screen sizes. All the layouts are designed differently for devices like the desktop design, mobile version, laptop screens, etc. The web page determines the user’s screen size and chooses the best available layout. The target device web design determines the device size and picks the suitable layout. 

It is a common practice in Adaptive Web Design to design six different layouts. The layout sizes are 320, 480, 760, 960, 1200, and 1600. These screen sizes are typically available, and the web designer creates six layouts to ease the users.

Pros of Adaptive Web Design

  • AWD is specifically targeted for each user.
  • It enhances the user experience by designing different website versions.
  • Users get the best experience of customized layout for each device type.
  • Developers can use several design elements, processes, approaches, and styles to design different layouts. 
  • As it uses different layouts, then there is no need to change the entire back-end server to make some needed changes.
  • It is user-friendly for mobile users. 
  • Adaptive websites are best for the ads as they have different layouts for each device.
  • It takes less load time.

Cons of Adaptive Web Design

  • Adaptive Web Designs are not easy to create. It requires a lot of time and effort.
  • Different layouts mean different HTML codes and other back-end developing features.
  • It is pretty complex and harder to maintain because of the different versions.
  • It is expensive due to several layout options.

Which one is better – Adaptive or Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design is most commonly used because it is easier than the other. The web designer has to create only one design, adjusting itself according to the user’s screen size.

The users also like responsive Web Design because they are familiar with one type of layout, which can be used on any mobile device easily.

On the web designer’s end, it is mandatory to see the arrangement of the elements and changes on different devices to ensure customer ease. The complex website may worsen when contracted on the mobile screen but seem fine on the desktop screen.

Responsive Design websites are considered to be more SEO-friendly. There are a few things you should keep in mind before delving into the world of Responsive Web Design:

  • The same layout will be used on different devices, so the pop-up ads may be neglected on smaller screens. Therefore, it needs proper work and effort to design such a website.
  • The images may also create trouble for different screen sizes. The large image may look odd on the mobile screen, and the smaller image may look weird on the larger screen. The adjustments need to be proper to provide ease to the users.

On the other hand, Adaptive Web Design provides the best and most comfortable user experience. There are different layouts, and the web page chooses the layout per the user’s screen size. This makes the easy flow of content.

The Adaptive style adapts itself to the demands and needs of the user. The strength of Adaptive design lies in its user-friendly experience, and people feel more comfortable using Adaptive Web Design.

Adaptive Web Design best suits the needs of the modern world, where people prefer to use mobile phones for almost all purposes. Whereas Responsive Web Design best suits desktop users.

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