Responsive vs Adaptive Design
What is the best way to display your site properly on mobile devices?
It’s no secret that mobile devices can no longer be ignored. More and more visitors are using mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to visit websites. Your site should be easy to view and navigate on a mobile device, otherwise you will lose visitors. In addition – and most importantly – responsive design sites get better search results, as search engines have evolved to give more priority to these sites.
If you’re viewing a website on a phone and it’s easy to navigate, it probably incorporates this technology. If it is difficult to navigate, it is probably still in the old method of creating sites, known as fixed-width design.
Both adaptive and responsive design can prepare your site for mobile use, but in very different ways. Which is best for your site’s needs, budget and goals? Will you need to change anything at some point? What are the advantages of each?
Responsive vs Adaptive Web Design
Responsive web design
Responsive Web Design provides the best viewing experience for a website, regardless of the type of device the user is viewing. Wikipedia describes it as “an approach aimed at creating websites to provide an optimal viewing experience – easy to read and navigate with minimal size, movement and scrolling – over a wide range of devices (from cell phones to desktop screens).” This is done using “fluid grids”. This is a term for a design that works regardless of screen size. Thus, regardless of the screen size, the same device will automatically respond to this size, such as a sphere that grows or shrinks to fit in many different crowns.
Adaptive web design
Adaptive Web Design is different from responsive design, as there is no “one-size-fits-all layout”. Instead, there are several distinct layouts for many screen sizes. And the layout used depends on the size of the screen. For example, there could be a specific layout for mobile phones, tablets and desktops – each of which has been done in advance. These three layouts are waiting until someone visits the site. The site identifies the type of device used and provides the default layout for that device. So instead of a ball passing through different crowns of different sizes, you will have many different balls to use depending on the size of the crowns.
Responsive is more difficult to design and program
Responsive design is the most difficult option in creating a website, as it requires extra attention to CSS and site organization to make sure it works well in any possible size. It’s easier to create some specific layouts for your site instead of creating a layout that can work on any screen size. While this means that any custom layout needs a bit of flexibility to operate on different screen sizes, it’s easier than making a layout that works for all of these.
Adaptive is less flexible
One disadvantage of adaptive design approach is that the final results do not always show the best for a wide variety of screen sizes. While website responsive designs are guaranteed to work well on any screen size. So, if a new device with a new screen size is released, you may find that none of your adaptive layouts fit well. And that means you have to edit them or add a new one. Responsive sites are flexible enough to keep working on their own, but adaptive sites may need occasional maintenance.
Responding sites load faster
Loading time is an estimate. An adaptive site should load ALL possible layouts, while responsive sites should only load the one that works on all platforms. Adaptive sites need to load several layouts that require extra time and resources, so you know they will be a little slower than the responsive ones. This is not always the case, when you compare a responsive site with 100 pages compared to an adaptive site with 10, the adaptive site will probably be faster.
Should I use an adaptive or responsive design ?
Comparing the score (Responsive vs Adaptive Web Design), responsive web design is almost always the safest option for your site. It always works well, regardless of the new screen sizes that come out, improves load times and is usually worth the extra effort in design.
However, for some sites, adaptive design may be a better option. These would probably be newer, smaller sites that are just getting started and need to be saving resources.