Responsive and Adaptive Web Design: What To Consider Before Choosing

With an increase of various mobile devices used by numerous target groups of users in everyday life, a demand to optimize web pages to fit different types of devices is as high as ever. With Google rolling out an update that ranks higher the websites with developed mobile functionality, every respectful business faces a dilemma of which web design to use – responsive or adaptive.

The dispute between the supporters of responsive web design (RWD) and adaptive (AWD) one has valid arguments from both sides. Each type of design has its own pros and cons. The questions is how to choose one that would be suitable for your website in particular.

Responsive and Adaptive Web Design: What To Consider Before Choosing

We asked a specialist providing responsive web design services at PulsarFour to clarify the differences between this two types of web design. RWD is often being characterized as fluid, meaning its ability to adapt the elements on the page to any screen size. RWD is set to change styles using CSS media queries. AWD detects the device being used to access the page, and then chooses one of the static layouts created specifically to display the content of the page to that particular screen size.

Team AWD emphasizes that even though adaptive design requires creating at least six different layouts right away, it gives an advantage of faster page load comparing to websites that use RWD. However, with AWD there is a risk of certain inconsistency in user experience if one is accessing website from different devices. Adaptive design is usually used to make existing webpage mobile-friendly by simply adding the missing layouts. It is a fast and effective way to get your webpage a higher page rank, as well as to consistently improve the experience of your customers. Analyzing statistics will show which devices are used more often to access the page, setting priority of which layouts need to be added first.

Responsive web design is nowadays considered to be more progressive and simple option. Created once, it will ensure same look and equal usability for your website no matter which device it is being accessed from. Even though RWD initially requires much more coding work than AWD, in the long run it is way easier to maintain. It is a well-known fact that one of the supporters of the responsive design is no less than Google. With how fast new devices appear and concur world market, RWD seems to be a better option, which is being proved by the majority of new projects choosing it over the adaptive web design.