Adaptive Versus Responsive Web Designs

Both adaptive and responsive web designs are different approaches to implementing the same thing – designing a website that multi-device friendly and works on various screen sizes. Usually, responsive design is more popular that adaptive design even though both exist, and both has its own pros and cons. Google recommends sites to have a responsive design to that it can better index that site. However, a lot of Google’s own sites are adaptive.

Understanding Adaptive Versus Responsive

In a nutshell, adaptive web design has different websites for different screen sizes, whereas responsive design is one single fluid website that adapts to the screen size.


Development Difficulty

The most significant difference between an adaptive and a responsive approach is to how these solutions are applied. Responsive design is easy to implement when the site is being designed from theground up.

Responsive design uses CSS Media Queries that check the device screen resolution and the device type as the page loads. The using the media queries, one of the many pre-defined layouts of the content of the page is selected and then that is applied as the page is rendered.

For existing desktop websites that do not load well on mobile devices, an adaptive solution is the best. When the site loads, a small script determines the device specifications and loads up the appropriate website – desktop, tablet, mobile or others. This allows designers to make high-performance web designs for dedicated devices.

In short, adaptive design is good for existing sites that do not have multi-device friendly layouts, whereas responsive design is good for new sites that are being designed from the ground up.

Design Control

Responsive web designs look great because of their fluid nature. But, actually work well on certain screen sizes, but not for all. For example, if a responsive site is designed with breakpoints at 1440 pixels’ width and one at 480 pixels’ width, then the desktop layout, that is defined for 1440 pixels will be maintained for all widths up to 480 pixels. That means, at 960-pixel width, it will load the site for 1440 pixels, with an awkward and broken layout.

Adaptive design provides you with more control as they do not have any more in-between situations. However, for full control at every breakpoint, you need to design a separate site.

Browser & Device Support

In modern browsers, responsive designs are very well supported. Adaptive designs detect screen size using JavaScript or server size components. This also means that the browser must support modern JavaScript standards.

Future Proof Designing

Responsive designs are usually more expandable and future proof. There are now thousands of different devices and multiple different screen sizes. Designing one site for each screen size is a nearly impossible task. This is where responsive web design beats adaptive design.


Responsive web design is often criticized for lower performance, as they use the same resources intended for larger screens. But now, these designs have come a long way and suffer from lesser performance issues.

Adaptive design sports high performance as they are, by design, optimized for a specific device.

Selecting A Solution

The right design approach completely depends on the problem at hand. No solution is better than the other. There is actually no one-size-fits-all solution. For smart loading and design control, adaptively is better & For a fluid website design, visit rochester web design company with future support. Designing also helps in google search engines to make the website seo friendly and responsive, which will help to rank the site more effectively. For better ranking of sites with SEO, you can go with SEO Training in Amritsar which will trained you and help you in ranking your sites.


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