Responsive Web Design Vs Adaptive Web Design: which one is better?

Responsive Vs Adaptive: which one is better?
Responsive Vs Adaptive: which one is better?

Users can access information in a variety of ways from huge desktop monitors to small smartwatch screens. So the major question that arises here for web designers is how can I make my website extensible on all devices? Well, designers who want to close the gap between devices have two options: adaptive sites and responsive sites. This has been one of the biggest debates we’ve seen since the advent of mobile states the Web Design Jacksonville experts. Both adaptive and responsive designs can overcome this challenge, but both may look similar, and both have their strengths and weaknesses.

The difference between the responsive and adaptive design approaches represents an important opportunity for us as web and app designers. Conscious choices allow you to plan and execute designs with better goals, objectives, and results. However, you may struggle with questions like Which is the best option for you? Which one is best for your needs or better than the other? This can be difficult.

With that in mind, let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses of adaptive and responsive design from the perspective of performance and UX design. We will also address questions such as what are the main differences between responsive web design and adaptive web design and how can you improve the user experience by choosing the right web design style for your website? So, let’s take a look. But first, let us understand both the terms in detail.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive internet layout is ready growing internet pages that appearance right on all gadgets! In the early days of internet layout, pages have been constructed to goal a specific display screen size. If the consumer had a bigger or smaller display screen than the clothier expected, outcomes ranged from undesirable scrollbars to overly lengthy line lengths, and bad use of space. As greater numerous display screen sizes have become available, the idea of responsive internet layout (RWD) appeared, a fixed of practices that permit internet pages to modify their format and look to healthy one-of-a-kind display screen widths, resolutions, etc. It is a concept that modified the manner we layout for a multi-tool internet, and in this article, our experts from Website Design Company will assist you to apprehend the principal strategies you want to realize to grasp it.

A responsive internet layout will routinely alter for one-of-a-kind display screen sizes and viewports. Responsive Web Design is ready the use of HTML and CSS to routinely resize, hide, shrink, or enlarge, a website, to make its appearance right on all gadgets (desktops, tablets, and phones.)

As the cell internet commenced to end up the truth with the primary function phones, corporations who wanted to embody cell might commonly create a unique cell model in their web website online, with a one-of-a-kind URL (frequently something like, or example. Mobi). This supposed that separate variations of the web website online needed to be advanced and saved up-to-date.

In addition, those cell websites frequently supplied a completely reduce experience. As cell gadgets have become greater effective and capable of showing complete websites, this turned into irritating to cell customers who observed themselves trapped within the web website online’s cell model and not able to get entry to data they knew turned into at the complete-featured computing device model of the web website online.

Adaptive Web Design

Adaptive Web Design was delivered in 2011 through net clothier Aaron Gustafson in his book, Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement. It is likewise referred to as an innovative enhancement of an internet site.

Where responsive layout is based on converting the layout sample to match the actual property to be had to it, the adaptive layout has a couple of constant format sizes. When the web website online detects the to be had area, it selects the format maximum suitable for the display screen. So, while you open a browser on the computing device, the web website online chooses the fine format for that computing device display screen; resizing the browser does not affect the layout.

Choosing Between Responsive and Adaptive Web Design

Choosing Between Responsive and Adaptive Web Design
Choosing Between Responsive and Adaptive Web Design

Responsive layout is less difficult and takes much less painting to implement. It presents much less management over your layout on every display screen size, however, it`s the desired approach for growing new websites at this moment. This may have something to do with the massive wide variety of reasonably-priced templates to be had for almost all Content Management Systems (CMS) which includes WordPress, Joomla, etc.

It’s vital to keep an eye fixed on the visible hierarchy of responsive layout projects; you need to try and keep this as your factors shuffle across the display screen. That means several trying out many exceptional gadgets to be sure that you`re handing over the goods. If the layout for a website is exceedingly simple, it’s going to translate properly throughout tool screens, flowing like a liquid from box to box.

Search engine marketing is some other massive argument for the use of a responsive layout. Sites that use a responsive layout (i.e., ones with a URL that serves all gadgets) are presently extra seeking engine friendly.

The responsive layout appears to have a robust use case. Well, it might; however, endure the subsequent in mind:

Because your internet site will “flow” from tool to tool, adjusting to the display screen size, any commercials that you`ve introduced might not match the area. Suddenly, the “shortcut” supplied through the use of responsive layout might also additionally want a few rethinking and paintings. Download instances range between computing devices and cell gadgets. The flexibility of photos is massive attention here. A massive layout that comes through quickly at the massive display screen at home or within the workplace takes extra time (and data) to see in your cell.

On the other hand, the adaptive layout will (theoretically) make certain the fine person enjoys consistency with whichever tool the person is using to interface. Unlike responsive layout, wherein a display screen “flows” from the computing device layout right into a smaller tool, the adaptive layout gives tailored solutions. As the call suggests, they adapt to the person`s situational wishes and capabilities. As designers, we will display customers that were on track with their wishes on a cell tool by making our layout contact friendly. Meanwhile, we will do the equal for computing device customers. We start at the bottom decision model of the web website online and paint our manner as much as the highest. Six designs are the contemporary-day standard, however relying on your customers` data, you are probably capable of using fewer designs.

The energy of adaptive layout is that it feels extra applicable to the current person’s enjoyment, while responsive layout suggests an extra computing device-centric approach (with the needs of different gadgets taking a secondary, nearly passive place). As customers, we’re out and approximately extra with our clever gadgets. We want to experience that our gadgets are aware of what we`re going through. Let’s take a literal example; in case you have been using an extended tunnel, wouldn’t you alternatively have a GPS display screen that adapts to the surroundings and adjusts its brightness? That context-primarily based overall performance and value is reassuring, at the same time confirming that your clever tool is wise sufficient to evolve and be more useful.

How is responsive web design compared to adaptive web design?

For those who have no experience in web design, the difference between responsive web design and adaptive web design is so subtle that you probably won’t notice it.

To make the comparison easier to understand, our Website Designers have divided it into some key components. Let’s take a look at them.


Website Layout
Website Layout

In responsive web design, the layout is determined by the site visitor’s browser window. In contrast, the adaptive layout is determined by the backend, not the client or browser. The theme will generate a template specific to each device class. The server recognizes factors such as device type and operating system and sends the correct layout.

Load time

No one likes slow websites. If the website doesn’t load within 2 seconds, people get impatient and bounce. Adaptive themes usually load faster than responsive themes. This is because adaptive web design transfers only the resources needed for each device. For example, when you view an adaptive website on a high-quality display, the image loads faster based on the display your end-user is using.

However, this is not always the case. Webflow has developed a responsive image feature that automatically scales all inline images (both static and dynamic) to fit any device size and resolution.

Webflow’s Responsive Images feature creates variations of uploaded images to look great and load quickly on any device. This can speed up mobile pages up to 10 times.

You can check out our article on 10 ways to speed up your website to help boost its loading time.


This can be a nasty problem for some people. People argue that creating adaptive themes is difficult because each device requires a different layout. Responsive web design requires only a single layout, while some claim it is easy to implement.

There is only one responsive web design layout on every device, but it requires a lot of effort and time in advance. Responsive web design requires special attention to the CSS and configuration of your website to be fully functional at all screen sizes.


Adaptive web design is considered inflexible because new devices with unplanned screen sizes can disrupt the layout. That is, you need to edit the old layout or add a new one. The screen size is constantly changing and can fluctuate greatly.

In the long run, responsive layouts require less maintenance. Responsive websites are flexible enough to work well on their own, even when new devices and screen sizes are on the market. However, adaptive websites may require maintenance.

SEO friendliness

SEO friendly website design
SEO-friendly website design

Google recommends and rewards responsive design websites. Mobile-enabled websites are ranked high on search engine results pages. While Responsive web design is SEO-friendly, Adaptive web design can be difficult for SEO.

Our blog on how to rank on Google covers all the necessary needed to make a website SEO-friendly. Check it out.


After all, it’s important to consider the audience first, no matter what design method you use. Knowing exactly who they are and what type of device they use to access your site makes it easy to take them into account when designing different layouts, content, etc.

As more and more devices are released, people around the world are adapting rapidly. This choice between responsive web design and adaptive web design is more complicated. It also depends a lot on whether you have an existing website to use or if you are starting from scratch.

Responsive web design has become a Go-to design method, and it is believed that about one-eighth of websites use responsive web design (almost or no data uses adaptive web design). Responsive website adoption is also growing rapidly, reaching about the same level as standalone mobile websites. With that in mind, it’s no exaggeration to say that responsiveness is usually the recommended practice only for ongoing work that requires adaptive web design. Responsive web design seems to be the safest choice if you’re looking for a cheap and convenient way to create a powerful and seamless user experience. Also, in the long run, less care and maintenance are required for responsive websites. But it’s just a generalization. The adaptive web design also has significant benefits, such as a more personalized and targeted user experience. However, it is important to understand and plan your current and future needs, goals, and budgets.