Responsive vs Adaptive Design: Which Should Your Website Have?


Are you thinking of making your own website?

It only makes to run a business online, seeing as how often people are online these days.

However, you shouldn’t focus solely on people surfing the web on their desktop computer or laptop. With 61.2% of people today using their smartphones to access the internet, how can you be sure that the website you build is suitable for mobile users?

There are two choices that can make sure your website is suitable for mobile devices. You can opt for either responsive vs adaptive web designs.

Not sure which one works best for your business? We’ve got you covered. Here is our in-depth guide to help you understand which is better suited for your needs:

What is Responsive Design?

Also known as the “traditional option.” A responsive web design shows your content based on the browser’s current available space. So, after resizing the browser you’re viewing the website in, it will adjust the website itself to fit the website in the new resolution.

It is a dynamic web design that can provide your website’s visitors optimal viewing no matter what device they’re using. Assuming you’ve used the responsive web design in a correct manner.


Using a responsive web design will allow you to provide a consistent, seamless view of your website across all devices.

It is also supported by most content management systems such as WordPress and Joomla. This makes it easier for you to implement this design in your website. In addition, it is also overall easier to understand what you’re doing and what needs correction when you’re using a responsive web design.

A responsive design is also more SEO ready, giving your website a greater chance to get displayed in search engines. A good idea if you want to have a head start even if your website is still somewhat new.


While the responsive design examples a quick and easy web design format, it offers less control over the design of the screen size. This means that you will have to make compromises and sacrifices to the overall design of the website.

Not only that, if you’ve done a bad job designing the website, a lot of the elements of your page can move around when adjusting itself.

Ads on your website will often not adjust in size, and sometimes it will disappear while the screen is adjusting.

Websites with a responsive web design often take longer to load. Which can be a potential reason for some users to leave your website before seeing what content you have in store for them.

What is Adaptive Design?

Adaptive design, like responsive design, fits itself unto the screen based on its size. The main difference between the two is that adaptive design examples multiple layouts fixed on different screen sizes. Common screen sizes are 320, 480, 760, 960, 1200, and 1600.

Based on the user’s screen size, an adaptive web design will display the next best layout. So, if you have a 690-screen display resolution, it will display a 480 layout. Allowing you and the users see the entire website with no problem.

Unlike a responsive web design, adaptive designs don’t change when you resize the browser.

Most designers often apply an adaptive design to a responsive website when they think it’s time to revamp their websites.


Some companies have preferred adaptive design because of its more modernized appeal. It allows them to focus on specific devices they want to sell to.

An adaptive design also allows the mobile devices to keep track of their user’s environments, useful for GPS and apps as such.

You will have more control over the design of your website than with responsive web designs.

With a feature that tracks what websites the user visits often while they’re using smart devices, you can optimize your advertisements to suit your visitors’ tastes.

It is also worth noting that an adaptive website tends to load and display faster than responsive ones by a big margin of difference.


It is more tedious to apply an adaptive web design as you will have to make a layout design for the other common screen sizes as well.

Users with a standardized screen will have no optimal way to view your websites, often having the display be too small or too big.

The fitted screen sizes are for the most common ones used for desktop and mobile users. This means that people with tablets and netbooks will have trouble with site configurations.

Also, SEO will be a challenge when it comes to websites with adaptive web designs. Search engines will have trouble linking and identifying identical content when posted across multiple devices.

Which Design to Use?

The design you are likely to use will depend on the plan you have set. Whether it’s a long-term one focused on desktop usage, or finding a select audience whose devices you’ll specialize your website towards.

A responsive design is better for those who want to have immediate SEO relevance. It is also a good choice if you plan on designing your website for general use in desktops and on some mobile devices.

It is also the choice to make if you prefer using content management systems online. It provides a template for you to easier fit the design into the website.

On the other hand, adaptive web designs are the way to go if you want to put most of your focus on mobile devices. That’s if you’re willing to spend the time to make six different layouts.

Adaptive web designs are also what you should use if you desire to have more control over your website’s design. And the best choice to go for if you want your ads to appeal to your target audience.

Know What to Choose Between Responsive vs Adaptive

With the global internet population now around 3.2 billion daily users, making your own website is now the fastest way to share your content.

Now that you know the differences between responsive vs adaptive web designs, go and make your own website and spread your content now!

Did you find this guide helpful? Come and visit our site now to check out more helpful guides like this one, which shows 10 website basics to make a good first impression.

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