Designing websites keeping in mind the multiple screen sizes and platforms it is gonna be is a key factor in delivering a successful website. As searches are made from different medium including mobile, tablets and system, you should make sure that your website looks perfect while viewed from all these.

Keeping all this in mind, scaling your website through adaptive or responsive web design becomes interesting and somewhat challenging. But how to find out which one is more suitable for you?

In this article, let’s find out the difference between adaptive and responsive designs.

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Adaptive web design

Adaptive websites adapt to the width of the browsers at certain points. It uses distinct layouts for multiple screen size. And the layout highly depends on the screen size being used. So for each screen size, a layout would have to be designed.

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Responsive web design

Responsive websites respond to the size of the browser at any given point. So these designs adjust to the size of the screen no matter what the size of the target device is. The layout uses CSS media to change styles. The fluid grid in the layout enables the page to resize in the width and height of different screens and shows correctly.

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Adaptive v/s responsive

Responsive and adaptive sites are almost the same as they both change appearance based on the browser or screen they are being viewed on.

The difference to note between the two different methods is that adaptive screen size is a lot less flexible than responsive screen size. Adaptive needs to be designed individually for each screen size which is pretty hard. Responsive design is smooth because the layout smoothly adjusts regardless of the device it is viewed on.

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Why adaptive design?

Adaptive is useful on renovating a website in order to make it more mobile friendly. It helps you take control of the design and expand for multiple platforms. The number of viewpoints you decide to design depends on your choices, company and budget. 

If you want to design an adaptive site from scratch, it’s also cool. Just work your way up starting from the lowest resolution to the top

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Why responsive design?

Responsive designing is used in majority of new sites. Its mainly because of the easier interface and availability of themes which is quickly accessible.

Responsive takes less work both to build and maintain, unlike adaptive. The only thing to note is that you should keep all layouts in mind. This may confuse the process and make it difficult.

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What should you choose?

In between adaptive or responsive web design, from what we have seen, responsive design takes a lot more effort to implement, but in long run, the need for maintenance and updating as it will respond to new screen sizes as they are released, giving your site a longer lifespan. It is also useful when you have to design for different screen sizes.


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