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Adaptive vs.
Responsive Design

How do you see your perfect site? What do you know about adaptive web design? What are the advantages of responsive design? Are you ready to learn secrets to help you make the right choice?

  • Rondesignlab Team

Screen size and devices

Nowadays, a lot of devices have appeared. You’ll never know which devices use your potential clients. All of these devices have different characteristics, but in this article, the most important characteristic is the screen size.

The size of the screen determines how your website will be displayed on the device. Therefore, it’s time to talk about the benefits of responsive and adaptive design. You’ll find out what they look like. You’ll understand how they differ. It’ll help you choose the option that suits you the most. And you’ll learn about it in this article. Here you’ll find only the most valuable information that will help you to choose the best way to prepare your website for smartphones. Let’s get started!

 

Basic information about responsive design

Does your website need a separate mobile version? Perhaps it’s much more efficient to use one version of the site for all devices at the same time? Do you want to know how to do this? So, it’s high time to talk about responsive design.

 

A lot of websites use responsive design. Responsive design has a big number of advantages. If you don’t have not much experience then responsive design is a good way to make a perfect website. There are a lot of themes accessible through CMS systems. Each of the most popular CMSs such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla have such themes and the most important that these themes are easy-to-use.

To create a responsive design, you need to set the sizes in percent. It’ll make your website flexible. When you reduce the screen, your items will be displayed in different sizes, depending on the size of the device. Therefore, you don’t have to rewrite the code for different devices several times. But what does it look like in practice?

If you set all sizes in percent, then the site elements aren’t only compressed, but can also be moved. For example, if you use 3 columns, then at a certain screen size, your website can be rebuilt in 2 or even in 1 column. Images will also be reduced with different screen settings. It’s very convenient and always looks good. The main thing is to build a strong structure in advance.

 

Basic information about adaptive design

Let’s talk about responsive design. It’ll help to understand the difference and clarify the situation.

 

Responsive design works by this principle. You create several versions of your website, which depend on the screen size. The device and its size are determined automatically, after which a suitable version appears.

It turns out that the server shows a simplified version of the resource, recognizing the mobile device. The simplified version includes pictures of lower quality. A simplified website structure is also used here: fewer blocks and elements, only the most necessary interface elements.

The server issues the desired version and doesn’t force the website to be optimized. For this reason, images load much faster. It happens faster because they are compressed and adapted to a specific type of device.

Also, adaptive design is pretty useful if you want to modify your website with a purpose to make it user-friendly. Use viewport and media to do that in the best possible way, because it’ll help you to control page scale.

Responsive design will also be very attractive for those developers who have a creative mindset. It’ll be attractive to them because they’ll have to create different versions of the same website. And if this activity may seem boring to someone, then a creative person will perfectly cope with this task.

 

What’s the difference between adaptive and responsive design?

Let’s look at the difference that will help you make the right choice, which is ideal in your case.

For this purpose, we will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of adaptive design and responsive design. These lists will help you determine which method should be preferred.

Making a choice can be very difficult. This article is written specifically to facilitate this task. So, let’s go deeper.

 

Advantages of responsive design

  • You don’t need special knowledge because responsive design depends on HTML and CSS;
  • The average cost of responsive themes is usually lower than the cost of adaptive themes;
  • Responsive design is much easier to create than adaptive;
  • It doesn’t take too much time.

 

Disadvantages of responsive design

  • You probably have to get rid of some features of your website;
  • Responsive websites look too different on PC and on mobile;
  • Not really good for big projects;
  • The page loading speed can be lower than the page speed of adaptive websites;
  • You have less control over your content and some features than when you using adaptive design.

 

Advantages of adaptive design

  • You can save all the functionality of your website;
  • You can provide more content;
  • Google helps to promote websites with adaptive design;
  • The adaptive design gives you more control;
  • Great page speed loading.

 

Disadvantages of adaptive design

  • You should spend too much time to create different versions of a website;
  • Low page speed loading;
  • A mobile version of your website can be too different from the main version of your website. Not all users like such changes;
  • If a full version of your website is pretty good, it’s not a guarantee that your mobile version will be as good as that one;
  • Low level of performance, if we’re talking about online stores, designed for PC but adapted for mobile;
  • As you know, time is money. So, you’ll probably pay more for the adaptive design than for responsive.

 

Google recommends

It’s still hard to decide what to choose, isn’t it? In this case, let’s check what Google recommends. Probably it will be surprising but Google recommends using adaptive design. It’ll be your advantage, because according to Google, users should receive all the content, regardless of which device it uses.

 

For this reason, websites with responsive design will be higher in the search results. This will help you increase traffic. So, think twice before you’ll choose the best type of design for your website.

 

What to choose?

Now you have an idea of how adaptive design differs from responding design. This knowledge will help you make the right choice. But let’s summarize the information received.

The most important thing that you should always remember is about users. Create a website with care for your user, otherwise, it’ll lose its meaning.

A good website is a convenient site. If your site looks amazing but inconvenient, then it’s unlikely that you’ll get a lot of traffic. If you don’t have an amazing site, but at the same time it is convenient, then you have every chance to get a legion of loyal users. However, in this case, it’s possible not to make a choice. An ideal website should be both beautiful and convenient. But you still need to make a choice between responsive and adaptive design.

 

And yet, what to choose?

Adaptive design development is more complicated. It takes more time and effort. If you have a short time, then the responding design is suitable for you.

If there is enough development time, then choose an adaptive design. Yes, to create adaptive sites you need more time, but at the same time, you’ll get such benefits as a high page loading speed, a positive effect on conversion, and so on.

Responsive web design is suitable for a simple landing page, and for small sites. This will simplify your website creation process. Simplicity, in this case, is a significant advantage. It’ll be appreciated by your programmer and designer as well as users.

 

Frameworks really help

Of course, you should know CSS and HTML to create responsive or adaptive web design. But if your CSS \ HTML skills are as least a little bit higher than zero, then you should try to use frameworks to create user-friendly website. 

 

One of the most popular frameworks is Bootstrap. Even those who have never tried to code heard something about Bootstrap. Thanks to frameworks coding became much easier. You should check it. You’ll be surprised how effectively it speeds up your development process.

 

The conclusion that everyone will make for themselves

Creating a website is a laborious process. You need to clearly know what and why you are doing. Your website should be well structured. Before you start developing a website, you need to know how it’ll look on different devices.

Preparing to create a website is just as important as working on it. Allow enough time for this purpose, because it’ll help to avoid a large number of errors in the process. If you don’t have enough experience and you feel insecure, then read articles on this topic or consult a specialist.

The hardest part is that no one will tell you which choice is the right one. Too much depends on the details. Much depends on the purpose for which you decided to develop a website. And these details are fully known only to you. Therefore, the conclusion after reading this article, everyone will make for himself.

You can choose a responsive web design, or you can choose an adaptive one, but in any case, it’s important not only how you make this site, but also what this site will carry.

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