Do You Need A Responsive Or Adaptive Web Design?

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Today, Internet is not merely restricted to bulky desktop or laptops, people carry the whole World Wide Web in their pockets. It presents a big opportunity to the businesses if they can design websites that can adapt as per the requirements of the mobile gadgets. It is due to this fact, that many web owners are extremely concerned about the accessibility of their websites from different mobile devices such as tablets, cell phones etc. This growing concern among different website owners has given birth to what is known as a “Responsive website design”.

Although, Adaptive Web Design or AWD and Responsive Web Design (RWD) both render mobile-friendly website, in reality, they are two separate entities. In this article, we will try to highlight the basic difference between AWD and RWD website, so that you can choose the correct one for your website.

Adaptive Web Design
As the name suggests, an adaptive web design uses the server to detect the device that is being used to view the website. Putting it in simple words, the server of the website helps in determining if the website is being displayed on a desktop PC, Smartphone or a tablet. Once the device has been determined, the server displays templates that are compatible to the device. In an Adaptive Website Design, a separate template is maintained for each device. For instance, the template displayed while viewing the site on a Desktop PC is completely different from the one used on a mobile device.

Responsive Web Design
On the contrary, a responsive website design uses a specific CSS code to modify the presentation to the device it is being viewed on. Unlike website designed using adaptive technique, the ones designed from a Responsive Web Design load at a relatively slower speed.

Differentiating Adaptive Web Design & Responsive Web Design

  • Programming Difference: AWD expects the user to develop and maintain separate website either through a separate link or HTML code. On the contrary, a responsive web design relies on existing HTML and Javascript, thereby saving from the hassle of maintaining separate URL or HTML page.
  • SEO: If you rework an adaptive website, you may need to redo the entire SEO content and linking for the website. Unlike adaptive, editing responsive web design is comparatively easier, because the SEO links and content get carried over via HTML/CSS and Javascript.
  • Image: Website designed through AWD has images optimized for different screen resolution, whereas the ones designed by RWD contain images that first need to be downloaded and then resized.

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