The Difference Between Adaptive and Responsive Design

It would not be wrong to say that mobile phones have changed the way people make a purchase today. Where e-commerce development was confined to making a simple website that was browsed on a desktop, it is now urging web developers to look into the scope of adaptive and responsive design for their customers. And if you are a brand which has stepped in the eCommerce market to sell its goods, it is time you look beyond mobile app, and consider modifying your website to match the growing need of the market.

Your customer may not always download the app to buy your product. He/she will instead use the mobile phone to open the website and look for what they desire to buy. It is therefore important to give them an experience that is smooth sailing and leaves them happy. If your website is not easy to use on a mobile phone, you are at a risk of losing business and a potential customer.


Whilst both adaptive and responsive design can prepare your website to be used on a mobile phone or a tablet, they do so in very different ways. Although, you need to acclimate to new technology, let’s understand at what is best suited for your website’s needs, budget, and goals.


What is Responsive Web Design?

With a web design that is responsive, the user gets an optimal viewing experience of a website, no matter what type of device is being used. It provides easy reading and navigation, with minimum resizing, panning, and scrolling, through fluid grids that works on every screen size. In a nutshell, a responsive web design, automatically responds to the screen with the same layout.


What is Adaptive Web Design?

A web design that is adaptive, has several distinct layouts for multiple screen sizes that always changes as per the screen size. There are specific layouts for desktops, mobile phones, and tablets, each of which have to be made in advance. These different designs wait on standby until someone visits the site; and after detecting the type of device used, deliver the pre-set layout.


Responsive Web Design vs. Adaptive Web Design

  • Responsive design demands extra attention to the site’s CSS and organization to ensure all functions work well in any possible size, making it difficult to pull off. It is easier to make few specific layouts, than making one that works in any screen size.
  • An adaptive design is less flexible as its final result does not always give the best display for a variety of screen sizes. Responsive designs are guaranteed to work on any screen size, but adaptive designs work on only those that are pre-made. This means that with a new screen size coming into play, you will need some occasional maintenance to make a new layout.
  • Where an adaptive design needs to load all the possible layouts, a responsive design only needs to load the one that works across all screen sizes. All that extra loading in an adaptive design takes extra time and resources, also making the website a bit slower than its responsive counterpart.


Responsive or Adaptive – what is best for you?

Considering we are talking about eCommerce development for your brand, a responsive web design will be always a safer option. It will always function on any screen size, while improving the loading time.

However, adaptive web design may be a better option for smaller websites that are just starting out. It is therefore better to consult an eCommerce development company that can look into your needs and come up with the best solution.

Grapes Digital
Grapes Digital
Grapes Digital is a full service online solutions provider, providing intelligent technology, paired up with creative design.We believe in Better Technology, Better Designs and a Better Business Solutions.