When to use adaptive vs responsive design
When you’re building a website, choosing between responsive and adaptive design is one of the toughest decisions to make. The truth is that both adaptive and responsive design have a place in creating a website, so it’s all about knowing when to choose responsive vs adaptive design.
If you’re building a large website from scratch, responsive design is often the more popular choice. Responsive website layouts are fluid and work well with a variety of devices, and building a responsive website requires less work in terms of the number of layouts designers have to create. Since you have to build your website to be responsive from top to bottom, it’s generally best to use responsive design when you’re building a new website.
In the event that you’re refreshing the layout of an existing website—especially a smaller website—adaptive design is generally considered the better choice. With adaptive web design, you don’t have to build your entire website using percentage widths for responsiveness. Instead, you can simply add updated versions of the existing website layout to make sure it works across various devices. This can save both time and money, which is particularly important for smaller businesses.
Keep in mind that these are just a couple of general guidelines for deciding between adaptive and responsive web design. You can absolutely build an adaptive website from scratch, or tear down your existing website and rebuild a responsive website from scratch. When you’re trying to figure out the best web design strategy, here are some things you might want to consider:
- Your budget
- The size of your website
- Which devices are most common among website visitors
- Your timeline for launching your website
- How much time you can spend on future website maintenance
If you’re not sure what type of design is right for your website, you can always consult a UX designer or website designer. There are also tons of resources available online if you need landing page design tips, UX design tips, or any other information about building a website.