Start Your Free Marketing Analysis Now Click Here →

Responsive vs. Adaptive Web Design

Responsive vs. Adaptive Web Design

Responsive vs. Adaptive Web Design


Over 50% of today’s web searches are done on a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet. As such, if your Orange County web design is only optimized for desktop use, you’re missing out on a lot of potential leads. That’s because using a desktop-optimized website on a mobile device can be very annoying—fonts are too small, scrollbars are too long, images are too big, and all that jazz. Thus, you need to adapt to the current trends and have your website mobile-friendly, like, yesterday!

Website designers either employ web designs that are either responsive or adaptive. Now, if you’re a complete newbie to the web design world, these two terms might seem unfamiliar to you. So, if you’re currently having a website built and you’re not entirely sure which ones to go for, then make sure to keep reading. 

What’s the Difference?

Below, we’ll be listing the advantages and disadvantages of both responsive and adaptive web design.


Responsive web design, as the name suggests, responds to whatever device the viewer is using. It then automatically adjusts the web design to fit perfectly for the device. For example, if you’re using a smartphone to check the website, the code will resize the width and height of the website so that it sits perfectly on the screen.

The advantage of responsive web design is that it will look the same across all devices, even ones that the code doesn’t recognize. For example, if someone somehow managed to hop on the Internet on a calculator, then the responsive web design will know how to show up properly on the calculator anyway.

On the other hand, there are a few disadvantages to responsive web design. Firstly, it takes a lot of work. You will need an expert website designer in Orange County to get the web design fully functional, and even then, it will take more time to get done. Another disadvantage is that your users will have to zoom in to read your content. This is because responsive web design always fits into the screen—even the small ones!


Meanwhile, adaptive web design is a lot less flexible. They don’t automatically adapt to the device the searcher uses. Instead, the website designer inputs a couple of devices the searcher might use. It’s sort of like a very limited version of the responsive web design.

So, naturally, if there’s a device the website doesn’t recognize, the design goes haywire. Using the calculator example again, the web design might revert to large images and small text simply because it doesn’t recognize the searcher is using a calculator. The website designer in Orange County would have to add the calculator to the list of recognized devices to get the site to load properly, and that’ll take constant monitoring and coding.

The plus side to adaptive web design is that users won’t have to scroll or zoom in to read your content. In adaptive web design, the layout is specifically made for that device and anybody who uses that device to navigate through your website. For example, if the desktop version of the website had three columns, the mobile version might have two or one instead.

Which One is Better for Web Development in Orange County?

At the end of the day, which design you choose is ultimately up to you. You need to study your website to see what would work best for it. If you have a fairly simple website, then an adaptive design might work just fine. If you have a more complicated website, then it’s best to go the responsive route.

If you really want an answer to the question, however, we would say that responsive would probably be the better option. It works across all devices and makes your webpage look pristine. It might take a little longer, and it might be harder to accomplish, but it’s well worth the effort.


Whether it’s responsive or adaptive, Drive Traffic Media can ensure your Orange County mobile web design is as great as it can be. We know how important it is to have accessible and inclusive websites in this day and age! If you’d like more information or would like to take advantage of our free consultation, you may contact Drive Traffic Media at (949) 800-6990 or visit our website here. We’ll be happy to help you get the website your business needs to succeed.