Responsive VS Adaptive

Nowadays, having a mobile version of your website is a must for user convenience and search engine ranking. If your website only provides a desktop computer version of the website, you’re basically obsolete. Which brings me to mobile-friendly websites or as the web designers refer to them as responsive websites. However, beware of web design companies that market mobile-friendly site solutions as adaptive websites. The difference between the two is responsive is the future and adaptive is an afterthought. Here we go…

Responsive Websites

Responsive design provides the most efficient way to deliver a web page to a user. The website responds to the user’s device by utilizing the resolution of their screen to determine the display output. This is achieved by utilizing the website’s Cascading Style Sheet. The result is a fast and simple solution for users and search engines to view a website.

Adaptive Websites

Adaptive design is basically a band-aid for a desktop only version of a website. Instead of serving the user just one quick website file that responds to resolution, the server must recognize the user’s mobile device and serve them a different version of the website. That’s right, the adaptive design utilizes multiple versions of the same website that are for certain devices only. Meaning you will have different websites taking up valuable space on your server for desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile. All this extra data and loading results in a slower website and search engines frown on slow websites.


Responsive websites are the future! They’re faster and simplier to maintain. Adaptive website layouts are obsolute and must be retired if you plan on acceling with search engines and users in the future.