Responsive Web Design vs Adaptive Web Design

When you start to develop a web design, you have to know two concepts: “Responsive web design” and “Adaptive web design”. Before your decision to chose responsive or adaptive you have to analize previously out necessities and what type of dispositive will you use our target. Here we can see some points to know how it works:

Identification of dispositives:

Adaptive design use a web server to detect the dispositive and ajust the web interface to an especific resolution screen.

Responsive design use Media Queries (this are programated in style sheet of CSS) to detect the resolution and design. Is based on fixed columns, that’s adaptet to the screen size.


Optimization of content and performance:

In adaptive design the information are preselected and only specific files are dowload to the dispositive that is using. Therefore it will dowload less datas in the user computer and this will give more velocity.

Nevertheless with the responsive metodology it will senda ll the information whether it’s correspondent or not at those size and then in screen function it will process only the necessary. That consume more data and it will be more slow.


Optimization of Dispositive:

With adaptive design will design diferent templates that adapts to diferent sizes. In that way will be a diferent web depends on the dispositive is using. Any change will comport to do it in all templates for every dispositive.

In the responsive design there will be a template unique that it will serve to any screen.


Specific characteristics:

The adaptive design have to detect the type of dispositive and their functionalities to change the web behaivor correctly.

With the responsibe design includes all the characteristics that a navegator needs (files, Javascript, image resolutions and video).



The adaptive design in terms of time and money is more expensive because design is personalized to any screen size. It implies to realize diferent templates. The same with maintenance.

Responsive design at this time is being more popular thanks to the existence of large templates in the main platforms like: WordPress, Joomla, Prestashop …


If we are ready to invert more money and time to can have a correctly web for each dispositive, you can do a adaptive design. If it’s tha case that we don’t have too much resources or we don’t have knowledge about programation, a responsive design will cover our necessities

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