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Alternatives to Responsive Design, Part Two: Adaptive Websites← back
Some have said responsive website design is more than a trend, and we would have to agree. Responsive sites have a number of benefits to the user and the website owner. However, we also recognize not everyone is keen on responsive design and might have other needs. Lucky for them, a number of alternatives exist!
Part One of this three part series discussed the benefits and drawbacks of mobile websites. Mobile websites, such as sites from our clients A+ Rentals and E-Z Rentals, are a great way to allow for use of key components of the site without losing any traffic from a desktop site that doesn’t convert well to mobile. Today, we’ll discuss adaptive websites.
What is an Adaptive Website?
An adaptive website has defined layouts for different resolutions. The terms “responsive” and “adaptive” are often used interchangeably when describing the types of design they utilize, but they are not quite the same.
Adaptive websites differ from responsive websites because within each layout of an adaptive site, resizing the window does not change the layout. In contrast, responsive sites respond to the device and change accordingly. In this way, responsive design is client side, while adaptive design is serve side. In other words, in adaptive design, the server responds and resizes the site, while responsive websites change on the user end.
Both responsive sites and adaptive sites have optimization for the size of the screen or type of device the website is used on in common, but they differ in a few ways.
Despite some of the advantages of adaptive sites, they also bring challenges with them. For one, the cost is different than that of a responsive site and can actually be more in some ways. The design is more complex than that of a responsive design, which can mean a higher cost.
Adaptive websites also might not be as efficient as responsive web design because web design has started to expand beyond the typical devices. For example, more televisions use website technology than ever before, and mediums like Google Glass mean websites in the future might be viewable on something as small as glasses lenses. It’s important to design websites not only for today, but for future use.
Contact us today to discuss making your site more accessible!