A web responsive site is characterised by a design which enables the layout to adapt to different resolutions. Thanks to this approach, users can access the same standard of quality whether on a desktop, smartphone screen or tablet.
It should be noted that responsive design goes much further than the mere creation of a mobile version of a site for use on a laptop. Working with a web responsive approach implies making sure that each site can adapt to the monitors of whichever devices are used to view its content.
Thus, there is no need for end users to make continual adjustments or zoom in, which makes reading the text and viewing images or video content much easier. Furthermore, sites designed in this way are by nature much faster.
As mentioned above, the responsive site is different from the mobile site. Choosing the latter can lead to significant issues. Firstly, the developer must modify content on two fronts, both on the desktop and on the mobile version. In addition, all the content on the site is effectively duplicated, which leads to considerable disadvantage from the point of view of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and has a negative influence on the site’s positioning on search engines.
Web responsive and web adaptive sites: the differences
Considering that the web responsive standard is a decidedly more advantageous option than the mobile site, it is essential to analyse the differences between that approach and the creation of a web adaptive site.
Sites developed in this way are very similar to responsive ones, but with one essential difference. The design responsive site features a single template which is able to adapt to the various internal elements extremely smoothly, benefitting the end users’ experience considerably.
The adaptive website functions very differently. In order to understand it, it is important to remember that it uses a script on the web server, which makes it possible to recognise the device via which the user is accessing the site. Based on this data, the user is presented with the best possible version of their chosen web space.
The adaptive website therefore features several templates. This enables a different targeted response to be provided according to the device being used to browse the web.
What are the limits of web adaptive sites?
As outlined above, the web adaptive approach seems to provide enormous advantages. It definitely gives plenty of advantages if compared with the web responsive standard, but it also has several limits. The main one regards technological innovation. If, in the near future, different devices from the ones we currently use emerge, (regardless of their functions, we still use desktops, smartphones and tablets), sites designed using the web adaptive approach will encounter problems and will need a restyling.
Which to choose, responsive or adaptive?
Which is the best approach, web responsive or web adaptive? The advantages of the former include its undoubtedly useful lightness and speed of loading. This peculiarity is in fact beneficial to its positioning and allows sites to rise up the SERP (search engine results page). Another strength is the fact that no modifications are required when new devices become available. In other words, the content is able to adapt to the device, making the site not only mobile friendly, but to all effects user friendly and pleasurable to browse.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith