Mobile Websites: Responsive Vs. Adaptive

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Which is the better choice for your business?

You may have heard about the huge growth of mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones. 1/3 of us now own a mobile device and use it to look for products and services at the touch of a button. Many businesses have noticed this change and are wondering if there is something they should be doing to help their customers giving a much better experience online. Every day I speak to business owners about their digital marketing strategies and one of the biggest things I have noticed is the fact that business owners don't go on their own websites on a mobile device and haven’t tried to navigate the site to see how it works.

Most business owners' reaction when I talk to them is that the website works fine because they see that it loads in the browser but its impossible to read the text without zooming in or out or you can't click the buttons or find a phone number easily. If you have ever been on a website like this you will know what I mean, it can be frustrating and will cause potential customers to leave and look elsewhere.

What are my options to improve my mobile presence?

There are different solutions for different businesses and it depends on what offer or message you need to get across to your new or existing customers. A better mobile strategy will improve conversion from visitors into new enquirers and sales. A lot of business owners have asked me: should I have a mobile responsive site? A stand-alone mobile site or a mobile app? Again the answer to that depends on what you want the end result to be. You can find out more about apps by clicking the link below.

What is the difference between a responsive and an adaptive web design?

Mobile responsive websites: these types of websites are designed and built to work on a range of different platforms. They can modify to be viewed better on all screens such as large TVs to small mobile phones.

Adaptive websites: stand alone mobile sites that target specific devices with a specific screen design such as a desktop PC monitor or a mobile device like a tablet or a mobile phone.

In order to decide which is the best solution, you need to look at your market place and decide which is going to be best for your customers.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages for both:

Responsive web design


This design will save you time when updating it because you will only need to change the images and content once as the software will reposition and resize them for you but this will not work on certain browsers for example Internet explorer 8 or even older browsers as the won't support responsive software.

Achieve bigger reach to tablet and mobile audiences by having a site that loads much faster than a standard one witch means a better online experience for your customers. More and more of us are relying on these 'on the go' devices so you can't afford to miss out. Google prefers mobile responsive websites as it can make it much easier to discover the index web content.


A mobile responsive website can increase the loading speed and additional software is required to change the web content to fit different screen sizes. Because the browser needs time to load extra codes and larger images. Mobile responsive sites take longer to load on smaller devices because they use data networks that have slower connection speeds. There is some software available to prevent this from happening but it’s not ideal. Web design companies are working to improve these challenges so they will get better over time.

Adaptive website design


Adaptive websites can reduce the load speed as it is designed for specific devices. The content can be customized better making the functionality much easier. Larger websites such as news websites and ecommerce websites benefit from the customized user experience as they are much easier to navigate.


Adaptive websites require more maintenance, for example content updates on different website templates which utilises more time and more resources.

So when you are trying to decide which is the best solution for you and the business, you need to consider your present website audience, your prospects and your marketing goals. 

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