RWD Vs AWD: Similarities and Differences

Oct 24th, 2014

RWD Vs AWD: Similarities and Differences

The hot topic for web developers and website owners is the way that websites can now automatically respond and adapt to any device with any screen size. There is huge dilemma in proposing best web design method for Mobile responsive project to clients. There we are to help you.

Lets discuss in detail about these two options for web design:

A) Responsive Web Design (RWD)

B) Adaptive Web Design (AWD)

Here seems to be some confusion about these terms, and some may refer to “Responsive design” is a subset of “Adaptive design”. Understanding the key differences between Responsive design and Adaptive design will try to keep everyone on the same page and help you select the best approach for your project.

Responsive Web Design (RWD)

Responsive design is fluid, using CSS3 media queries to respond to any screen sizes. With the use of this CSS3 module, you can create flexible grids that use percentages to create a flexible foundation. Where text can wrap and images can shrink to adjust along with your browser.

Responsive design is client-side which means the page is sent to the device browser, and the browser then modifies the appearance of the page in relation to the size of the browser window.

The definition of a responsive website is that it will fluidly change and respond to fit any screen or device size.

Why You Need A Responsive Website?

  • Growing Demand for Smartphones
  • Multiple Screen Sizes and Mobile Browsers
  • Wide Usage of Internet in mobile devices
  • Permits wider browser support
  • Compulsory for Getting Good Business


Adaptive Web Design (AWD)

Adaptive web design uses predefined layouts that have been carefully constructed for a variety of screen sizes. A particular layout is activated when the screen size of the device viewing the website is detected and matched with a style sheet.

Adaptive design is predominantly server side. This means that the web server does all of the work of detecting the various devices and loading the correct style sheet depending on the attributes of the device.

The major drawback of AWD is to create multiple layouts hence the maintenance and updation are also costly and time consuming.

Similarities and Differences

The biggest similarity between the two methods is that they both allow websites to be viewed in mobile devices and various screen sizes. They also provide visitors with an enhanced mobile-friendly user experience.

They are different in the way that they deliver the responsive / adaptive design to the user. RWD is dependent on fluid grids and AWD is relying on predefined size layouts.

Another major difference is usage of client side or server side is another way in which they differ.

The visible difference is that responsive design will fluidly alter its layout while you resize your browser window whilst adaptive design will load a specific layout for the device you’re viewing the site on.

Contact Us for more details or inquiries on Web Design or mobile responsive web designs.



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