When it comes to making a site for the mobile screen there are three main ways to go about it. First is a responsive design, second is an adaptive design which is also known as dynamic serving and lastly its creating a separate mobile URL.
Usually a mobile URL comes with an m. prefix which makes it easier for people to identify it, but when it comes to differentiating a responsive website from an adaptive one, people might face difficulty. Thus, for this purpose here are some ways to correctly identify which site is adaptive and which is responsive:
- A responsive website changes its layout based on the window size in which the browser is open (no matter what the device) while an adaptive site detects the device you are using and presents the site accordingly. This means that responsive design does not depend on the device while adaptive does. You can check this by opening a site, which does not have a separate mobile URL, on a desktop browser and then resizing the window and seeing how the layout changes.
- When you check the source code of the home page of a site a responsive one with have words like “responsive” or “@media” in it. These HTML code thus, has different elements when it comes to a responsive site and which are missing in an adoptive one.
- A site which displays different content or has a different layout on a mobile is probably an adaptive one. Such sites generate a different HTML based on the device rather than the screen size. Thus, if you are looking at such a site on even a bigger mobile screen you will see the same layout. Whereas this is not the case in responsive design.
- Aside from this there are even tools available that can help you differentiate between a responsive and adaptive website.
Another popular question that has been asked time and again is whether a site can be responsive and adaptive at the same time. This is in fact a possibility and has been adopted by many sites.
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