We remember when web design was all about 800x600. Fixed width (@640px) websites were the trend, and as scrolling was nearly sacrilege, we were talking about designing with 640 x 480 in mind! Can you imagine that? Luckily for all of us, technology and web design have evolved and we now have bigger, better and more flexible websites. Along with fixed-width sites, other types of websites have appeared such as fluid websites, adaptive and responsive, of course.
What's the difference between them, then?
Fixed websites, as we mentioned earlier, have a set width and watching them on different devices, screen size, etc. won't change their appearance.
Fluid or liquid websites use relative widths. Sizes are set in percentages, making columns relative to each other and adapting to the size of the browser window.
Adaptive websites (AWD) can be built on a fixed or fluid grid, but target devices and display different layouts which fit, predetermined of screen size. So we have device-dedicated websites.
Responsive websites (RWD) use a fluid grid and media queries to adapt the design and its content to its surroundings as it scales up or down with the browser or device. One of the latest responsive websites we have built was for muti award winning festival Lovebox.
So, considering the use of mobile internet is rising and virtually overtaking desktops, it looks like the battle these days is Responsive vs. Adaptive web design. But, is there a correct answer? Let's see some pros and cons.
It is fair to say that, despite RWD seeming the way to go in the majority of cases, it shouldn't be used in all cases. Always assess the pros/cons for any given scenario, and take a well-adjusted, practical decision.