Adaptive or Fluid? Which method you would like to chose…

Adaptive or Fluid? Which method you would like to chose…

Get set and roll up your sleeves. What you are going to read here is important if you desire to build a compelling brand presence over the internet. This information will shed light on two important aspects of affordable website designing that will alter your views of looking at this avenue completely. This extract will lay a solid foundation to understand how responsive web design is with regards to two important aspects – Adaptive and Fluid designs.

@adaptive design by
Adaptive Design By


Adaptive design – The just so fine approach

Adaptive layout is just about fine for a responsive website design. This is due to the fact that such layouts are good for websites that necessitate frequent overhauls in design. Let us now check what this approach has in store.


The breakpoints that are set along with the media queries in adaptive approach are the only differentiation in appearances. There can be maximum of three layouts in such an approach.  As there can be only three layouts, the main layouts can be utilized for the devices that are most popular. The view ranges of popular devices at various platforms become the focal point in such layouts. If we take examples, smart phones and tablets are the current favorites for web browsing. Hence, the most apt layout will be for these devices. The positive here is this provides optimal view experience for possible users of these devices. Negative can be that users who do not use such devices will view the website with issues.

Bleak future

When we see that the points of focus for adaptive layouts are current favorite devices, the emphasis on future prospective devices is quite low; or absent completely. If this is considered, the adaptive approach can be a big NO at this point.

However, everything is relative to project needs. For example, if the project has a 1 or 2 years life span, even if the current popular devices become extinct till this time, the final product will not be dependent on the type of approach used for making the website responsive. However, if the life span of the product is more, then this will create a sorry state.

To summarize


  • Lesser need for testing website at different widths
  • Optimal view experience ensured for majority of users for current favorite devices


  • Users of non-popular devices currently will have issues viewing the website
  • Long life span of websites will need periodic updates along with technical variations

@ fluid designs by
Fluid Designs By

The Fluid design –  A future friendly perspective

Contrary to the rigid nature of adaptive layouts, the fluid design is quite flexible. This flexibility is relative to the manner in which such designs respond to varied view widths.


The good aspect of a fluid layout is its flexibility of adapting to any form. This makes the fluid design best suited for a responsive layout as it adapts to any device for viewing. This is a big plus for this approach to responsive website design. However, the time consumed for viewing the website for varied widths to ascertain where the design breaks is troublesome.

Harmonious design

Having a fluid layout is achievable as it is always made proportionally. With use of percentages for declaring CSS styles, the layout becomes proportional. This renders everything in the design to relay based on different screen sizes. When the coding is done perfectly, every aspect of the design will appear in sync and balanced with each other. However, if the coding is faulty, the inconsistencies will be immediately noticeable.

Future friendly

Due to being adaptable as mentioned above, the fluid design is timeless. You will never need to think about the response of your website to technology advancements of changes in user preferences regarding devices.

To summarize


  • Adaptable layout that fits with any viewing range and device
  • Proper coding ensures that everything in the design is balanced
  • No need to think about technology advancements in future


  • Time spent for viewing the website for varied widths is more
  • Poor coding can immediately make the inconsistencies noticeable

On a closing note

When you consider the fluid layout, it is best for a long-term perspective, while the adaptive layout is good if you check the feasibility of the project in the immediate future and how you can make routine and necessary changes periodically. Finally everything boils down to what your needs and requirements are. Both approaches have good and bad points as far as rendering a responsive layout is concerned. So ponder over what you need and choose accordingly.

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