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Fluid and Flexible – What RWD Is All About!

     With the rise of smart phones and tablets, the devices being used more and more to access the internet, there have been some challenges to internet design. To provide the best viewing experience, a website must work as planned, which unfortunately doesn't always happen when accessed on a device other than the planned one, be it desktop or mobile. Though there are currently two different means of dealing with such an issue, it is important to understand what constitutes responsive design and why it is a superior product than adaptive design.

The Problem

When the most popular computers used to go online were located on a desktop with a full screen monitor - or perhaps with a full-sized laptop screen - the problem of display issues were few and far between. Websites were created for the current standard desktop resolution because most users shared the same technology and could accomplish all desired work that way.

Since today’s internet user has access to smart phones, tablets, and small notebooks to surf the net, the whole concern about viewing screen size was turned upside down. Suddenly it seemed that websites that had been in existence for years could not be easily viewed on such devices or did not perform in a desired fashion – because they were not coded for the different resolutions or screen sizes.

The Solution

When it became obvious that this problem had to be resolved due to increasing numbers of mobile device users, two solutions were developed: adaptive and responsive design. Adaptive involves the creation of duplicate websites designed to suit the sizes of the different, popular mobile viewers. When a certain viewing size was recognized, the right or best version for that type was sent to be downloaded on only that particular device. Responsive involves one set of more complex code that creates only one website that will fluidly change to adapt to the device upon which it was accessed to provide the best user experience possible.

Speaking in general terms, both methods have pros and cons. Adaptive design is not foolproof in correctly recognizing individual devices and may offer to download the wrong version; responsive design is perceived to lack some of the pizzazz that is found on larger, full-sized websites. Considering the fact that the main reason for even having a website is to be viewable on a desktop, smart phone, or tablet, responsive design ends up the winner by a great deal.

Responsive Web Design – An Explanation

The main difference with responsive that makes it more preferable over adaptive design is that the resulting all-in-one website ends up having cleaner, more functional code; only one set of code is needed regardless of how it is accessed. The design flows into the space it finds available, as opposed to being a fixed dimension that requires different versions of the same site for each differently sized device.

While it is true that responsive website design does call for a bit of a reduction in the size of images, video – and preferably no flash - this is not always the case. The main concern is the speed at which websites load; RWD with one single set of codes loads reasonably fast; with AWD, multiple versions of code are built into the same main code, all of which have to load to the website to determine the device in order to present the page correctly.

Responsive design has greatly improved and has become the dominant force in design, meaning all websites should consider being converted to RWD. In the near future, conventional static websites will simply be incapable of providing the smoothest user experience; sticking with RWD provides a certain amount of security that websites can be correctly seen on ALL devices and mobile platforms – that is what RWD is all about!

Article Source:

Chris Hunter is an expert in Web Design, Search Engine Marketing, and Reputation Management. To find out more about Houston Web Design, go to the main website at:

Posted on 2013-10-10, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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