Advantages and disadvantages of responsive design

Responsive web design has some obvious advantages:

Advantages of responsive design

Seamless experience

Regardless of the device type — desktop, mobile, etc. — visitors will get the same, seamless experience. This instills a feeling of familiarity and trust, even as they transition from one device to another.

Fewer maintenance tasks

Because the site uses the same content across all devices, it won’t require much engineering or maintenance time. A responsive design will cut down on the time and effort you spend updating your site. You’ll have more time for essential tasks like A/B testing, marketing, customer service, and content development.

More budget-friendly

Responsive design is easier to set up and faster to implement because you don’t need an additional mobile site. You can save on development, support, and maintenance costs associated with creating stand-alone mobile sites. Logistically, you can also organize and control all your content in one centralized location.

Improve crawling and indexing efficiency

For responsive websites, a single web crawler agent will crawl your page once, rather than multiple times with different crawler agents to retrieve all versions of the content. Responsive sites directly improve the crawling efficiency and indirectly help search engines index more of your site’s content, keeping it appropriately fresh.

More search engine friendly

Google favors mobile-friendly websites, something responsive websites are great at. Make sure your web design tool allows you to create responsive websites that are mobile friendly.

Disadvantages of responsive design

While responsive web design is great, it’s not without drawbacks. Here are the things to watch for when deciding which web design format is best for your requirements and goals:

Slower page loading

One of the biggest concerns of responsive web design is load time. Responsive websites load the information for all devices, not just for the device visitors are viewing your site on.

Difficulty integrating advertisements

Because ads have to accommodate all resolutions, it can be more challenging to integrate them effectively with responsive sites. The website will flow from device to device, so while the site adjusts to specific screen sizes, ads may not properly configure.

Advantages and disadvantages of adaptive design

Let’s look at the pros and cons of choosing an adaptive web design.

Advantages of adaptive design

When you go with an adaptive website, you can enjoy the following benefits:

Highly targeted for each user

By optimizing the experience for individual devices, you ensure each visitor receives a positive user experience. You can deliver and adjust your content by targeting things like the person’s location and connection speed.

Faster load times

Only the version of the website visitors need will be loaded, which makes page load a little faster. This is especially true for smartphone users.

Optimized for advertising

There’s an increasing number of designers who are optimizing advertising options in responsive designs. For example, they’re switching 728×90 banners for 468×90 banners to cater to smaller resolutions. But with adaptive sites, designers can optimize advertisements based on user data from smaller screens.

Reusable existing website

Adaptive means your designers won’t need to return to the drawing board and re-code your existing website from the ground up. This is an essential consideration — many complex websites are built with legacy code over time. Starting from scratch sometimes isn’t an option.

Disadvantages of adaptive design

Here are some disadvantages to be aware of when it comes to adaptive web design:

Labor-intensive to create

Adaptive design is much more work-intensive because of the number of technical aspects to consider.

Harder to maintain

Because you have multiple versions of the website, each version has to be updated individually. Generally, you need to design for the 6 most common screen widths; 320, 480, 760, 960, 1200, and 1600 pixels. And that number keeps growing, making a designer’s job harder and more time consuming when it comes to site maintenance.


Aside from being time-consuming, adaptive web design requires a large team of developers. You’ll incur more expenses to handle the complexity of developing, maintaining, and supporting an adaptive website.