Responsive websites are websites that automatically resize to the screen size the website is being viewed on.
Reactive websites (adaptive) displays a website especially designed for the device type the website is being viewed on.
Responsive websites are not always the best solution for web design. Firstly an explanation of what a responsive website means and what it isn’t. There is much misunderstanding that the only way a website can be a mobile friendly website is to design it to be responsive, as in a wordpress website. This is wrong, you can design a website that adapts or provides an alternate display on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. The difference is responsive websites automatically display correctly on mobile devices as they resize to the display screen size. Reactive – Adaptive websites gives a totally different website version for the screen size allowing specific design for desktop, tablet or mobile. Both the responsive and adaptive approaches are endorsed by the Google Mobile Friendly test.
Some reasons why adaptive might be best
With adaptive websites you can choose what to display on your desktop version and what you want to display on mobile versions. For instance you may have strong ‘call to action’ for mobile users such as “download our mobile app here” or even giving your mobile version a more app feel and look.
Being both a website designer and a photographer I realise that sometimes a photo looks fantastic when seen on desktop but not so good on mobile. With an adaptive you can choose which photos you show dependant on the device.
SEO Responsive vs Reactive (Adaptive) Websites
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can also be advantageous having two or three versions (you can have separate versions for desktop, tablet and mobile). This allows you to keyword and change the SEO for each of the pages depending on the device version, this is particularly advantageous if you ‘Local SEO’ for mobile searches, such as directions, local business etc.
If you would like more information on reactive vs responsive websites call Mick Kenyon on 07738 255499