Should You Use a Responsive or Adaptive Web Design?

screen sizes

Image by Coffee Bean from Pixabay

The increase and perhaps dominance of mobile devices has caused many changes in web design. Of course, every website should work well on phones, tablets and desktop devices.

One of the options to be considered is if the site should be a responsive or adaptive design.

The adaptive design adapts to different screen sizes. Designers must create layouts for the most common screen sizes in order for this to work. The adaptations of the design are limited to what the designer created for the website.

Responsive design style automatically resizes its layout depending on device size and environment. Only one design is needed, but coding must be hierarchical so that modules stack in the right order on smaller screens. Regardless of the device type, the design fits the screen.

It sounds like responsive design is the way to go, but despite its limitations, adaptive design has been a popular choice for web design over the years. Adaptive design is useful if you’re looking to add a mobile version of your website without redesigning all of your existing work. If you have a website and don’t have the time or budget to create a new, responsive one, adaptive design is a useful tool for retrofitting your existing site.

Another consideration is whether or not your mobile visitors have significantly different goals than your desktop visitors. If there are big differences, then it might make sense to choose adaptive design. An example is a website for a doctor’s office which might offer a full suite of capabilities on its desktop site, but offer easier, limited access to appointments and directions on an adaptive, mobile version. Then again, adaptive design means you need layouts of all size screens. Most designers would design for the most common screen sizes.

Retrofitting a website or adapting it for mobile is a good reason to go adaptive.

If you are starting from scratch, you’ll want to go responsive. More and more platforms, like WordPress and Squarespace, use responsive design templates. They only require one layout, so there’s no need for additional coding and design like there is for adaptive web design. Updating and maintaining your website is easier because there is only one layout to edit.
Responsive design also (usually) has a better UX because there is more consistency when viewing your website.

Are there any cons to using responsive? From a designer’s point of view, it lacks flexibility because having only one layout means you’re limited in terms of customization for different devices and screen sizes. Some people think these designs have slower load times because it requires additional code.

Conclusions? Adaptive design can be a good choice if you don’t have time to redesign your entire website or if you’re looking to simply add a mobile-friendly version. Responsive design is the modern approach to web development and if you’re creating a new website or completely overhauling your current one, it might be time to invest in responsive design.

SOURCE: business2community.com

Author Websites and Self-Promotion

Dickens poster

Charles Dickens was a big self-promoter and if he were writing today would definitely have a website and be on social media!

 

I have built websites for several authors and their needs are generally similar. (A few samples are here.) If someone just typed your name in the search bar, what would we find? Chances are they are looking to find out About You (biography), your Publications, any Events you might be involved in (readings, workshops) some samples of your writing, and a way to Contact you. And those topics make up a reasonable starting place for a website menu.

For a business, if you don’t have a website you don’t exist, and for a published (or hoping to be published) author that is also true. In 2020, a website is a mark of validity. (That is unfortunately also true for conspiracies, scams, and questionable groups.) Every writer should have a website as a way to market and promote yourself and your writing and build your audience.

I have worked on designing sites for a number of writers who were actually told by their publisher that having a site was a requirement for being published. The bigger publishers often will host a page for your book with a few of those elements but a lot of the marketing of writers (especially novices) falls on the author. Self-promotion is important.

That self-promotion online has a lot to do with having a social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. It can also be having a blog as part of your website so that fresh material is out there about you. If the only update to an author site is when they have a new book (which might be a year or years apart), people are not going to return to your pages.

Every writer I have worked with or just talked with about websites has wanted to know how to get their site to be the top result when someone searches for their name. That’s a whole other topic but in general, your “page rank” from Google and other search engines largely results from how many other sites link to you and how important those sending sites rank themselves. A link to your website from The New York Times is going to move you up a lot more than a link from your friend’s blog – though both are important to have.

Here’s a quick set of tips to help writers increase their search results, and I’ll write more about search engine optimization (SEO) in other posts – including the scams involved in paying to get higher results.