LearnWhat’s the Difference Between Fixed, Fluid, Adaptive, and Responsive Web Design?

Allison Grayce
writes on December 14, 2012

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As a web designer, it’s important to embrace that your website is going to look different in various browsers and on different devices.

Focus on making your website change layout to match the device that your visitors are viewing it on.

Here’s the difference between different types of web design and layouts:

Fixed websites have a set width, and resizing the browser or viewing it on different devices won’t affect on the way the website looks. This can require horizontal scrolling and a site that doesn’t look good on tablets or smartphones.

Fluid websites are built using percentages for widths. As a result, columns are relative to one another and the browser, allowing it to scale up and down fluidly.

Adaptive websites introduce media queries to target specific device sizes, like smaller monitors, tablets, and mobile.

Responsive websites are built on a fluid grid and use media queries to control the design and its content as it scales down or up with the browser or device.

2 Responses to “What’s the Difference Between Fixed, Fluid, Adaptive, and Responsive Web Design?”

  1. Johan Hernández on March 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm said:


  2. thirtytwodigital on May 1, 2013 at 7:12 am said:

    I agree! Adaptive is form of responsive design. You either use media queries to respond to device width or not (fixed).

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