How is Responsive Web Design Different from Static Web Design?

Responsive Web Design from Static Web site
Responsive Web Design from Static Web site

Static web design, as the name suggests, have rigid layouts. They don’t adapt to the kind of device you are opening a web page on – smartphones and tablets. Most of the earlier websites were static, and presented the same web layouts on all kinds of devices, thus providing poor user experience. On the other end of the spectrum are responsive websites. They are designed to adapt to the kind of device the website is opened on.

Responsive Web Design from Static Web site
Responsive Web Design from Static Website

With almost 50% of the online experience, including search share now moving to mobile devices, you cannot expect to invest in static design.

Static Web Design

Horizontal scrolling is one of the biggest challenges to static design. Once you have created a static page, it cannot be changed without the help of expert editors. Webmasters would usually work around the limitations of static design by creating a separate site that can be opened on devices with smaller resolutions.

Despite these limitations, static websites are usually faster and cheaper to design. The designing process is shorter compared to responsive website design.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive design is the latest web designing concept that helps you reach all the devices in use today. Responsive websites are designed based on percentages and are free from precise measurements. So when users open your website on their smartphone, your site will easily accommodate all its elements depending on the screen’s size.

Responsive web design helps in delivering optimal user experience on all sizes and types of devices. The design phase may be longer, but the extra time pays off in terms of better user experience and SEO.

Advantages of Responsive Design

There are many reasons why websites are now designed around the responsive concept.

  • Single & Simpler Code Base – Unlike static websites, responsive sites are written in CSS3 and HTML5. There is only a single set of files written using a universal language. In other words, the costs are relatively reduced in the long term (as compared to having different websites).
  • Access on Any Device – Responsive sites can be opened on any device – Android, iOS, Windows, Mac or any other platform. There is no compromise in user experience and no content goes unavailable.
  • Unified Files & Teams – There’s no need to have multiple teams for desktop, mobile, e-commerce, and m-commerce. Responsive design means a collaborative and unified approach across all disciplines – designing, development, promotion and content. Overall, you will have a unified team that works and shares common goals.
  • SEO Advantages – If you build a mobile website independent of its static desktop version, the files will be based on a different server directory. This means two different folders and two websites to track. This will be seen as ‘duplicate content’ by search engines and could mean lower search ranking.

On the other hand, there is the responsive website which has a single domain. All traffic – mobile and desktop, will work as a single source. This means better search rankings.

  • Responsive Design is Future Proof –Your responsive website will allow the design and layout to move and adapt to accommodate any type of device – old, current or new devices. So your website will be future ready and you will not have to worry about the new kind of mobile devices being launched in the future.

Static web design may be cheaper but it will not serve your purpose. Responsive deign is the future and if you have not already updated your site, its time you took the step.

About The Author:

Adam is a renowned SEO expert and Calgary web designer from, who has seen the Internet since its dawn. He has seen it boom through the 90’s Internet revolution, the 2000’s era of SEO Calgary and online marketing, and the recent flurry of Google updates that have rocked the SEO world like anything. Currently, he spends most of his time sharing his knowledge with webmasters and SEO experts.