Know The Basic Design Layouts- Fixed, Fluid, Adaptive and Responsive

Saurabh Tiwary | 15th March 2016

Basic Layout Design Schemes

Know The Basic Design Layouts- Fixed, Fluid, Adaptive and Responsive

Most of the time, we fall upon a no-win situation of picking up a specific design layouts for our website. As a course of rapid advancements in technology, and enhanced electronic devices viz. Smartphones, Tablets, Wearable devices, one needs to implement style  that’s independent over time. It appears to be  a kind of difficult task at first in achieving a dynamic layout design to make your website versatile. And for this reason, we shall take a glimpse on some frequently undertaken layout choices for web designers.  Every layout that we discuss further may vary  as a number of layouts aim to pinnacle a definite subject.

Before you choose one of these layouts, do work a bit and be careful in finalizing one of them as there are so many factors that influence website’s layout. To know few of them, like:

  • Screen Resolution
  • Various Display Size
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Browser Type
  • Operating System
  • Space required for text and images etc.


Fixed Layout

A fixed website layout has a template sheath that is fixed in width, and the other  components inside it either have similar proportion in widths or exactly the fixed widths. The crucial consideration in the fixed layout is that the sheath, the ‘wrapper’ element is static and immovable. There will be no change in the viewing perspective of layout, and all the elements will be displayed in the same width and size even though it is sighted from different viewing sources. Thus it is advisable to sustain an ideal screen dimension while putting the fixed layout in practice.

Many designers make use of fixed layouts as these are easier to alter and affirm that it is viewed in same way by designer as well as users.


  • Fixed layout design is easier to use and customize
  • Most of the browser come with the same width and so most of the website element can easily adjust in fixed layout like images, videos etc.
  • No restriction of defining width like minimum or maximum width
  • Fixed website templates can attain viewability at varied resolution screens.


  • It can leave a lot of blank white space that users might find weird to see
  • It might be a problem for small screen devices where the aspect ratio is different and as a result, it might want user to navigate through horizontal bar
  • Low score in usability.

Fluid Layout

In a fluid website layout, also referred to as liquid, relative or elastic layout,  most of the website’s components inside the layout have a percentage widths, and they adjust according to the screen layout of the end user. It uses a relative unit of measurement to measure the actual width of the page so that content of the page automatically adapt to the size of the browser.


  • It adjusts itself according to the user’s device and hence it is very user friendly
  • It saves extra white blank space and displays every part of content perfectly
  • It can eliminate horizontal navigation bar


  • It is a kind of self adjusting layout and can sometimes overlook to cause other issue that a designer might not be familiar with
  • Displaying content on large displays can also be a trouble resulting in an ugly look of the page with less visible content and more vacant space.

Adaptive Vs Responsive Layout

There has always been a hue and cry on whether the design should be adaptive or responsive. Both of these design layouts are suitable for mobile viewing. However, responsive layout is of better use as compared to the adaptive one. Most of the web designers make use of either of these two designs and have specific usage. So far, we have discussed designs that are not dynamic. But these two layouts have come up as a trend-setter at present time. Let us get familiar with these two layouts severally.


  • Adaptive Layout


Adaptive Layout designing is somewhat different from Responsive Design Layouts. Unlike responsive layout, where only one layout changes, in adaptive layout, there are several separate  layouts for multiple screen sizes. The use of the layout depends on the size of the screen.These layouts are created in early process of designing. For example, separate layout for computers, tablets, and smartphones. Whenever a page is to be viewed, any of the layouts is displayed after detecting the device type.


  • Efficient Page Loading
  • Easy Customization based on user experience
  • It is good for high reach through mobile phones


  • Expensive
  • Complexity in design

Responsive Design

Responsive template layouts provide best of the  experience overall. It consists of single layout that automatically adjusts depending on the display type. In such layouts, most of the space on the screen is utilized to the  maximum extent. It is an extension to the fluid type, so it has the ability to re size as per the size of the screen.

In general, responsive layouts perform better than adaptive layouts, but in many cases, an adaptive approach is preferred like, in case of complex mobile apps design . In both of the practices, the aim is to adjust itself based on the size of the display.

Major Difference between the two– In case of adaptive design, layout is determined at server side, while in case of responsive, it is determined on the client side.

Which one should be used?

Adaptive layout design is useful when you already have a running website and you want to make specific changes to it. It demands more maintenance and carefulness. However, a responsive layout can be useful when you don’t want to spend a lot of time and still want a handy website without any flaws.  

At Oodles Studio, we offer a wide range of layout options depending on your  specific requirement. We have expert designers ready to take up any challenge in designing based on our client’s requests. We specialize in:-

  • Adaptive Layout Design
  • Responsive Layout Design
  • Multi Layout Template Design
  • Web Based Dynamic Websites etc.

About Author


Saurabh Tiwary

54 Comments To “Know The Basic Design Layouts- Fixed, Fluid, Adaptive and Responsive”

    Search engine optimization says:
    August 17, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Thanks so much for the article post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

    to read more says:
    August 17, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    This awesome blog is definitely cool and diverting. I have chosen helluva interesting things out of this blog. I ad love to come back again soon. Thanks!

Leave a Comment

Name is required

Comment is required

© Copyright 2015-2024 Oodles Studio. All Rights Reserved.

Request For Proposal

Recaptcha is required.