CSS frameworks are libraries are built to make front-end developer lives a bit easier by including a number of styling modules and components.
They are often built with a set of features like base, icons and icon fonts, grid, common styled-components, reset/normalize, utilities, typography and general and layout purpose styles.
Development efficiency is one of the top priority when choosing a CSS framework. There are numerous options out there all with different purposes and characteristics. Hint: you should at least try various frameworks to see which one works for you.
Some CSS frameworks do too much, as they come with all sorts of pre-designed components such as buttons and cards that help you move swiftly at first, but can cause more pain than they can help when it comes time to make your site with a custom design.
Few Advantages of a CSS Framework
Increased productivity – Visualize a situation when you introduce a framework, set CSS class name for an element, then a beautifully styled element surfaces from nowhere!
Standardised codebase – CSS frameworks usually proceed with enforced naming conventions, style guides and designs. This drives to standardised styling code everywhere as long as are using the same framework.
Responsive – Each and every modern CSS frameworks has a responsive design, all its components are responsive by default.
Browser compatibility – Cross browser compatibility is tested carefully by those who’ve developed the framework.
Consistent design – Frameworks comes with consistent layouts on their own. You will have very consistent paddings, margins, animations, colours and many other things.
Few Disadvantages of a CSS
Non-transferable learning – There’s no standards for designing CSS frameworks. Learning just one framework can come in insignificant when you switch jobs using different ones.
Bulky useless code – A few CSS frameworks include heaps of styles you will probably never use. It can get worse for smaller projects when you only use individual features but you have to load the entire big framework.
Similar style universally – Most CSS frameworks provide beautiful built-in styles that everyone can use with minimum customisation. Some are fine with these designs as they save a lot of time, sadly this ends up with a bunch of alike websites that have a very little personality.
Painful custom design – If you use general-purpose CSS frameworks in a highly customised design project, you will be ending up over-rides styles for components. This is the turning point when you realisze writing from scratch is far more easier!
So, after the today advantages and disadvantages here I’ve compiled a list of the six CSS frameworks in 2020 so you can choose the best one for you depends on your design needs.
Tailwind is a utility-first framework, where you can use for the rapid building of User Interfaces. As it’s a CSS library that is utility-based that prefers practicality and speed over a semantic and lean markup.
All you need to plan thoroughly is the scope of your project, based on that, and it’s easy to create a complete site without having to write your own CSS. This framework doesn’t come with a default theme. You also won’t find any built-in UI components. But there is a pre-designed widgets menu you can work with for building a website.
Reasons to use Tailwind
Site unaffected By individual changes – So if you make a change to one element, you do not have to worry about its impact on any related elements.
Ease Of Use – Once you are familiar with Tailwind syntax, It’s so simple to use. So there’s never going back and forth of your stylesheet and HTML.
Highly Customisable – Tailwind has plenty of customisation options.
High Development Speed – Tailwind eliminates one of the big steps and it’s having to write CSS, so the development speed increases.
Being the most popular one and being among web developers, Bootstrap has arisen as the leading front-end framework.
At the time of writing this post, Bootstrap 4.5.3 is the latest and stable version of the framework, it comes with components, better stylesheet, and enables your web-page to be more responsive. Also, support both LESS and SASS
Aside from offering an excellent grid system, Bootstrap features some common HTML elements in the form of reusable components, some of these include navigation, dropdowns, pagination, labels, etc.
Reasons to use Bootstrap
Time Saver – The framework has astounding documentation on each component. With the built-in ready to use components, you can develop the websites much faster.
Cross-Browser Compatibility Testing – The latest version, is compatible with all the latest browsers, ensuring you don’t run into any browser compatibility testing issues.
Well-maintained Codebase – The maintenance team constantly updates Bootstrap, it simple like that
Learning Curve – With a lot of documentation available, it helps the learning process for any beginner, plus you will notice there even tutorial available if you ever get stuck.
Way back in September 2011 ZURB, developed the Foundation framework. In contrast to the other CSS frameworks in 2020, This framework displays an advanced and modern interface. One of its best parts is the responsive menu and compatibility on various devices and browsers. Also you can simply style the menu according to your requirements using the CSS framework.
Foundation gives you a lot of room for designers to show their creativity.
Reasons to use Foundation
Less CSS Bloat – Thanks to the in-built base CSS appearances, the CSS bloat in HTML won’t be as much.
Flexibility In Grids – You can easily remove gutters and collapse columns, with the help of a ‘collapse’ class. Also you can create columns of equal size with the help of a block-sized grid.
Widgets – Foundation framework offers HTML5 form validation library, a table showing subscription-based product prices, and options to customise UX according to different devices.
Bulma is a Flexbox-based open-source CSS frameworks. That has more than 200,000 developers using it all over the world. It helps developers understand how they can code a component, even you are in the need for a visual component, Bulma is right there for you.
The front-end framework uses different techniques for providing front-end developers with a well-built interface. Furthermore, thanks to the responsive templates, you can focus better on the content rather than worrying over the code all the time.
Reasons to use Bulma
Innovative and Easier Designing – Bulma makes the production and customisation of an application easy for developers. With the integrated Flexbox enables front-enders to build individual unique designs.
Clear Documentation – Bulma comes with clear documentation.
Versatile – Bulma comes with typography, forms, buttons, tables, and much more. Also it’s packed with components for solution layouts and different media objects.
UIKit is a modular and lightweight CSS framework. If you are trying to develop a powerful and fast web interface, than they way to go is to use UIKit. As it features a complete collection of CSS, HTML, and JS components. This making the front-end framework extendible, easy to use and is simple to customise.
A widely use of this front-end frameworks is for the development of iOS apps. It defines the core components such as buttons, labels, navigation controllers, and table views.
Reasons to use UIKit
Clear architecture – UIKit has clearly defined conventions and clean code which presents to a clear architecture.
Ready to use themes – You can choose the theme of your choice from the drop-down menu.
Modular – Each and every aspect of UIKit is done in such a way that designers can simply select different components for adding it to their stylesheet.
6. Pure CSS
PureCSS emphasises a set of CSS modules that are excellent for different all kinds of projects. Though the modules are small, they are also responsive. As a result, you can create websites that are responsive, faster, easy and aesthetically pleasing.
Some of the notable features of this framework include a built-in design with high responsiveness and Standard CSS having a minimal footprint.
Reasons to use PureCSS
Simple Customisations – The front-end framework provides designers with a foundation to customise.
Browser Testing – The base of the framework relies on Normalize.css. The front-end framework doesn’t have multiple browser compatibility testing issues, as the testing issues support are frequent fixing.
Extensible – There’s no need for overwriting existing CSS rules since the designers can easily add new ones
Lightweight – The 4.5KB minified + gzip file size makes the frontend framework lightweight.
Responsiveness – PureCSS has a mobile-first fluid grid with 12 columns that offers support for responsive classes for different screen sizes.