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CSS frameworks help web developers create functional and attractive websites and applications with less work. Car designers don’t reinvent the wheel every time they design a new car. In fact, many of the parts are likely purchased from third-party vendors. The same is true for developers. These five frameworks can help you get to that ideal end result sooner.
An initiative started by Twitter, Bootstrap was one of the first frameworks to make responsive design widespread. Prior to Bootstrap, most websites featured a main and a mobile-friendly version. However, this doesn’t cut it today. Instead, websites should be designed responsively so that they can be screen agnostic.
As the name implies, Bootstrap is designed to be deployed quickly and easily. It is especially useful for prototyping. Unfortunately, this can make the end design a little boring. Many designers can spot bootstrap easily because it is so consistent.
Bootstrap is by far the most popular framework available today. However, some of its competitors are quickly catching up.
2) Bulma CSS
The default design options with Bulma are elegant and plentiful. However, it is also very easy to modify, especially with sub-stylesheets. It is easy to learn and change. For many web developers, Bulma is a new favorite.
Bulma is also very well documented. This makes learning much easier no matter where you are on the learning curve. Experts can look up references and beginners can get a peek under the hood.
Despite being less popular than Bootstrap, Foundation is another major player in the framework world. It is something like a more complex but also more customizable alternative to Bootstrap.
Foundation was designed as a responsive design toolkit. So, in a sense, it is more than just a framework. There are many options for customizing and one Foundation-based website can look very different from another.
Nonetheless, it is fairly complicated to learn. Additionally, the code underneath, while intuitive, can be complex. This can make it intimidating for beginners.
Where other frameworks are all about customizability and feature-richness, UKKit is about minimalism. Today, a lot of design trends are moving towards relatively minimal styles. For web designers who love minimalism in design, this is the right choice.
This simplicity extends beyond aesthetics. The system is also very easy to work with. It also has a strong selection of components. They aren’t necessarily as flexible as other frameworks, but they come out looking great.
If you want to create something elegant, UIKit is likely for you. It isn’t as popular as some of the above frameworks, but it has its own claim to fame.
5) Semantic UI
Semantic is another popular option. It first gained traction thanks to its over 3000 theme design variables. However, some other frameworks are catching up to it in terms of customizability. It is also one of the hardest frameworks to learn initially.
Nonetheless, Semantic is easy to customize once you get the hang of it. Perhaps more importantly, it looks good out of the box without major changes.
Semantic may not be as cutting-edge or fancy as some of its competitors but it continues to maintain a dedicated following. Clearly, there is something for web developers to love in this framework.
CSS frameworks are useful tools for web developers and designers to build their creations on top of. They turn major projects into more manageable undertakings. Additionally, they make supporting a website easier as they get updated regularly. While it is useful for developers to know how to design without a framework, for most projects, one of the above five frameworks is a must-have.