Top 5 CSS Frameworks to Accelerate Your Front-end Development

  • Aug 18, 2017
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Top 5 CSS Frameworks to Accelerate Your Front-end Development

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and controls how HTML elements are displayed on-screen or any other media.

Today you can design gorgeous and responsive UI without even knowing advanced CSS; thanks to the CSS frameworks around! According to our team of Front End Developers, the key benefit is how these frameworks allow them to develop appealing and responsive web user interfaces within the limited time.

In this post we would discuss about top 5 CSS frameworks of 2017, but prior to that here are some guidelines for choosing the right framework for your project.

Important things to consider before choosing your framework

Popularity – How popular is the framework? Greater popularity infers that there are more people involved in the project. Thus, you would have more articles, tutorials from the community; more real-world examples or websites.

A framework with a larger community also means that the framework is future-proof as it is less likely to be abandoned.

Active development – You would need to watch out whether the framework you are going to consider is under active development or not? This is because a good framework always needs to remain updated with the latest web technologies.

Maturity – It is also of utmost importance to find out the maturity of the framework under consideration. This is because relying on a framework for your live projects which has not yet been used in real-world projects would be truly unwise.

Good documentation – It is very crucial to know if the framework offers good documentation which is very essential to facilitate the learning process.

The level of specificity – It is very crucial that your chosen framework does not have a high level of specificity. This is because it is easier and convenient to customize by adding new CSS rules rather than overwriting existing ones. In case you add new rules on the redundant rules then you would be increasing the size of the CSS unnecessarily.

Top 5 popular CSS frameworks with some of their advantages and disadvantages

1) Bootstrap

It is a development framework designed keeping mobile-first approach in mind and built using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. It is highly popular as it facilitates complex layout in HTML5 development utilizing 12 column grid layout. Moreover, it also provides several web page components such as tab, responsive navigation, accordion, carousel and much more.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Bootstrap CSS development framework:

Advantages:

  • This framework provides consistent and appealing UI, out-of-the-box.

  • It provides lots of free and premium themes, templates and plugins.

  • It easily fixes CSS compatibility issues and is supported by all the major browsers.

Disadvantages:

  • It requires a lot of rewriting of CSS file if you want to customize and get diverted from the structure of this framework.

  • Its complex style leads to heaps of not so semantic HTML output.

  • The JavaScript in Bootstrap is connected to jQuery.

2) Materialize

Another popular CSS framework is Materialize and it is based on a material design of Android operating system. If you like material design then this framework is just for you! Moreover, this framework provides features such as Waves, AutoComplete, Slide Navigation, Chip, etc.

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Materialize CSS framework:

Advantages:

  • It is best suited for creating material design which comes along out-of-the-box.

  • It has good documentation and is responsive.

  • It also controls the behaviors of UX design elements and their visual interactions.

Disadvantages:

  • A few old browsers are not supported by this CSS framework.

  • The CSS files are very bulky and heavy in this framework.

3) Bulma

Although Bulma CSS development framework is in the beta version, the developer community is abuzz with this framework and they are also eagerly awaiting the release of version 1.0. This framework supports in all the web browsers except Internet Explorer browser below version 10.0.

In case, you are using Bootstrap CSS framework then you need not migrate to Bulma framework.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Bulma CSS development framework:

Advantages:

  • The CSS file of this framework is very lightweight as well as simple to customize.

  • It allows our Front-end development experts to build fancy designs with integrated Flexbox.

Disadvantages:

  • The CSS of this framework runs very slow on IE web browser.

  • It is still in the development phase and final version is yet to come.

4) Pure CSS

This CSS development framework is highly preferred over other CSS development frameworks because of its simplicity and very small file size. Moreover, it also works well with new projects and also includes project build thus enabling you to access all your CSS resets with this framework.

This framework has normalize.css file integrated within which enables them to provide better cross-browser consistency in-line with modern standards.

The advantages and disadvantages of Pure CSS framework is as follows:

Advantages:

  • This framework is very lightweight and allows addition of another file just by using a stylesheet.

  • You can also see the explanations of how design grid works along with its related features.

  • CSS file in this framework is available through CDN.

  • Development is incredibly faster

Disadvantages:

  • The number of designs and templates are limited.

  • The development community is small and thus technical support is not readily available.

  • The Font Awesome icons do not come with this framework by default.

5) Kube

This CSS development framework supports all the modern web browsers and our CSS developers use this great tool to create appealing websites. It enables you to focus on website development process with its default styles and templates that are pretty good.

When it comes to layout, this CSS framework being based on Flexbox provides developers with heaps of features and functionalities.

Now, let’s put a glance on its advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages:

  • The CSS files of this framework are lightweight.

  • It provides you with important tools and thus enables you to focus on website development.

Disadvantages:

  • At present, you do not have viable Kube CSS development community.

  • Mass adoption for this CSS development framework is not witnessed yet.

Final Words!

Every web designer strives to build glitch-free functionality and achieve faster development. CSS frameworks empower them to achieve both the aforementioned criteria and at the same time give them full control on the typography of a website.

Hence, CSS and other front end development trends are evolving at a very fast pace.

Which CSS framework is your personal favorite? We would love to know about your pet CSS development framework; let’s start a conversation.

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