Although CSS works differently in different browsers, we cannot do without it.
CSS frameworks have solved a lot of coding accidents and made developers breathe a sigh of relief.
Different frameworks are useful for different project requirements, and each one has some unique features.
Why do we need CSS frameworks?
In addition to simplifying programming, having a CSS framework provides the following important benefits:
- Cross-browser functionality
- Symmetrical layouts
- Service-friendly and device-friendly style
- Good web design practices
- Provides high productivity and development speed
We’ve compiled a selection of the best CSS frameworks for 2021.
Tailwind – allows you to speed up the development of the interface.
Has modular components, if you make changes in one place, other parts of the code will not be affected.
Requires a minimum of training and is easy to use. You can customize your website with CSS helper classes.
- It is a type 1 framework that provides helper classes.
- Detailed documentation for each class, allowing you to quickly find what you need (e.g. grid, Flexbox, etc.)
- Increased productivity and smaller package size
- No naming or context switching, i.e. switching between HTML and CSS to see the changes.
- Code can be reused using the “Components” function
Bootstrap – is the most popular CSS framework in the world for its responsive design.
With Bootstrap, there is no need for a separate design for mobile viewing – you just need to add the necessary classes and the website will adapt to the screen size depending on the device.
- Compatible with all browsers – no need to write browser-specific code, allowing for quick prototyping.
- The most commonly used CSS framework with broad community support, Bootstrap, has changed the way CSS is applied to websites.
- All commonly used components are built-in. For example, navigation, forms, cards, buttons, icons, etc. are easily accessible.
- Free to use – and version 4.5 has more pre-installed layouts and responsiveness.
- Anyone can learn – easy even for CSS beginners.
Foundation – is one of the most advanced and sophisticated user interface frameworks to accelerate website development.
- The code is very easy to read and understand.
- It’s not just a CSS framework, it’s a complete front-end framework packed with useful tools.
- Comes with a command-line interface (CLI) for compiling Foundation sources to CSS that can be used in HTML markup.
- Flexible, modular, and extensible.
- Flexible navigation templates to save many lines of code while improving productivity.
- Innovative design with Sass variables that make it easy to set up even for beginners.
- A very versatile framework that includes typography, tables, vertical alignment components, media objects, layout, and more.
- Free and open-source (MIT license).
- Based on Flexbox, so creating vertically aligned items and grid items is effortless.
- Since it’s modular, you don’t need to import everything – just the components that the project uses.
- Contains utility functions for calculating colors, visibility, spacing, etc.
UI Kit – contains an extensive collection of CSS, HTML, and JS components. It is modular and lightweight. UIKit is used for iOS app development and is easy to use.
With this platform, you can customize your application to any level.
It contains all the basic components such as labels, buttons, table views, etc. There are many ready-to-use themes and you can use them using the appropriate SASS or LESS CSS file.
- Comes with many ready-made components like animation, Iconnav, padding, alerts, accordion, etc.
- Clean and minimal design with a modern interface.
- A standalone system requiring more effort to extend or modify (compared to other frameworks).
- Easy to set up.
- A free open-source environment that runs in any browser.
Materialize – is a responsive UI framework for Android websites and apps. It provides many ready-to-use components, classes, and starter templates. Compatible with Sass and has a responsive layout based on Bootstrap’s 12-column grid format. A great choice for working with Material Design (Google’s design language) and creating Google-like effects on a website, Materialize CSS.
- Easy to operate and focused on user experience using material design principles.
- Improved built-in animations and transitions to speed up development.
- Lots of topics to get you started.
- Depth effects such as lighting and shadows.
- Materialize only requires jQuery, unlike Bootstrap, which requires popper.js and offers everything Bootstrap has to offer – colors, shadows, grid, tables, icons, maps, tiles, navigation bar, etc.
Skeleton – is a lightweight framework that provides the necessary set of CSS elements to speed up development. It provides slightly styled forms, tabs, buttons, and more. There is a responsive grid, vanilla CSS, media queries for a project without the complexities of larger frameworks. It is a great framework for beginners who want to learn CSS and quickly create beautiful yet simple websites.
- A minimal framework with only 400 lines of source code.
- Easy to learn and mobile-focused with limited but essential features like grids, buttons, typography, lists, forms, code, and more.
- More like a template than a complete framework.
- No installation or compilation required – gives you a quick start for beginners.
Pure is a highly responsive and lightweight CSS framework built using Normalize.css to create responsive grids and menus.
Easy to learn and maintain.
Pure is an extensible module. You can add pure-min.css via the free Unpkg CDN to your code. You can install Pure using a package manager like npm, Grunt, etc.
- It is only 3.8KB in size (downsized) and is ideal when you only need a small set of CSS features.
- You can write your own elements and styles on top of the existing default elements.
- It consists of a mobile-friendly and responsive grid system using grids-responsive.css.
- It doesn’t support a fixed layout as Bootstrap does.
- Easy to customize as it has limited functionality and does not require compilation
Semantic is based on natural language principles and provides a lot of flexibility, making the code easier to read and understand. Along with CSS elements, it also includes debugging and allows you to define elements, views, modules, collections, and behavior of user interface elements. Convenient for mobile devices.
- It looks like plain English when reading the code, so it is easy for everyone to understand.
- Extensive and well-organized documentation for all components.
- Over 3000 thematic variables and 50 user interface components for deep customization.
- Stricter coding rules compared to other CSS frameworks.
- Can be easily integrated with third-party libraries such as Angular, React, and many other popular frameworks, allowing you to organize your application logic and UI components together.
Tacit – can be a good choice.
By adding tacit-CSS-1.5.2.min.css you can get a fantastic website right away. Tacit also meets the requirements of the W3C validator. The framework is relatively new and still in development, but some of the features are worth using for the simple reason that they will provide you with a great design, even if you have no idea about the design!
- No need to mention CSS class names in HTML elements.
- All styles are applied to standard HTML elements without changing the HTML itself.
- Ideal for small projects, you can write your own inline styles and classes on top of the framework for more complex projects.
- Tacit places more emphasis on HTML than CSS by following an unobtrusive approach to styling.