If you are a front-end engineer, web designer or a newbie, this article is for you. Today, we are going to cover the Top 3 CSS frameworks that you should definitely know about. Why? The answer is simple. From world’s biggest corporations to the smallest of websites, CSS frameworks have redefined web design in an era of mobile web, responsiveness and agile web development.
Why should you use CSS Frameworks?
Here are a few reasons why you should use a CSS framework for your next project. It’s always good to break it down to bullet points.
- Designing a fairly complex front-end can become easy using the Grid System.
- The front-end code has a small footprint, making things much cleaner.
- Most frameworks today have a built in mechanism of achieving responsiveness.
- They enable your site to work across multiple browsers a.k.a. cross browser.
- And some frameworks let you build everything (we’ll come to that later).
So what are the top 3 CSS Frameworks?
The Top 3 CSS Frameworks, in order, are:
- Bootstrap: This is by far the greatest contribution to the world of front-end web engineering. The Twitter Bootstrap, or Bootstrap, as it is mostly called is a gem. It is a CSS Framework and a fully blown User Interface Kit. In a nutshell, Bootstrap is a fully evolved toolkit for front-end engineers.
The reason its number 1 on our list is simply because of Bootstrap’s continuous use by Silicon Valley startups like Cinemagram and Social Cam. That is just 2 but there are loads others that have used Bootstrap as part of their front-end code. So why should you use Bootstrap? Three reasons:
- It works gracefully on other browsers. It is cross browser functional.
- It is responsive, so adjusts to the screen resolution at hand.
- It has UI elements that make it special e.g. buttons, forms, navbars etc.
- It also has jQuery effects that you can use in your projects.
- It works on an excellent grid system so you are up for pixel perfection.
- It has, without a doubt, the best community you’d find for a CSS framework.
- You can participate in the Github forums and discuss issues with millions.
- You can easily extended Bootstrap, by building on top of the existing CSS.
- Foundation: This CSS framework is literally what it says, a framework. Foundation by ZURB is the new baby in town, delivering stunning performances across websites so far. The Foundation Framework runs on the grid system, like all other CSS frameworks. It has responsiveness, cross browser functionality and even components e.g. buttons, forms etc. The icon set is pretty decent too. However, the overall design and aesthetic of Bootstrap and the advanced set of CSS components on offer will appear you more.
- 960.gs: This is probably the kid which inspired most of the current leaders in the CSS framework market. 960.gs has been there forever and it is by far the true CSS framework, as it is simply a grid system, giving web designers the platform to create designs. It doesn’t have UI elements, CSS components or anything like that. It’s just a .css file with a grid system to work with. Plain simple. If you want a great level of flexibility on your project, you might well want to check out 960.gs. A little trivia for you: the 960 pixels width concept used in the 960.gs has inspired countless others like Blueprint CSS, Foundation and even the current biggie Bootstrap.