Best CSS frameworks: Complete Guide

Best CSS frameworks: Complete Guide

There was a time when websites used only HTML for rendering webpages. In today’s day and age, it is extremely hard to find a website that does not use CSS for styling. CSS can make websites look beautiful and professional which can lead to more users on your website. But it is often not that simple. It takes a lot of time to make something look decent in today’s standard using CSS. Sometimes we might even want to follow a pre-existing design system like Material Design. Doing all that from scratch can be very tough and time-consuming. This is where CSS frameworks come into play. In this article, we will briefly discuss what CSS frameworks are, and discuss a few of the best CSS frameworks you can use today in your projects.

What are CSS frameworks?

Often CSS framework websites are filled with trendy words and technical jargon that may overwhelm beginners about what they actually are. But CSS frameworks are really not that complicated. To understand CSS frameworks in the simplest terms, they are basically a collection of CSS stylesheets that are pre-written to save you from writing CSS from scratch. CSS frameworks can be used by developers to quickly create interfaces that look good and consistent. They are often designed for setting up common user interface elements like creating a good-looking form, navbar, footer, etc.

These CSS frameworks provide pre-defined CSS classes for you to use in your HTML. These classes will have all the styles that you would normally expect. For example, a “button” class in a CSS framework will contain all the styles to make a button look good according to its design language. Not only that, but most CSS frameworks are also very customizable so you can tweak the colors and styles in order to match the look you are going for.

Saving time is not the only benefit of CSS frameworks though. When working in a team with multiple Front-end developers, it is important to keep the look of your website consistent. Using a CSS framework can easily solve this problem as they tend to follow a specific design language. They are also useless if you want to replicate a popular design system like Material UI.

Best CSS frameworks

Now there is an absolute plethora of CSS frameworks out in the wild, and a lot of them are really nice. But it is not worth mentioning all of them as many of them solve the same problem with different styles. So here are 5 of the most popular and notable CSS frameworks that you can get started with. This list is in no particular order.

Bootstrap

Bootstrap
Bootstrap

If you have been in the web development space, you have probably heard about Bootstrap. Bootstrap is one of the, if not the most popular CSS frameworks out there. It exponentially grew in popularity because of its responsive design, and it was one of the first CSS frameworks to prioritize mobile-first design.

With Bootstrap, you no longer need to worry about writing separate CSS for supporting different browsers as it is compatible with all browsers. It has a wide plethora of built-in components with a clean battle-tested design. It also has a large community behind it making it easy to get help when stuck. Not to mention, Bootstrap also comes with various JavaScript components for doing common tasks. All of this makes Bootstrap a great choice, especially for beginners.

Tailwind CSS

Tailwind CSS
Tailwind CSS

Tailwind is quite different from other frameworks as it does not have its own design language or components. Rather, Tailwind is a “utility-first” framework. It means instead of having pre-made components, it has utility classes that you can add to elements to quickly add a snippet of CSS styles. This way, you can style any element the way you want without ever writing a single line of CSS. Tailwind has thousands of utility classes that you can use together which makes it one of the most loved CSS frameworks in the modern web development space.

DaisyUI

DaisyUI
DaisyUI

This is not exactly a CSS framework, but I had to mention this since it has saved me hours of development time in my projects. DaisyUI is a component library plugin for Tailwind. If you love the way Tailwind works but also want something more out of the box, this one is a perfect choice. The components that it provides look absolutely stunning, and you can customize everything as you want with Tailwind classes. If you want a framework-like experience but with the freedom of Tailwind, DaisyUI is for you.

Materialize

Materialize
Materialize

We all know and love how Google’s Material Design looks and feels. If you wanted to integrate Material Design into your websites, using Materialize CSS is a no-brainer. It has all the Material components you need to create a fully-fledged website. Not to mention, it also has a lot of JavaScript components, transitions, and built-in animations to speed up your development.

Bulma

Bulma
Bulma

Last but not the least, we have Bulma. Bulma has quickly gained popularity because of its modern and minimal design. It comes with all the responsive components you’d expect from a CSS framework. Bulma is also completely JavaScript-free, so you can use it with any JavaScript framework of your choice without any complications. Furthermore, Bulma has nice Saas support so you can customize the look easily to your liking.

Conclusion

And that is a wrap. CSS frameworks can be extremely useful in quickly bootstrapping a website that looks good and consistent. Even if you do not want to follow a specific style, utility-based frameworks like Tailwind CSS lets you style your website like you want without directly writing any CSS. However, if you are a total beginner in CSS, I would not recommend starting out with a CSS framework just yet. It is important to know how CSS works and the different concepts in CSS so that when something does not look like you want, you can customize the CSS frameworks with your own custom CSS. In this article, we looked at what CSS frameworks are, and a few of the best CSS frameworks that you can get started with right away. Which one of these is your favorite? If you have a different framework that you love using, let us know in the comments!

If you have any questions regarding this article or want to talk about anything technology, you can find me on Twitter. Thank you for reading!

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