Earlier, whenever one thinks of web development, the foremost thing that appears in anyone’s mind is HTML and JS, including some most popular JS frameworks. But, since the last few years, the game has been completely changed, and the majority of people can’t think of web development without the use of CSS frameworks.
While developing a website, the CSS framework is the most crucial element because it offers you with the required tools of a web designer as well as a front-end developer.
In other words, CSS frameworks are introduced to build some effective and industry compliant standard web designs using the HTML/CSS. Various well-known CSS frameworks are design-focused and offer elements that can be used as many times you want for building a website or app. Also, they consist of a grid system useful for creating a CSS layout for web pages.
But how will you know which framework is required to resolve the current issue? Moreover, if you are just entering into the world of front-end development, then which framework is best suitable for you?
To make your task easy, here we have compiled the list of some of the best Open Source CSS frameworks that you can consider for your next project.
Without further ado, let’s get started:
Bootstrap is one of the most well-known CSS Frameworks. It is the CSS framework that initiated the front-end web design. It is built by Twitter
It’s the latest version is BootStrap 4 and it is released in the year 2018. Various essential features are available with the release like color schemes, utility classes, and many more. Moreover, the latest version is developed with SASS; hence, Bootstrap supports LESS as well as SASS.
What makes Bootstrap a great CSS framework?
- Bootstrap allows you to form a responsive grid that works effectively on the majority of browsers.
- Bootstrap offers massive libraries for front-end developers, such as web layouts, templates, admin panels, themes, etc.
- Bootstrap framework has a huge community with more than 19k commits and 1100 contributors on GitHub responsibility.
PatternFly is yet another popular CSS framework that is built by Red Hat. It is built especially for enterprise app developers and offers components such as bars, charts, and navigations that are useful for building a robust, analytical dashboard.
What makes PatternFly a stunning CSS Framework?
- It offers various advanced components like bars, modals, layouts, and chats, useful for creating enterprise-grade apps.
- It has more than 1200+ commits and 46 contributors on the GitHub repository.
Out of various front-end frameworks available in the market, Foundation promises to be the most advanced responsive front-end framework across globe. Foundation offers advanced features and tutorials useful for creating professional sites.
Various famous organizations, companies & politicians around the world use Foundation. This includes Facebook, Adobe, Cisco, HP, Disney, etc.
What makes Foundation a popular CSS framework?
- Foundation is a highly adaptable front-end framework that helps you to build responsive websites, emails, and applications.
- Here you will have complete control on the UIs. Due to this, if you are new to using Foundation, you have to face some difficulties.
- Foundation has a highly-activity community of developers on GitHub.
UI Kit is a popular lightweight CSS and web design framework that provides all the features of other frameworks.
Using various SVG icons set, components, and customization options, you can build a lightweight CSS and web UI design framework. Moreover, you can also build complex flexbox-based layouts via UI Kit using standard HTML.
How is the UI Kit better than other CSS frameworks in the market?
- UI Kits enables you to build intuitive and modern interfaces with the help of tools such as grid, custom icons, components, animations, etc.
- UI Kits provides various built-in components like Drop, animations, Accordion, Padding, and many more.
Yahoo released the Pure CSS, an open-source, minmal, and responsive framework back in 2014. If you are searching for a lightweight open-source framework for building a web page, Pure CSS is good to go.
Pure is designed utilizing Normalize.CSS and allows you to create responsive layouts via Grids and Menus. Even though it’s responsive like Bootstrap, it doesn’t provide an option to build fixed layouts.
What makes Pure CSS awesome when compared to other frameworks?
- Pure grid offers different flavors such as 2-point, 5-point, 24-point, etc. anytime you want to form columns, it offers excellent flexibility.
- Using Pure, you can solve any of the issues in the CSS quickly.
Semantic UI is yet another popular front-end framework that sets itself apart from other frameworks in the market. It utilizes human-friendly HTML. It has built-in 3000+ theming variables and 50+ UI components useful to create attractive and responsive layouts.
Similar to Bootstrap 4, it is wholly customizable, but an added benefit is that it offers great layouts by default.
What makes Semantic UI a useful CSS framework?
- It consists of a semantic library which has various buttons, tabs, and dropdowns. Also, it offers quick debugging and a wide range of themes to customize your layout.
- One of the advantages of Semantic is human-friendly HTML. It gives you the freedom to code in natural language. Even though it has a steep learning curve, it’s class names are friendly.
Bulma is the most recent OpenSource CSS framework based on the Flexbox layout model and has become popular in a short time.
It follows the mobile-friendly approach, hence it makes all elements optimized for vertical reading and its grid system is developed using Flexbox. Moreover, it is lightweight, highly responsive, and completely follows the CSS-only approach.
What are some unique features of Balma framework?
- It offers you readable & easy-to-remember class names and built-in components for user-friendly interfaces.
- It has a massive community. All the fans can ask questions, get answers, and communicate with ease.
- Bulma has a low learning curve’ hence it is suitable if you are just starting with CSS.
Skeleton is the lightest CSS framework available in the market with only 400 lines of code. Even though it is minimal, it offers various options such as buttons, forms, lists, etc. using which you can build a complex website.
When should you consider using Skeleton CSS framework?
If you are looking forward to working on a small project with no requirements of heavy frameworks, then Skeleton is right for you. It consists of limited HTML elements and offers a robust grid system. Because it doesn’t require any installation or compilation, it is suitable to build any kind of responsive design.
Materialize CSS is a realistically new and responsive front-end framework released by Google in 2014. It has inherent class as well as components, using which you can build a design websites and apps.
Why should you consider using Materialize CSS?
- If you love material design or you want to create a project based on material design, then materialize CSS is best.
- If you are familiar with Bootstrap, then you can easily get ahead with Materialize CSS.
Milligram is one of the minimal frameworks available in the market with the size of just 2KB. This lightweight framework allows you to build fast and clean websites.
In spite of being lightweight, Milligram offers an entire collection of web development tools. You also have an option to use the full set of features given by CSS specifications with Milligram.
So these were the list of some of the best Open Source CSS frameworks that you can use for building a simple or complex website.
However, this is no specific answer to the question, which framework to use for front-end web development? The answer depends on the requirements of the project.
Use some of the CSS frameworks mentioned above and know which works best for your project.