10 Recommended Best CSS Frameworks for Front-End Developers

You already get the idea by watching the title about the best CSS Frameworks. But before starting, I love to give you a quick look at what the CSS framework is!

CSS is a framework that gives a vital formation for designing and does regular solutions. It’ll also help you to create user friendly UI/UX. And supports you to makes unique layouts faster. If you target many necessary screen sizes, you can’t think to code without it.

It’s also referred to as the “Front-End Framework.” It gives you a base to build on and allows pliancy with the final design.

But the question is, how could you know the top CSS frameworks for your job? Plus, if you’re new to front-end development, which framework should useful to pick?

Before answering, it’s crucial to know how and why it’s a whole part of recent front-end growth.

Why I use a CSS Framework?

If you need to write new CSS rules, it may turn your code into a confusing mess. Even if for minor style changes, CSS stylesheets are tough to adjust, manage, and reuse.

Ready-to-use classes are the prime building blocks of all CSS frameworks. It allows you to use predefined styling rules for HTML elements. For example, margins, background colors, and others.

In a word, CSS frameworks make your styling rich, precise, and maintainable. So if you’re bored of hand-coding CSS rules, dive in for some smart relief.

That’s why I’ve come with the best CSS frameworks listing to choose the right one based on your needs.

Bootstrap – most popular CSS frameworks

most popular css frameworks

The very first name on the listing is Bootstrap. And it was the first framework to develop the theory of “mobile-first.” That’s why I can’t believe starting a talk without including Bootstrap.

According to Bootstrap Wikipedia

Bootstrap is an open-source project released on August 19, 2011, developed by Twitter.

In 2011, Twitter introduced it to make responsive design accessible to developers. And Bootstrap takes the credit of it on a large scale by an initiative of Twitter.

Since then, it emerged to help modern CSS. And offers many features to promote your front-end fertility.

Below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Most popular CSS frameworks:

It’s the most popular front-end framework of all open source jobs. You’ll frequently get the solution to problems you run. And also, discover lots of free and premium templates approx for all projects.

2. Enough Featured:

Approx everything, from alerts to modals to navbars, gives by default. It also has a prebuilt powerful template with many ready-to-use portions.

3. Customizable:

You can customize it using SASS. For that, install your project with npm, import the parts, and use SASS variables to customize. To cut your development time, learn how to customize Bootstrap websites with SASS.

4. Supported:

Lots of small open-source projects die if the author/writer decides to quit. Bootstrap introduce by Twitter and maintained by a community of hundreds of developers. Ensuring stable releases and long-term support.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

1. Difficult to override:

It’s tough to override because it comes with a concrete design and looks. In case you’re going for a different style, overriding the defaults can be tricky.

2. Overused:

People avoid Bootstrap because of its high usage. For example, it renders almost the same simple look which used so much. That’s why developers have invented the phrase “all Bootstrap websites look the same.”

3. Depend upon jQuery:

It depends upon jQuery for many of its interactive features. It’s not impossible, but jQuery makes it more difficult. And also hard to work with JavaScript frameworks such as React or Vue.

4. Complex to include:

Bootstrap’s every feature comes with a cost. Plus, it’s quite heavy to add to your projects. Though you may import parts of the project, it’s not as floaty as other frameworks.

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Foundation – top CSS frameworks

top css frameworks

Suppose you’re an experienced developer. And want to enjoy freedom by the power of a fully-featured framework. Then, Foundation will be your perfect choice.

Foundation creates and manages by ZURB. And ZURB is behind lots of open-source Javascript and CSS plans. So, in reality, it’s not only a CSS framework but a power bank of frontend development tools.

In a word, Foundation for Sites is a top framework for building web pages. But, Foundation for Emails allows the creation of attractive emails. Plus, Motion UI enabling the creation of advanced CSS animations.

These are the final piece of the mystery of Foundation. Anyways, below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Generic style:

It has an extensive modular with flexible components. And it features a small style and can customize faster. In contrast to Bootstrap, it doesn’t use a distinct style.

2. Enough Featured:

Approx everything comes with built-in. For example, Navigation bars, many container types, and a grid system are all includes. It also allows you to use pre-made HTML templates. For a start to use in your projects based upon your needs.

3. Email design:

Developers write 1990s-era HTML code to support email clients. That is very hard to deliver modern features like responsive design. But no worries, Foundation helps you with responsive email templates for any client. Including your old versions of Microsoft Outlook.

4. Animations:

It works with ZURB’s Motion UI library. To let you make transitions and animations applying built-in effects. With proper uses of Motion UI, your design will come to life.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

1. Difficult to learn:

It comes with lots of options and allows the freedom to develop front-end layouts. But, for doing such a thing, first, you’ve to know how everything works. And it is more complex than other frameworks.

2. Depend upon Javascript:

It depends upon Javascript for many of its features. Zepto runs with a similar syntax as jQuery but comes with a shorter footprint. And it’s not ideal for the best CSS framework for React or Angular projects.

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Bulma

bulma

It’s a prominent alternative to Bootstrap. In a word, it admires for its simple syntax and smallest but graceful design. And it comes with many pre-made components.

It also easy to use, features modern code, simple syntax, and can import faster into your projects. The most important thing is, it’s not a niche framework anymore but with force to reckon.

In a word, it’s a free, open-source CSS framework that emerged by Flexbox. It’s liked and used by 200,000 developers and get over 40,000+ stars on GitHub on a serious note.

In light of the above discussion, it’s a framework that can deliver a dull web page winning and engaging. Thus, giving below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Beautiful design:

It arrives with a pure, fresh, and modern design. And in my view, it’s the best appealing CSS framework. Though you don’t change the defaults, you may finish with an eye-catching webpage.

2. Developer friendly:

The creators of Bulma aim to render a unique and mind-blowing experience to the developer. For that reason, it appears with naming conventions that are easy to use and remember.

3. Simple to customize:

Like colors, paddings, and various default properties can customize through SASS with ease. So, it’ll be simple for you to set up your project’s defaults in a few minutes.

4. Without Javascript:

It doesn’t add JavaScript features. Since it’s CSS only, it can combine Javascript frameworks such as Vue or React with ease.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

1. Distinct style:

It can be a two side sword because of overuse. Since it’s a unique style and quite distinct, websites will look very similar for overuse.

2. Not much complete:

It’s competing with Boostrap in so many ways. But when it comes to accessibility and enterprise-grade features. Bulma is not much complete.

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Tailwind CSS – CSS library

CSS library

It’s a popular and lightweight framework. And its motto is clear and sharp, which is allowing freedom to developers. It’s not only a unique design but permits you to perform your specific structure faster.

It provides utility classes that make CSS coding almost useless. Experts front-end developers like its striking features. And also use the elements in their outlines.

So, below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Atomic CSS:

It makes all common styles perform by allowing powerful utility classes. For example, all elements, flexible layouts, or specific text color.

For instance, div class="m-1 text-center bg-black"... /div will display an element with a margin of 1 (i.e. small margin), centered text, and a black background.

2. Without design:

It doesn’t have any pre-made components or any specific design language. So, you won’t need to override existing styles. Plus, it’ll be more productive to perform custom designs.

3. Reusable components:

It enables you to make custom components that you can reuse during your projects. If you want, you can use some component examples from the official website.

4. Integration with PostCSS/SASS:

It enables you to make use of its features to write more effective CSS. For that reason, you must install and import it in your SASS or PostCSS project.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

1. Dizzy learning curve:

You’ve to understand how front-end technologies work. Because it doesn’t supply pre-made components. That’s why it’s not the best choice for light skilled developers.

2. Direct uses unavailable:

You can add it to your project as a bundled CSS file. But for direct uses, the official installation guide explains, many features’ll be unavailable.

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UIkit

UIkit

It’s a modular front-end framework that enables you to import only the features you need. In a word, it’s a lightweight framework for fast-developing and powerful web interfaces.

Besides, it gets over 16k stars on GitHub, and developers love it for easy API and clear-cut design.

Plus, it has a pro version that allows themed pages, linked with an easy-to-use page builder.

So, below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Lots of components:

It holds lots of features. It also carries all typical utilities and components. And it goes even further by providing you access to advanced elements.

2. Extensible:

It may customize and extend using the LESS or SASS preprocessors.

3. UI-base customize:

It gives a web-based customizer that lets you customize the design in real-time. Afterward, you can copy the LESS or SASS variables into your project.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

1. Phobia for smaller projects:

It doesn’t prescribe for light skilled developers. UIKIT is a complex framework that needs to know front-end development in depth. And it’s also excellent for advanced applications but might be too much for smaller projects.

2. Smaller community:

Though its npm downloads thousands of times per week, it’s not as familiar as other frameworks. Finding answers or hiring people for it is not as easy as other frameworks.

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Milligram

Milligram

It’s the smallest CSS framework and has a strong community of developers nearby it. It’s a unique framework that you can begin with a clean slate when building your interfaces.

Plus, its design to improve performance and productivity. And it also includes fabulous features to boost productivity.

So, below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Small CSS framework:

It appears a small weight of 2 KB when compressed. And it also easy to set up and get started.

2. Simple to learn:

It’s so easy that you can understand it within a day. Only the official documentation is enough to get you started.

3. Not opinionated:

You don’t need to reset or override which don’t fit your goals while performing your custom styles. And unlike other frameworks, it doesn’t arrive with the default style.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

1. Without templates:

If you thought of something pre-made or template in Milligram, then you’ll fall. But if you crave to achieve a specific design, it can develop your productivity.

2. Small community:

It has a small but strong community. But, simplicity means you won’t need much help anyway.

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Pure

PureCSS

It’s built and developed by Yahoo. And it’s an open-source framework. In a word, it’s a tiny and responsive CSS module that can apply to all web projects.

The Pure micro-framework appears in a small weight of 3.7 KB when compressed for use. If you choose to apply a subset of these modules, you can store even more bytes.

The Pure builds with mobile devices in mind. And it gives reusable and overrides styles that can combine with any project.

So, below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Small:

Per line of CSS analyzes and written to secure it’s lightweight and performant.

2. Customize:

You’ll able to import Pure in a modular way and execute what you want only.

3. Well supported:

Pure is maintain by Yahoo that gives the project a reliable option for long-lasting use.

4. Ready-made components:

It comes with pre-made parts that are responsive and made for the present web.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

For skilled developers:

It’s not best for less professional or tiny teams. You’ll need to build your designs to use the framework.

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Tachyons

Tachyons

It’s not a famous CSS framework but adds advanced utility classes. And Tachyons also gives a lot of ways to use them.

Its documentation guides the development principles, but the most important one being reusability. It also shows you know the project’s design patterns and promotes reusability.

So, below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Ready-to-use components:

Tachyons focus on giving great utility classes to boost productivity. And it also adds many ready-to-use components.

2. Diverse:

It allows functional templates that may use in various setups. For example, static HTML, Rails, React, Angular, and many more.

3. Reusable:

It’s is an excellent choice for building scalable design systems. It also allows making reusable properties to create diverse and flexible components.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

PostCSS:

PostCSS is the central way of using Tachyons. And it’s not as extended use as LESS or SASS. It does grant a mixture with SASS, but it’s not extended use and supported.

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Materialize CSS

Materialize CSS

It’s a design language for various websites and admin themes. And top of that, it developed by Google and used everywhere on their projects.

It’s an open-source CSS framework. It’s simple to execute the material design look and feel in your projects.

So, below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Material design:

It extends the use of design language, and personalities are familiar with it. It also can create your creations easy to use for your purpose audience.

2. Enough Featured:

It holds pre-made components for approx everything. And it also begins with advanced Javascript features to support interactions.

3. Mobile friendly:

You may build progressive web apps using its components. For example, the floating navigation bar and swipe interactions.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

1. Strict design language:

Suppose you want to do something that’s not like the material design; it’s better to avoid Materialize.

2. Independent project:

It has an active community. But it’s a small and independent project without corporate support.

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Semantic UI

Semantic UI - react css modules

It’s a front-end development framework and a specific design for theming. It carries pre-built components that serve to build elegant and responsive layouts.

It uses short HTML, JavaScript, and debugging to take a pleasant experience. And it mixes with React CSS modules, Angular CSS, Meteor, Ember, and many others.

It applies basic phrases called behaviors that trigger functionality. And any imminent resolution in a component adds a setting that developers can change.

With Semantic, produce your UI once, then expand with the same code everywhere. So, below are some reasons to consider using it in your projects:

Reasons To Use:

1. Arrange the components you want only:

It well organizes, and all components setup with its stylesheet and JavaScript file. You can load only the elements you wish to and cut the load time and file size.

2. Elegant design:

It has a futuristic and elegant design. People will please with the design when it’s applied as a CSS framework.

3. Simple to use:

From the first page of documentation, start coding from the beginning.

4. Well documented:

Its documentation is simple to use. And also well written and has plenty of examples, each with its source codes.

Below are some obstacles when using it in your projects:

Obstacles:

1. Large file size:

It contains a large file size. So, it’s better to use specific modules and components rather than the whole thing.

2. Buggy:

It includes lots of UI errors. For example, wrong positioning, cannot mix classes, etc.

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Summary:

Each CSS frameworks in this chart are one way or another, serve to boost your productivity.

Some frameworks are best fittings for light skilled developers only. And these are those frameworks that combine more features and pre-made components. For example, Bootstrap, Bulma, and Materialize.

Some frameworks are the best fittings for expert developers only. And these are those frameworks that give utility classes and don’t offer style. For example, Tailwind, Milligram, and Pure.

Suppose you want a long-lasting solution and demand enterprise features. So, taking mature technologies will be the best selection for you.

Wrapped Up:

Do you comfy taking little risks, learning new technologies, and accepting minor defects? If yes, then more recent frameworks are very encouraging. And they are also counting on your comfort to become mature day by day.

But, mature frameworks are always a great option to select. So, make your judgment and personal preference, and choose the best CSS frameworks for you.

Finally, if you have any queries about the best CSS frameworks? Please let us know in the comments section below! And hope that you’ll stay with us for further engaging, attractive, and informative articles.

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Zakariar Habib is a freelance writer with more than 2 years. He is trying to learn about new technology that will keep him updated with the modern tech world. You can find him at the zakariarhabib.com.

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