We can build a responsive website or web-page using only HTML and CSS that look good on every web-browser and screen size. There are two approaches to using CSS for a Responsive website, either we can write the complete CSS code from scratch or just use a CSS framework. If you are a master in CSS, you might not need to use any CSS framework to design a web page, but if you are not, then using the CSS framework, you can design a web-page like a master.
There are lots of properties and values along with the rules and media queries in CSS, and you have to use all these tools to make a responsive web-page. Instead of writing code from scratch, we can simply use a CSS framework and its pre-defined classes & ids and save a lot of time.
Here in this article, we have mentioned the best CSS frameworks that you can explore in 2021. Before jumping to the best CSS framework 2021, let’s discuss What is a CSS framework, and why do we use one?
What is CSS Framework, and Why do we use CSS Frameworks?
A CSS framework is a collection of pre-written CSS codes that make web-designing, more accessible, faster, and responsive. Mostly all the CSS frameworks come with the grid system, which divides the complete web page into multiple grids, so the different components of the web page can be placed in proper area or grids.
We can either download a CSS framework or its package in our local system or directly link to its official URL. With the CSS frameworks, we acknowledge the idea of why to write code again and again, If It has already written for us.
Here are some reasons on Why we should use a CSS framework?
- Using a CSS framework, we can build a website faster by using the CSS prewritten classes and ids.
- Mostly all the CSS frameworks can create responsive websites, that look good on every web-browser and adjust according to the display size.
- A CSS framework reduces the error chances, and we do not have to worry about broken code.
- Mostly all the CSS frameworks come with built-in classes for basic components like forms, tooltip, navbar, buttons, badges, and breadcrumbs, so we do not have to write code to build such components.
For a front-end developer learning a CSS framework is also very important because in many CSS interviews,, the interviewer sasks questions from the popular CSS frameworks.
Best CSS Framework for Front-End Developers
Here we have listed the top 10 CSS frameworks that are widely used by front-end and web-development communities.
- Semantic UI
- Materialize CSS
- Tailwind CSS
- UI Kit
- Ant Design
145k GitHub Stars
The latest version of Bootstrap is bootstrap4, which was released in 2018. Bootstrap4 offer many new features such as new color scheme, modifiers, utility classes, etc. Apart from these new features bootstrap also offer all the common website components such as navbars, dropdown menus, pagination, forms, tooltip, breadcrumb etc. so the front-end developers do not have to write code for the basic components.
Some important features of the CSS Bootstrap framework
- Bootstrap comes with built-in and ready to use components, that can be simply copied and paste from its official documentation.
- Bootstrap4 is compatible with all the popular web-browser so we do not have to worry about code break.
- Bootstrap is a mobile-friendly framework, and the website built using bootstrap will be rendered good on every web-browser and device.
- It has a low learning curve; a front-end developer does not need to be master in CSS to use bootstrap.
- It has a well-written documentation, that walks you through every component of the Bootstrap.
- Bootstrap is the perfect framework to build a prototype and demo for a web-site, with it you can easily set the complete layout for your web-site within minutes.
28.8K GitHub Stars
Foundation is one of the most popular CSS frameworks, and it is pretty similar to Bootstrap. It blends HTML and CSS perfectly to provide a beautiful, and responsive User Interface. It is developed as a ZURB’s project for the better designing of front-end code. It is considered more sophisticated than bootstrap because of its flexible and customizable nature.
Foundation also uses the grid approach for setting the different components and layout of a web-page. And like bootstrap, it comes with ready to use components like forms, buttons, tooltip, badges, navigation bar, etc.
Foundation has been tested on many web-browsers, including the mobile ones, and made sure that its code does not break on any device.
Some important features of the Foundation framework
- It is similar to bootstrap and capable of creating responsive websites and web applications.
- It is more customizable than bootstrap, sallowing you to have more control over the CSS of your web page.
- It is an advanced CSS framework, and a beginner could find it difficult to use.
- It comes with an Email framework, that can be used to build responsive HTML emails.
- It has many commonly used HTML user Interface, such as buttons, drop-down option, navigation list, labels, typographic, messages, etc
41K GitHub stars
Bulma is another popular and powerful CSS framework, it has more than 41K stars on GitHub which is more than foundation, this shows the popularity of Bulma amongst the web developers and designers’ communities. Bulma uses the flexbox layout for creating responsive and Morden websites.
Like Bootstrap and Foundation, Bulma comes with many predefined CSS classes and ids, for common components like buttons, columns, forms, tooltip, etc.
Some important features of the Bulma framework
- It uses flexbox for creating responsive and mobile compatible websites.
- It uses only CSS and its all classes have readable and memorial names.
- It is a very small framework with a low learning curve.
- It has well-written documentation which helps developers to understand it’s all components.
4: Semantic UI
48K GitHub stars
Apart from its overall complex structure and high learning curve, Semantic UI has tried to provide concise HTML, and CSS classes using natural languages, so it could become a comparatively less complex framework. Semantic UI has an active growing community that keep contributing to its development. Currently, there are more than 3000 themes have been made using Semantic UI.
Some important features of the Semantic UI framework
- Semantic UI provides Human readable HTML format and CSS classes.
- It supports more than 3000 theming variables for responsive design.
- It also comes with more than 50 UI components including buttons, containers, dividers, flags, forms, etc.
- It is flexbox friendly, which ensures that your website will adjust its dimensions according to the device display size.
Pure is one of the lightweighted CSS frameworks, it is designed for creating responsive web-pages that also look good on mobile devices. The complete pure module zipped file is less than 5KB, and it is highly recommended for small websites, or web-applications containing 4 to 5 pages.
Like bootstrap and foundation, it also uses the grid system and comes with built-in common components like form, buttons, tables, menu, and base. If you are creating a single page web-application such as a to-do app, counter app, notes app then pure would be a great choice. Because it contains the only CSS that load fast on the web-browser.
Some important features of the Pure framework
- It is a very small framework that only contains CSS code.
- Pure is capable of creating responsive websites, and it is specially designed for creating web-sites with keeping mobile compatibility in mind.
- It has a very low learning curve, which makes it a perfect beginner CSS framework.
- It is purely written on CSS, and it loads fast on the web-browsers.
38k stars on GitHub
Materialize CSS is a Morden CSS framework sthat handles all the heavy lifting for the front-end developers and sprovides them with a responsive designing component. It is developed by Google in 2014 and mostly esfocuses on responsive web-designing sthat looks perfect on Android and desktop-based browsers.
It boasts its custom components, animation & transition tools for a better and smoother developer experience. It contains a wide range of color schemes that helps developers to build distinct web-sites, and like other frameworks, it includes many built-in components, so the developer does not have to write code from scratch.
Some important features of the Materialize CSS framework
- Materialize CSS is maintained and supported by Google.
- It can build responsive websites that run perfectly on every screen size.
- It comes with common components such as navbars, toasts, cards, tabs, etc.
17K GitHub stars
Skeleton is a very small and responsive CSS framework. It is purely written in CSS and contains only two CSS files normalize.css and skeleton.css. It is so small even its complete documentation is of a single page. Its core developers define it “light as a feather framework”, which is also true because the complete skeleton CSS code is around 400 lines.
It is designed for creating responsive websites with mobile in mind. Apart from its small size Skeleton offer all the common components for responsive web designing, including the grid. Like bootstrap and foundation, Skeleton dived the complete web-page into multiple grids with 12 columns. Skeleton highly recommended for small websites and one-page web-applications.
Some important features of the Skeleton CSS framework
- It is a very lightweighted CSS framework.
- It can be used to create responsive and mobile-based websites.
- Skeleton is easy to learn and get started with.
- It offers all the common components such as forms, grids, buttons, tables, lists, etc.
29k GitHub stars
Tailwind is introduced as a highly customizable, low-level CSS framework. Low level because, instead of offering predefined components Tailwind offers low-level utility classes. This means unlike other CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap, foundation, and Bulma, in tailwind, we get utility classes for our own HTML.
Most of the frameworks are not well suited for custom web-designing because of their predefined and predesigned components. And tailwind play on this ground by not providing predefined and predesigned components, instead it provides customizable utility classes for stand-out custom-designed websites.
Some important features of Tailwind CSS framework
- Tailwind does not force developers with its predesigned components.
- It provides a wide variety of utility classes that can be applied to individual elements.
- It has a very high learning curve, but it can be used for any scale of the website.
- It supports flexbox as well as grid column layout.
9: UI Kit
16k GitHub Stars
It is easy to learn and use this framework that is often used to design UI for iOS and android based web-applications. In its predefined components, it also provides SVG icons, animations, and parallax for a better and smoother user experience.
Some important features of UI kit CSS framework
- It helps web-developers and designers to build a clean and modern website.
- It comes with a wide range of predefined components, including SVG, animation, and parallax.
- It is a highly customizable CSS framework, and you do not have to worry about same looking websites.
68k GitHub Stars
As its name suggests Animate.css is a CSS library that provides ready-to-use, powerful, and interactive Animation components. Mostly all the frameworks come with some kind of animation components, but Animate.css is a dedicated module for animation. It provides a wide range of animation classes including bounce, flash, rubberbounce, shakeX, shakeY, etc.
Some important features of Animate.css library
- It offers different types of animation effects.
- It is very easy to use and learn.
- It has well-represented documentation.
With this, we have reached the end of our article on CSS best Framework 2021. Here we have listed all the top CSS frameworks according to their popularity and usage amongst the web development communities. All the frameworks we have mentioned above have huge community support and wide usage. If you are thinking of learning a CSS, then you can choose one of them.