As the demand of responsive website had started creating a lot of buzz, with every blog owner have started transforming their blogs to be compatible for all screen sizes, just because the major part of traffic comes from Smartphone and tablets. Understanding the growing demand, developers have given us many good responsive WordPress themes, recently even WordPress also re-designed the complete admin area to be the mobile first design.
I will be writing a series of article based on HTML and CSS for those who already have the understanding and working knowledge of CSS and HTML. Today we will be learning about some of the best Open source CSS Frameworks available in the market for free.
Now let’s understand CSS Framework first:
CSS frameworks are pre-prepared libraries that are meant to allow for easier, more standards-compliant styling of web pages using the Cascading Style Sheets language. Many experienced frontend developers and even companies have done the groundwork and provided us a collections of valid CSS3, with a grid system and all the components which are flexible that fits on different screen, making our work a lot more easier than ever.
CSS frameworks are best way to build website faster than ever before, to overcome with lots of challenges and deadlines of the project. There is a huge list of CSS framework and grid system available and here I have compiled some of the best and free once.
Free & Popular CSS Framework
1. Bootstrap 3
Bootstrap top’s my list and I personal recommend if you consider using any CSS Framework or grid system. I used bootstrap on various projects and also recently build techDfuture thesis skin. Bootstrap is a very famous front-end CSS framework built by Mark Otto a designer from Twitter presently working for GitHub and Jacob Thornton is presently working for Obvious, started by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and Evan Williams.
Bootstrap is originally built using LESS (CSS Preprocessor) and also available on SASS (SCSS) is a mobile first CSS Framework with a huge and a strong committee. To download bootstrap and docs visit Getbootstrap.com
2. Foundation 5
After bootstrap, foundation is my second favorite CSS Framework from the house of Zurb.com a web design agency. Foundation is built on SASS (SCSS) is the most flexible and advanced CSS framework available today, and have done quite a few projects. Like Bootstrap 3, Foundation is also a mobile first CSS Framework. To download Foundation and docs visit Foundation.zurb.com
3. Gumby 2
I started my framework journey with Gumby and today with the power of SASS Gumby 2 has evolved, though it is not as strong as Bootstrap 3 or Foundation 5 but if you are looking for some simple modular CSS Framework then Gumby is for you. Gumby Framework 2 is developed and maintained by Digital Surgeons.
Unlike Bootstrap 3, Foundation 5 & Pure CSS, Gumby Framework 2 is a not a mobile first but it is a responsive CSS framework. To download Gumby 2 and docs visit gumbyframework.com
Frankly speaking I have not used PureCSS, in-fact it’s a new member in town and lightweight CSS framework which use the most popular yui libraries unlike Bootstrap 3 and foundation 5 which are built using LESS & SCSS. PureCSS have already started creating the BUZZ with its simple and slick responsive grids system. To download PureCSS & docs visit purecss.io
As the name suggest Skeleton is a lightweight responsive boilerplate based on a simple grid system, which provides a perfect foundation to build responsive website rapidly. Skeleton is created by Dave Gamache a designer and developer working at medium.com, previously employed with Twitter.com. To download Skeleton & docs visit Getskeleton.com
Every CSS Framework or Grid System has it own pros & cons, totally it depends on the size of project and the features required. I would always recommend using any of the CSS pre-processors like SASS, LESS or Stylus to create your own customized framework.
In my next article we will be learning on how to create a 12 column flexible grid system using CSS. In meantime I would like you to share your experience of any CSS Framework or grid system that you use and it’s pros & Cons.