The Benefits of Using A CSS Framework

In my last post, we checked out a cool topic.

Okay so, let’s get the basics down first.

Some people love CSS frameworks. Others (and I don’t really understand why!), not so much. First, what is a CSS framework? A CSS framework, in a nut shell, comes with predetermined CSS in terms of building a website. Think of it as a foundation for a house. It lays down the wood, concrete, etc – you just have to decide how to furnish the place.

The are many advantages to using a responsive CSS framework. However, there are also some disadvantages. Lets go through these below.

The Pros

They lay the groundwork

You don’t have to go re-inventing the wheel. For example – if someone gave you the base of a car (lights, hood, wheel, steering wheel, etc), and told you to build a car, you’d probably be relieved. You have the basics of the car infront of you – it’s just up to you to build it out and style it the way you want to. CSS frameworks do exactly that.

They encourage grid-based design

This is a really good thing. A lot of designers / developers think that designing in a grid is a bad thing – however, this allows for easier readability, scanability, visual weight, flexibility and more.

Cross-browser concerns are essentially non-existent

This is probably the most valuable point in this post. Ever had to develop a website, and something looks awesome on Chrome and Firefox, but not Internet Explorer? Haven’t we all. Frameworks are built to abide to all browsers, which is great.

They provide code you don’t have to write every single time from scratch

It’s simply inefficient to start every single website over, from scratch. Imagine if Nike, every time they pumped out a new style of shoe, started from scratch. That’s insane! They start with a general base, and go from there. This is no different.

The Cons

They can be a little bloatish

If you’re worried about every single little byte when it comes to a webpage, frameworks may not be for you. They do come with extra code, in case needed. However – you could just go ahead and scrap some of the code, but that does take time to sift through.

Your HTML markup will be drastically different

You will be using the confines of the framework in terms of HTML tags. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can lead you to becoming comfortable. Which leads me to my next point…

Solely relying on the framework for all web projects

Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if you’re used to writing HTML within the confines of a certain framework, you’re pigeon-holing yourself. You should be constantly learning, not get stuck!

Is it for me?

Personally, I love CSS frameworks. I understand they have limitations and flaws, but most web technologies do. The point is – if it makes your life easier and your web development projects completed more rapidly, then go for it.

Check out my next post.

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