A look at the different types of CSS frameworks and the importance of using them
Frameworks are extensively used all over the world for carrying out web development and design for various projects. Professional developers use different types of frameworks for aiding their work on different sites as it helps them to create results that are more in tune with customer requirements. Basically, a framework can be defined as a set of concepts developed as a package which includes numerous folders, files set up in a structure of definite standardized code such as CSS and HTML. These frameworks can be used in a number of ways to develop a particular website.
Most of the websites that are built with a particular framework have a similar but not identical structure. The main reason why frameworks are used is that they provide developers with a common structure of coding that can be used again and again. This helps to save time and effort and bring flawless results as the developers to not have to set the coding again manually each time they are creating a website.
Types of framework
There are mainly two different types of frameworks used in the web development world. These include frontend and backend frameworks. The distinction between the two rests on the fact whether the framework is used for the application or logical layer or the presentation layer.
The frameworks mainly serve as a conceptual notion for the actual development work to start with. The framework concept can be conveniently applied to various common and uncommon web processes. The application layer or the programmer’s layer allows connecting the site’s database to its content with the help of PHP language. The designer or presentation layer showcases the content in HTML format and needs to make use of CSS style sheets for easy viewing by the site visitors in a browser.
The frontend frameworks are also known as CSS frameworks. They mainly consist of a set package of structured folders and files with a standardized code, such as CSS, HTML or JS documents.
Typically, a frontend framework will have the following components:
- CSS source codes for creating a grid; it presents a developer with the flexibility to place the various elements within a site that makes up its design.
- Effective solutions for browser incompatibility cases so that the site always displays its content correctly in all the browsers.
- Typography styles for the HTML elements.
- Standard CSS classes for styling advanced components of user interface.
As responsive web designing practices become more mainstream, there is a steady rise of demand for responsive frameworks. These frameworks will allow coming up with sites that can be viewed easily in devices of various screen sizes such as desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles. Using these frameworks will make it much easier to develop responsive websites from the go.
Types of CSS frameworks
Depending on the complexity of the CSS frameworks, they can be classified into simple and complex frameworks. These two different classes of frameworks offer varying degrees of flexibility and complexity of solutions to the team of web developers.
The simple frameworks are frequently referred to as grid systems. They present style sheets along with column systems for aiding the distribution of various elements according to an established design.
The Golden Grid System is a folding grid system that aids in responsive design.
The Mueller Grid System is a type of modular grid system that helps in creating non–responsive as well as responsive/adaptive layouts, all of which are based on Compass. The developer gets to have complete control over the gutter width, column width, baseline grid and all media queries.
Numerous people have come up with their own versions of Responsive Grid Systems. For instance, the Responsive Grid System created by Graham Miller is particularly known for its easy to use features. The Responsive Grid System developed by Denis LeBlanc comes with a simple design that helps to create highly intuitive responsive websites.
This is a simple framework build on CSS and facilitates easy development of responsive web designs. It comes in two versions, consisting of 16 and 12 columns.
Columnal Grid System
The Columnal Grid System mainly consists of features that are also found in many other frameworks, with a handful of custom codes as well. Influences of both cssgrid.net and 960.gs are easily apparent.
These frameworks offer total solutions in packages and include features like sets of icons, forms and buttons, styled-typography and different other reusable components that are built for providing navigation, popovers, alerts, HTML templates, images frames and custom settings.
Skeleton offers a small package of CSS files that can be used by developers to create sites in short time. With excellent responsive design elements, they can help in coming up with sites that are mobile friendly and can be viewed easily on iPhone devices as well as large desktops.
This is one of the most powerful and intuitive frontend frameworks for easy and quick web development. It is complied through Node and makes use of LESS CSS and offers great flexibility to the users for coming up with top notch designs.
This is an advanced framework offering excellent frontend responsive design options. It is built with Sass which is an extremely powerful CSS preprocessor. It offers a wide range of tools for easy customization of websites.
This modular CSS framework offers users with the ability to create easily accessible, flexible and responsive websites. The framework has been tested for major browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari Opera and Internet Explorer.
This is a CSS framework meant for professional developers. This adaptive and responsive framework comes with features that allow developers to create simple and minimal websites. It also offers great flexibility of development; has beautiful typography and comes with a revolutionary grid.
All of these CSS frameworks have been noted for offering the best design and development features to developers. It is for this reason that they are extensively used for various types of site development projects.