Enhancing Front-End Development with the Top 20 Exquisite CSS Frameworks in 2023

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 09:46 am

What Is a CSS Framework?
A CSS framework refers to a collection of CSS code that streamlines the process of designing web pages with various visual styles. It includes ready-to-use classes, UI components, grid systems, and other techniques that simplify the work of front-end developers. By harnessing the power of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which define the appearance of web elements like fonts, borders, and colors, developers can effortlessly achieve a polished presentation of their websites in record time.

Benefits of Using CSS Frameworks
1. Rapid Start: Impress your clients with your website vision quickly and effortlessly.
2. Coherence: Create a sense of balance and harmony across all pages of your website, leaving a lasting impact on visitors.
3. Accessibility: Even with minimal layout knowledge, CSS frameworks enable you to create well-structured and visually appealing web pages.
4. Cross-Browser Compatibility: Ensure a consistent user experience across different browsers, as demonstrated by the flawless functioning of the MIT Hoher Gewinnchance online casino website on all devices.
5. Community Support: Enjoy technical assistance from a vibrant and active community of CSS framework users.
6. Customisability: Combine and modify components and styles with ease to craft a unique and original website.

Primary Goals of CSS Frameworks
CSS frameworks provide user-friendly interfaces for websites and applications, optimising the efforts of programmers to achieve fast and well-crafted results. They offer reliable and tested solutions, flexible functionality, responsive web design, and simplified upgrading of components.

The 20 Best CSS Frameworks in 2023

Name What It Is GitHub Stars License
Bootstrap The most sought-after CSS framework 165k MIT
Bulma Clear and comprehensible CSS framework 47.4k MIT
Foundation Considered the best alternative to Bootstrap 30k MIT
Fomantic UI An updated version of Semantic UI 3.3k MIT
Blaze UI Scalability and maintainability-focused toolkit 1.5k MIT
Vanilla Framework Minimalistic stylesheet for web projects 705 LGPL-3.0
Tailwind Top CSS for creating unique design websites 71k MIT
Open Props Non-prescriptive CSS library 3.4k MIT
Tachyons Design-oriented CSS framework 11.4k MIT
Materialise Web design framework based on Google recommendation 38.8k MIT
Pure Lightweight framework by Yahoo 23k BSD
Milligram Perfect minimalistic CSS for small projects 10k MIT
Chota Ease-of-use micro CSS framework 1.2k MIT
Spectre Flexbox-based lightweight and responsive framework 11.2k MIT
Skeleton Lightweight CSS with a basic set of components 3.2k MIT
Water Drop-in collection to style your websites 7.7k MIT
MVP Classless CSS framework to create a Minimal Viable Product 4.7k MIT
UI Kit Top CSS focused on building apps for iOS 17.9k MIT
Gutenberg Best CSS framework to prepare HTML pages for printing 4.7k MIT
Bojler Framework devoted to the creation of email templates 994 MIT


General-Purpose CSS Frameworks
1. Bootstrap
Bootstrap, the most sought-after CSS framework, has played a significant role in creating approximately 1/5 of all websites on the internet. It is an open-source framework suitable for both non-commercial and commercial websites.

Summary of Bootstrap:
– File size: approx. 163.82 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 576px, 768px, 992px, 1200px, 1400px
– JavaScript: All plugins in Bootstrap 5 are pure JavaScript, while previous versions used jQuery.
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Alerts, Buttons, Card, Navs, Carousel, Media Object, Popovers, Dropdowns, Forms, List Group, Input Group, Jumbotron, Modal, Spinners, Pagination, Progress, Scrollspy, and more.
– Particularities: Utilities, ready-made components, layout tools, styling classes, community extensions/examples

Reasons to Use Bootstrap:
– Tested on millions of websites
– Abundance of ready-made classes and components
– High speed
– Customisation possibilities
– Strong technical support from active communities

– Limited ability to create unique designs due to its widespread use
– Large file sizes

2. Bulma
Bulma is a modern and simple CSS framework known for its clarity and efficiency. It is easy to master and suitable for developing websites and apps across all types of devices.

Summary of Bulma:
– File size: approx. 206.62 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 768px, 1024px, 1216px, 1408px
– JavaScript: Does not require JavaScript
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Box, Button, Image, Content, Notification, Card, Tab, Delete, Icon, Message, Navbar, Pagination, Progress bars, Tag, Titles
– Particularities: Based on the Flexbox module

Reasons to Use Bulma:
– Easy customisation
– Lightweight
– Compatible with any JavaScript framework
– Minimal HTML code

– Smaller community compared to other CSS frameworks
– Still under development, requiring more documentation

3. Foundation
Foundation is a feature-rich CSS framework, highly praised by front-end developers. Initially designed for mobile devices, it is now responsive and suitable for all screen sizes.

Summary of Foundation:
– File size: approx. 134.84 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 640px, 1024px
– JavaScript: foundation.min.js and jQuery
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Abide, Label, Accordion, Badge, Switch, Off-canvas, Flex Grid, Button, Callout, Grid, Reveal, Close Button, Equalizer, Interchange, Menu, Orbit, Pagination, Sticky, Table, Toggler, Tooltip, Visibility Classes, etc.
– Particularities: Motion UI, Flexbox module in the latest version, documentation with videos

Reasons to Use Foundation:
– Open source
– Swift development with the Sass compiler
– Advanced interface
– Reliable grid system
– Impressive animation library
– Versatility for creating websites

and email templates

– Less visually appealing design
– Code modification best suited for professionals
– Smaller community support compared to Bootstrap

4. Fomantic UI
Fomantic UI is an upgraded version of Semantic UI, uniting fans of both CSS frameworks.

Summary of Fomantic UI:
– File size: More than 600 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 723px, 933px, 1127px
– JavaScript: jQuery
– Grid system: 16 columns
– Features: Buttons, Inverted Buttons, Images, Icons, Inputs, Dividers, Loaders, Breadcrumbs, Statistics, Cards, Accordions, etc.
– Particularities: Build tools

Reasons to Use Fomantic UI:
– Free and open source
– Extensive theming options with thousands of variables
– Numerous UI components
– Responsive on various devices
– Simplified debugging and cross-browser support

– Potential style conflicts
– Limited documentation

5. Blaze UI
Blaze UI, a mobile-first framework, is responsive across various devices, relying on native browser features without additional CSS libraries.

Summary of Blaze UI:
– JavaScript: Compact JavaScript Library
– Features: Addresses, Avatars, Badges, Divider, Lists, Trees, etc.
– Particularities: One of the lightest CSS frameworks

Reasons to Use Blaze UI:
– Free and open source
– Works seamlessly on any screen size
– Easy customisation with a lightweight UI toolkit
– Well-documented

– Less JavaScript support compared to other frameworks
– Smaller community

6. Vanilla Framework
Vanilla Framework belongs to the minimalist CSS framework class. Despite its simplicity, it can be easily extended and enhanced with custom patterns.

Summary of Vanilla:
– JavaScript: Compact JavaScript Library
– Grid system: Responsive CSS grid
– Features: Accordion, Badge, Buttons, Cards, Grid, Chips, Icons, Lists, etc.
– Particularities: Built using Sass

Reasons to Use Vanilla:
– Highly flexible and adaptable
– Easy integration into projects
– Lightweight with responsive CSS grid
– Pre-made HTML elements
– Compatible with numerous other frameworks

– Limited JavaScript support, requiring expansion
– Smaller community

Utility-Based CSS Frameworks
7. Tailwind
Tailwind is a powerful and feature-rich CSS framework, offering advanced infrastructure for creating complex and unique websites. Its creative potential has driven its popularity in recent years.

Summary of Tailwind:
– File size: approx. 2413.4 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 640px, 768px, 1024px, 1280px, 1536px
– JavaScript: Varies
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Possibility of combining CSS classes for creating components

Reasons to Use Tailwind:
– Compatible with many other frameworks
– Greater control and easy component modeling
– Excellent documentation
– Support for all modern browsers
– Limitless flexibility

– Excessive use of utility classes

8. Open Props
Open Props is an optimised open-source non-prescriptive CSS library. It allows custom classes to be used alongside or instead of predefined class names.

Summary of Open Props:
– Responsive breakpoints: 360px, 480px, 768px, 1024px, 1400px, 1920px
– JavaScript: Builds the JavaScript modules
– Features: Lists, Code, Audio, Video, Progress, Meter, Images, Checkboxes, etc.
– Particularities: Non-prescriptive CSS library

Reasons to Use Open Props:
– Vast possibilities for website design
– Customisable interfaces
– Opportunity to add animation

– Insufficient documentation
– Smaller community

9. Tachyons
Tachyons is a progressive CSS framework that prioritises functions and utilities to design web pages and apps. It aims to minimise the amount of code, resulting in a small CSS file size.

Summary of Tachyons:
– File size: approx. 73.26 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: Medium and large
– JavaScript: Optional
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Article Lists, Articles, Forms, Avatars, Tables, Collections, Links, Banners, Buttons, Cards, Footers, Layout, Headers, Lists, Quotes, Text, etc.
– Particularities: Open-source CSS libraries

Reasons to Use Tachyons:
– Powerful and flexible front-end framework
– Simple class functions
– Follows mobile-first strategy
– Thorough module documentation

– Limited distribution due to high competition
– More challenging to master than alternative products

10. Materialise
Materialise is the go-to front-end framework for bringing web design ideas to life with minimal effort. It allows you to create web products in the Google style, making it one of the top CSS frameworks.

Summary of Materialize:
– File size: approx. 139.62 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 600px, 992px, 1200px
– JavaScript: Materialise.min.js and jQuery
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Auto Init, Collapsible, Badges, Footer, Breadcrumbs, Carousel, FeatureDiscovery, Icons, Pushpin, Modals, Scrollspy, Navbar, Pagination, Tooltips, Waves, etc.
– Particularities: Tailored to Material Design

Reasons to Use Materialise:
– Offers a plethora of advanced components and classes
– Maximizes developer productivity
– Ensures fast page loading
– Easy to use

– Limited ability to create a unique product due to uniform design
– Excessive use of JavaScript

Lightweight CSS Frameworks
11. Pure
Pure is the most popular lightweight front-end framework, providing a decent minimalist alternative to Bootstrap, developed by Yahoo.

Summary of Pure:
– File size: approx. 16.79 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 568px, 768px, 1024px, 1280px
– JavaScript: Limited support
– Grid system: 5 and 24 columns
– Features: Base, Forms, Grids, Tables, Buttons, Menus
– Particularities: Built on Normalise.css

Reasons to Use Pure:
– Very small file size
– Compatible with leading browsers and operating systems
– Possibility of adding Bootstrap elements

– Minimal JavaScript support, although vanilla JavaScript is possible

12. Milligram
Milligram is a free and minimalist CSS framework, proving that a tiny framework can be powerful. It ranks high among CSS frameworks for offering a complete set of tools in a very small file size.

Summary of Milligram:
– File size: approx. 9 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 640px, 1280px, 1920px
– JavaScript: Does not support JavaScript
– Features: Buttons, Typography, Tables, Blockquotes, Lists, Forms, Grids
– Particularities: Use of Flexible Box Layout Module

Reasons to Use Milligram:
– Enables developers to create clean and concise code
– Several handy ways to add it to projects
– Easy to learn in just 1 day

– Lack of templates
– Some components from other popular frameworks not available due to the absence of JavaScript support
– Smaller community, making technical assistance less accessible

13. Chota
Chota is one of

the new CSS frameworks focused on ease of use with clear rules, even for beginners. Despite being a micro framework with a very small file size, it offers a great set of components and utilities.

Summary of Chota:
– File size: approx. 3 kB
– JavaScript: Limited JavaScript support
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Rid, Tabs, Buttons, Card, Nav, Tag
– Particularities: Doesn’t use preprocessors

Reasons to Use Chota:
– Possibility to extend thanks to SASS
– Support of 7 leading browsers
– Adheres to semantic HTML conventions
– Possibility of using icons

– Few learning materials
– Lack of comprehensive community support

14. Spectre
Spectre is based on Flexbox and CSS grid, allowing it to create responsive websites with a small file size. It has a wide user base and is considered one of the best CSS frameworks, especially for optimised font rendering.

Summary of Spectre:
– File size: approx. 45 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 480px, 600px, 840px, 960px, 1280px
– JavaScript: Does not support JavaScript
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Accordions, Code, Avatars, Buttons, Labels, Toasts, Cards, Chips, Forms, Hero, Media, Panels, Menu, Modals, Nav, Steps, Tables, Tooltips, Typography, etc.
– Particularities: Based on the Flexbox module

Reasons to Use Spectre:
– Multiple methods to add to your project
– Ability to edit LESS files
– Easily creates uncommon responsive tables
– Can be used with older browsers

– Doesn’t support JavaScript

15. Skeleton
Skeleton is a minimalist and lightweight CSS framework that provides basic components for quickly starting website development.

Summary of Skeleton:
– File size: approx. 31.6 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 440px, 550px, 750px, 1000px, 1200px
– JavaScript: Based on CSS and JavaScript
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Grid, Forms, Typography, Tables, Media queries, Buttons, Lists, etc.
– Particularities: Has tested Less and Sass extensions proposed by the community

Reasons to Use Skeleton:
– Easy to store and manage due to small file size
– Works with all modern browsers
– Easy to learn even for inexperienced developers
– Ability to use Sass or Less extensions

– The choice of pre-styled components is limited

Class-Less CSS Frameworks
16. Water
Water is an excellent choice for developing simple static web pages or creating demo websites. It doesn’t require classes and can be easily added to projects using just one line of code.

Summary of Water:
– File size: < 2 kB
– JavaScript: Based on CSS and JavaScript
– Features: Background, Code, Border, Animation, Links, Focus, Variable, etc.
– Particularities: Built with CSS variables

Reasons to Use Water:
– Class-free semantic HTML
– High code quality
– Supports all popular browsers
– Customisable

– Best suited for small projects only

17. MVP
MVP is the best CSS framework for quickly creating a Minimal Viable Product. With just one line of code added to your HTML file, you can style your website and make it more attractive.

Summary of MVP:
– File size: One line of code
– JavaScript: Does not require JavaScript
– Features: Table, Details, Summary, Code, Checkbox, Pre-line, Focus, Font, etc.
– Particularities: Easy CSS variables modification

Reasons to Use MVP:
– Easy workflow using semantic HTML
– Reusable components
– Mobile-friendly
– Free use for any purpose
– Ability to use CSS variables

– The choice of customisation options is limited

Specialised CSS Frameworks
18. UI Kit
For iOS application development, UI Kit is the best CSS framework. Backed by Apple, it provides a perfect user experience with an intuitive interactive interface built with CSS libraries.

Summary of UI Kit:
– File size: approx. 256.01 kB
– Responsive breakpoints: 640px, 960px, 1200px, 1600px
– JavaScript: uikit.min.js
– Grid system: 12 columns
– Features: Alert, Animation, Cover, Article, List, Badge, Block, Grid, Breadcrumb, Button, Close, Flex, Column, Comment, Contrast, Pagination, Dropdown, Form, Icon, Overlay, etc.
– Particularities: Free autocomplete plugins

Reasons to Use UI Kit:
– Creating a consistent style for your web products and applications
– Ability to quickly design alternative project options
– Ease of rebranding due to the wide selection of UI components offered by the best UI framework

– App performance may degrade when using advanced features

19. Gutenberg
Gutenberg is the best CSS framework for ensuring the appearance of HTML pages when printed. It offers a variety of post templates, facilitating and speeding up the work of developers while making the results attractive to end users.

Summary of Gutenberg:
– Responsive breakpoints: 480px, 600px, 782px, 960px, 1080px, 1280px, 1440px
– JavaScript: Supports JavaScript
– Features: Code, Headings, Sub, Paragraph, Blockquote figure, Sup, etc.
– Particularities: Available on npm

Reasons to Use Gutenberg:
– Ease of use thanks to the block system
– Can be mastered without programming skills
– Thousands of blocks available
– Detailed documentation

– Narrow focus

20. Bojler
For responsive email templates, Bojler is one of the best CSS frameworks. It is easy to use and allows you to create great product designs compatible with various email clients.

Summary of Bojler:
– File size: approx. 345.9 kB
– JavaScript: Supports JavaScript
– Features: Reset styles, Grid system, Components, Utility classes, Typography
– Particularities: Built with SASS

Reasons to Use Bojler:
– Lightweight email templates
– Works correctly with common email clients
– Wide selection of utility classes and components

– The narrow focus of this CSS framework makes it interesting for a small community of users.

In conclusion, familiarising yourself with the strengths and limitations of each of these CSS frameworks will help you make an informed decision. Depending on whether you need to quickly create a demo version of a site or require a unique product, you can select the most appropriate CSS framework for your specific needs. CSS frameworks significantly simplify the work of developers, and exploring their advantages can be an exciting journey for enhancing web development projects.

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