11 Best CSS Frameworks To Look Forward In 2020
Web Development •
94503 Views | 22 Min Read
For any front end developer, there are two major concerns. The first one is time & efficiency and the other is browser compatibility testing issues. To address both concerns, it’s important to adopt a web design methodology that helps one save time and improve efficiency besides enhancing user experience. Speaking of which, CSS proves to be a win-win for both users and web designers.
Cascading Style Sheets or simply CSS are web design tools that separate document content from document presentation. This results in a dramatic decrease in the file transfer size. Once you apply a change to the site’s CSS style sheet, it can automatically reflect on all the pages alike. CSS offers great design consistency and offers a wide array of formatting options.
Now that we know how beneficial CSS is for both developers and users, the big question still remains, Which CSS framework do I choose? Considering that we have a plethora of CSS frameworks at our disposal, each with their own advantage, making the right choice can be daunting!
So, to ease out your nerves, I have compiled a list of the 11 Best CSS frameworks in 2020 based on the State of CSS report for 2019. In this article, I’d explain more about these 11 Best CSS frameworks and answer your questions, such as why to choose that framework, what is missing, and who is using the framework.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Bootstrap 4 is the latest version of the framework, it comes with new components, better stylesheet, and enables your web pages to be more responsive. Also, Bootstrap 4, supports both LESS and SASS
The credit for the development of Bootstrap goes to the makers of Twitter. Originally, Bootstrap was called ‘Twitter Blueprint’. The name Bootstrap came into existence in 2011. Apart from offering a superb grid system, Bootstrap also features some common HTML elements in the form of reusable components. Some of them include navigation bars, dropdowns, pagination, labels, etc. You can easily incorporate them into web design. So, do you realize what the best part is? You don’t have to start from scratch while building a website!
Usage Statistics Of Bootstrap CSS Framework
- Ranked 1st, in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 45% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 140k stars, 68.7k forks, and 1,115 contributors.
Why You Should Choose The Bootstrap CSS Framework?
1. Time Saver
You don’t need to be a pro coder to start developing websites using Bootstrap. The frontend framework has amazing documentation on each component. With the built in ready to use components, you can develop the websites much faster! Also, thanks to the simplicity of use, you don’t have to waste time figuring out complexities.
2. Prevent Any Browser Compatibility Testing Issues
Cross browser testing is vital for a site to work on all browsers and devices to validate your website’s performance across multiple browsers. The latest version, i.e. Bootstrap 4.0, is compatible with all the latest browsers, ensuring that your elements don’t have any browser compatibility testing issues.
3. Well-maintained Codebase
The maintenance team constantly updates Bootstrap, thanks to its growing popularity. They also continuously test it against various technologies and browsers.
4. Better Consistency and Teamwork
Since the Bootstrap end result looks the same on all browsers and platforms, it eliminates inconsistencies between designers and developers. If a new individual joins the team, the tutorial documents make it easy to learn everything about the frontend framework. This instigates better teamwork in a firm.
5. Low Learning Curve
Bootstrap is really one of the best CSS frameworks in 2020 when it comes to it’s learning curve. With a lot of documentation available, it helps in the learning process for any beginner. With a lot of documentation and tutorials available, you know where to go when you are stuck!
Where Does The Bootstrap CSS Framework Can Do Better?
1. Battery Drains and Slower Loading Time
Bootstrap generates files with massive size, which can affect the loading speed and time of a website. To fix this issue, you have to delete some stuff manually.
2. All Websites Look The Same
WIth ease of working, Bootstrap takes away the uniqueness of a website unless you perform style customizations.
Who Is Using The Bootstrap CSS Framework?
Twitter, Spotify, Intel, Walmart, Udemy, Mint
ZURB designed the Foundation in September 2011. In comparison to other best CSS frameworks in 2020, Foundation flaunts an advanced and sophisticated interface. One of its most prized possessions is the responsive menu and compatibility on various devices and browsers. You can also easily style the menu according to your requirements using the CSS framework.
The best thing about the Foundation is that it gives a lot of room for designers to show their creativity. Thanks to the super-responsive CSS framework, designers can follow a design-the-site-yourself approach which gives them a sense of control over a project.
Usage Statistics Of The Foundation CSS Framework
- Ranked 2nd in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 14.1% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 28.6k stars, 5.8k forks, and 984 contributors.
Why To Choose The Foundation CSS Framework?
1. More Uniqueness
Foundation CSS Framework, enables you to customize your site in a manner such that it doesn’t look the same as other sites using Foundation.
2. Less CSS Bloat
Thanks to the built-in base CSS appearances, the CSS bloat in HTML won’t be as much.
3. Better Flexibility In Grids
You can easily remove gutters and collapse columns, with the help of a ‘collapse’ class. You can also create columns of equal size with the help of a block-sized grid. Together, these features constitute a flexible grid.
Foundation offers easy placement of website navigation on the side to hide it. You also get an HTML5 form validation library, a table showing subscription-based product prices, and options to customize user experience according to different devices.
Where Can The Foundation CSS Framework Can Do Better?
Beginners would find it difficult to learn how to use the Foundation CSS Framework and the learning process can be a bit time-consuming.
2. Compromised Support
Community support, QA sites, and forums provide the necessary support to developers. But in the case of the frontend framework, they are lacking to a great extent. One reason might be the extreme popularity of Bootstrap that has better community support.
3. Complexity In Customization
Developers are likely to find customizing a website more complex than many other CSS frameworks.
4. Prominent Clients
EA, Amazon, eBay, Adobe, and Mozilla
3. Materialize CSS
If you are looking forward to building a classy UI, Materialize contains a plethora of custom CSS to help you accomplish a unique website design. On top of it, Materialize features a wide variety of color schemes that further create a one-of-a-kind website.
Usage Statistics Of Materialize CSS Framework
- Ranked 3rd in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 17.1% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 37.4k stars, 4.8k forks, and 250 contributors.
Why To Choose The Materialize CSS Framework?
1. Variety of Built-in Features
Materialize is one of the best CSS frameworks in 2020, it offers a wide array of built-in features. Some of them include modern support, features that are simple to use, parallax elements, cards, flow texts, hoverable items as well as objects.
2. Reduces Coding Time
Since most of the vital features are readily available for use, Materialize reduces the coding time to a great extent.
3. Great Plugin Selections
4. Ease Of Use
Unlike some frontend frameworks that takes a lot of time to get used to, Materialize comes with clear documentation. The specific code instances can be of further help to increase your understanding of the frontend framework.
Where Can The Materialize CSS Framework Do Better?
2. Less Support
Since Materialize is not as popular as the other best CSS frameworks in 2020, you won’t get full-fledged community support. In other words, support might not be readily available.
Who Is Using The Materialize CSS Framework?
WPArena, Digital Services, GameRaven, DroneDeploy
4. Semantic UI
Semantic UI is one of the best CSS frameworks in 2020, developed by Jack Lukic. He is a full-stack developer who used the Natural language principles to create the Semantic UI framework. Powered by jQuery and LESS, Semantic UI flaunts a sleek, flat, and subtle look. This contributes to the lightweight user experience.
It has a comparatively small community. But the members are enthusiastic and loyal. The goal here is to create a language to share UI and empower developers and designers alike. The Semantic UI community has already made about 3000+ themes.
Usage Statistics Of The Semantic UI CSS Framework
- Ranked 4th in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 9.2% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 47.8k stars, 5k forks, and 190 contributors.
Why To Choose The Semantic UI CSS Framework?
1. Simple To Use
The best perk about Semantic UI is that it’s super easy to use. Just type what you want and you can easily incorporate it into the website design.
2. Availability Of A Plethora Of Themes
The layout variety is one of the strongest points of Semantic UI. With a wide variety of themes, you can easily find something for all kinds of projects.
3. Designing A Page Is Less Time Consuming
Since Semantic UI classes have meaningful names, it makes the learning curve shorter. This also makes project development faster and more intuitive.
Where Can The Semantic UI CSS Framework Do Better?
1. Browser Compatibility Testing Issues
Since Semantic UI doesn’t support Internet Explorer 7, we can say that the browser compatibility is not ideal. Perhaps the gaps in the browser compatibility testing are responsible for this shortcoming.
2. Fewer Updates
There was no update in Semantic UI for over a year. We’re talking about the time from 2018-2019. This can be a cause of concern since most other frontend frameworks undergo frequent updates.
3. Compromised Responsiveness
Considering that there are a variety of devices a website has to run smoothly on, lack of responsiveness is a cause of concern.
Who Is Using The Semantic UI CSS Framework?
Snapchat, Accenture, Kmong, Samsviran, Ristoranti
Bulma is a Flexbox-based open-source and one of the best CSS frameworks in 2020. More than 200,000 developers use it all over the world. It helps developers understand how they can codify a component. Even if you need a visual component, Bulma is here to your rescue.
The frontend framework uses various techniques for providing front-end developers with a cohesive interface. Moreover, thanks to the responsive templates, we can focus better on the content rather than fretting over the code the entire time.
Usage Statistics Of Bulma CSS Framework
- Ranked 5th in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 10% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 39.5k stars, 3.3k forks, 303 contributors.
Why To Choose The Bulma CSS Framework?
1. Innovative and Easier Designing
Bulma makes the creation and customization of applications super easy for developers. The integrated Flexbox responsiveness enables front-end developers to build next-level and unique designs.
2. Thorough Documentation
Bulma comes with clear documentation. This helps developers to easily carry on their projects and have a backup for support.
Bulma comes with typography, forms, buttons, tables, and much more. This contributes to a solid foundation and high versatility of the framework. On top of it, it’s packed with components such as a solution for vertical alignment, layouts, and different media objects.
Where Can The Bulma CSS Framework Do Better?
1. Slow on IE
Even though the browser compatibility testing issues are not nil, this CSS framework tends to run very slow on Internet Explorer browsers.
2. Small Community
Since Bulma is a relatively new framework, the community base is not as wide as popular frameworks such as Bootstrap.
Who Is Using The Bulma CSS Framework?
Django, Rubrik, XICA magellan, Tam Development, Awesome Stacks, WordPress Setup.
UIKit is a modular and lightweight front-end CSS framework. If you are aiming to develop powerful and fast web interfaces, UIKit is one way to go. It features a comprehensive collection of CSS, HTML, and JS components. This makes the frontend framework extendible, simple to customize, and easy to use.
It’s one of the most widely used frontend frameworks for the development of iOS applications. UIKit defines the core components such as buttons, labels, navigation controllers, and table views. Basically, UIKit is the future of developing apps on Apple’s platforms.
Usage Statistics Of The UIKit CSS Framework
- Ranked 6th in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 3.27% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 15.k stars, 2.2k forks, 28 contributors.
Why To Choose The UIKit CSS Framework?
1. Clear architecture
UIKit has clearly defined conventions and clean code which contributes to a clear architecture.
2. Availability of ready-to-use themes
You can choose the theme of your choice from the drop-down menu of the website by downloading its LESS CSS, or SASS file. There is a wide variety of ready-to-use themes to select from.
The designing of every aspect of UIKit is done in such a way that designers can easily select different components for adding it to their stylesheet. Thanks to the frontend framework being extremely modular, they don’t have to worry about damaging the overall style of the site.
4. Highly customizable
Designers can create entirely new looks easily, thanks to the high customizability of UIKit. The built-in animation features add to the creativity of a site.
Where Can The UIKit Framework Do Better?
1. Lack Of Learning Resources
Since the frontend framework lacks extreme popularity, it can be tough to find extra learning resources. All developers have is the official documentation.
2. Closed And Slow Development
The development cycles are long and fixing bugs is selective and time-consuming as well. The development takes place in-house and is not available publically.
3. Complicated Code Classes
The nested classes can be tough to read and it can cause difficulties in gaining the desired outcome.
Who Is Using The UIKit CSS Framework?
LiteTube, AskNicely, Crunchyroll, SolarWinds, Nedwave
PureCSS features a set of CSS modules that are ideal for different kinds of projects. Even though the modules are small, they are responsive. As a result, you can easily create websites that are responsive, faster, and aesthetically pleasing. The credit for the development of this CSS framework goes to Yahoo.
Some of the salient features of the platform include a built-in design with high responsiveness and Standard CSS having a minimal footprint. The best thing about PureCSS is that it’s absolutely free to use!
Usage Statistics Of Pure CSS Framework
- Ranked 7th in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 5.44% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 20.8k stars, 2.1k forks, 59 contributors.
Why To Choose The Pure CSS Framework?
1. Simple Customizations
The frontend framework provides designers with a foundation to customize accordingly and build the design of their choice.
2. Browser Compatibility Testing
The base of Pure CSS relies on Normalize.css. The frontend framework does not have many browser compatibility testing issues, as the compatibility issues undergo frequent fixing.
There is no need for overwriting existing CSS rules since the designers can easily add new ones. This way, you can customize the appearance according to your projects.
4. Lightweight and responsive
The 4.5KB minified + gzip file size makes the frontend framework lightweight. If you create a website using PureCSS, it will redesign itself according to the device the user views it on. PureCSS has a mobile-first fluid grid with 12 columns that offers support for responsive classes for different screen sizes.
Where Can The Pure CSS Framework Do Better?
1. Not That Great For Beginners
Pure CSS doesn’t feature a wide array of unique styles. So, you do need some level of customization. This makes it a bit unsuitable for beginners.
Who Is Using The Pure CSS Framework?
SkyQuest Tech Stack, Hacktoolkit, PodcastParty, Wizters, Choobs Ltd.
Tailwind is a utility-first framework you can use for the rapid building of UIs. It’s a CSS library that is utility-based that prefers practicality and speed over a semantic and lean markup. All you need to determine thoroughly is the scope of your project. Based on that, it’s easy to create an entire website without having to write your own CSS.
Tailwind does not come with a default theme. You also won’t find any UI components that are built-in. But there is a predesigned widgets menu you can work with for building a website.
Usage Statistics Of The Tailwind CSS Framework
- Ranked 8th in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 4.9% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 69 stars, 13 forks, 2 contributors.
Why To Choose The Tailwind CSS Framework?
1. Site Unaffected By Individual Changes
If you make a change to one element, you don’t have to worry about its impact on other tangentially-related elements.
2. Ease Of Use
Once you are familiar with the syntax, Tailwind is extremely simple to use. You also don’t have to tab back and forth between your stylesheets and HTML.
3. Highly Customizable
Tailwind has a plethora of customization options. Besides, unlike the other best CSS frameworks 2020, Tailwind doesn’t tell you what your website should look like.
4. Greater Development Speed
Since tailwind almost eliminates the big step of having to write CSS, the development speed increases by manifold.
Where Can The Tailwind CSS Framework Do Better?
1. Insignificant For The Experts
The frontend framework is beneficial for developers who are beginners in writing CSS or don’t want to do it at all. However, those who are experts in writing CSS might not find Tailwind as appealing.
2. Doesn’t Support Grid Layout
Tailwind doesn’t support a grid layout even though it rocks the 12-column layout.
Who Is Using The Tailwind CSS Framework?
BlaBlaCar, otto-now, Website, Clarisights, JetThoughts, EXR
9. Ant Design
Usage Statistics of the Ant Design CSS Framework
- Ranked 9th in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 4.39% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 59.1k stars, 21.7k forks, and 1,085 contributors.
Why To Choose The Ant Design CSS Framework?
1. Support For The Form Component
Developers can use TextArea, Input, Radio, Checkbox, or Date/TimePicker for your FormItems.
2. Great Feedback Components
And Notification provides instant notifications to user actions.
3. Polished Look
The main reason behind developers opting for Ant design is the enterprisey and polished look and feel it provides.
Keyboard handling, meeting ARIA compliance, and tabbing requires a lot of effort. Ant Design easily handles these tasks for you.
5. Saves Time
Since Ant Design makes prototyping much faster, it saves a lot of time.
Where Can The Ant Design CSS Framework Do Better?
1. Lack of proper documentation
Some Ant Design documentation is not available in languages other than Chinese. However, the community has done a good job with the translation.
Who Is Using The Ant Design CSS Framework?
Ant Financial, Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Koubei, Meituan
Tachyons is one of the growing CSS frameworks in 2020. Unlike another popular frontend frameworks like Foundation and Bootstrap, you don’t get pre-built UI components. On the contrary, it aims to break CSS rules into manageable, small, as well as reusable parts.
Cutting down the need to write CSS lines, Tachyons help developers build amazing websites. In other words, Tachyons help in creating highly readable, fast loading, and super responsive interfaces without heavy CSS.
Usage Statistics Of The Tachyons CSS Framework
- Ranked 10th in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 4.13% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 9.7k stars, 611 forks, and 64 contributors.
Why To Choose The Tachyons CSS Framework?
1. Easy To Learn
Tachyons don’t have a steep learning curve and even beginners can easily learn and implement it.
2. Fully customizable
A wide array of customizable CSS modules goes into the creation of Tachyons. Since there are no complex dependencies within the modules, it’s easy to customize.
3. No Compulsion For Adhering To Default Styles
Different classes have variants across different screen sizes. This provides the developers with control over the layout. Also, they don’t have to fret over adhering to any default style.
4. Great For Prototyping
Since Tachyons can make a site look great with minimal design work, it’s great for prototyping.
Developers have availability to impeccable documentation to get acquainted with Tachyons. It’s organized and simple to understand.
Where Can The Tachyons CSS Framework Do Better?
1. Lack Of Creativity
Tachyons lack creativity as you might end up with a website that is not unique. The defaults are not sufficient to impart a unique look to our site.
2. Compromised Speed
If you have not memorized the class name and structure properly, using Tachyons will just drag you down in terms of working speed.
Who Is Using The Tachyons CSS Framework?
Everlane, CrewFire, Agema, guac. live
Primer is basically a basecoat of the world’s largest community of developers, that is, Github. The credit for the creation of this open-source tool goes to some masterminds who share a passion for CSS and HTML. Primer boasts a systematic approach that ensures consistency in styles such as typography, spacing, and color.
The simplicity of the framework is one of the main reasons behind it’s steadily growing popularity. Plus, the fact that Github maintains it adds to the credibility of the Primer. It is a system meant for building consistent and positive user experiences.
Usage Statistics Of The Primer CSS Framework
- Ranked 11th in the category of, best CSS frameworks in 2020, for being most popular by the State Of CSS survey.
- 0.62% of the CSS developers have used it and would like to use it again.
- Github- 92.5k stars, 15.9k forks, and 77 contributors.
Why To Choose The Prime CSS Framework?
1. Customizable Typography
Primer offers font styles in a wide variety of sizes and weights. This enables developers to create styles that enhance the readability of a site and make it look appealing.
2. Great Color Scheme
Primer offers a great color scheme to add to the clarity of the content. Color utilities and variables also offer developers thematic styling options without having to be tied with a specific structure.
3. Composable Spacing Scale
The highly composable base-8 spacing scale works well with Github’s content density. Padding spacers and margins provide consistency to the horizontal and vertical rhythm.
Where Can The Prime CSS Framework Do Better?
1. Lack Of Popularity And Reviews
Primer is not as popular as its counterparts. Since very few users have used this CSS framework, there are not enough reviews that can help you decide whether to give it a shot or not.
2. Compromised Community Support
Since Primer has a slim user base, the community support is not as readily available.
Who Is Using The Primer CSS Framework?
My Stack, timelog, g59 Ranking, Complete Toolset
Summing It Up
It’s safe to assume that CSS for web design is here to last. All frameworks that I’ve mentioned above have their own set of pros and cons. Of course, your business circumstances have a major impact on which one you end up choosing. Depending on the requirement of your project, you can select the CSS framework accordingly. Also, you need to make sure that you perform thorough cross browser testing on this different frontend framework to make sure that there are no browser compatibility testing issues.
So, do you agree with this list of the best CSS frameworks in 2020? Do let us know your opinion in the comment section down below. Help us to reach out with your peers looking for the best CSS frameworks, by sharing this article with them and feel free to retweet us. That’s all for now! Happy Testing!!! ☺
Written by Vethee Dixit
I’m a Computer Science Engineer by degree and a passionate writer by choice. The credit for my profession as a web content writer goes to the knack for writing combined with a technical background. I believe in utilizing my skills to spread awareness and simplify people’s lives with my writing! When I’m not busy playing the game of words, I like to indulge myself in hobbies like reading and hitting the gym.
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