Does anybody want to share a bit about your thoughts of using a CSS framework? How would you recommend it for a newbie and CSS guru? Thanks!

4 answers

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Using a framework makes rapid development easier, but isn't always best for production sites, as there may be additional cruft that isn't used, but isn't easy to clear out.

Slavishly learning a framework probably isn't a good idea for a css neophyte, better to learn the basics of CSS before getting into a muddle with a framework.

For a lazy CSS guru they make a tedious task quicker, but often it's best to build your own framework, rather than rely on others.

I've tried quite a few, and generally they're harder to debug, when something isn't as expected, simply because it isn't your own code.

I did use 960gs for a big site recently and it did simplify a lot of things, but it didn't feel like I'd crafted the site as carefully as if I'd built it all from scratch, so there are elements of personal satisfaction to address too.

All in all, I'm in favour of using a good framework, prefer to use my own basic building blocks, but not averse to using an off the shelf framework in certain circumstances.


Answered almost 8 years ago by Tony Crockford
  • Thanks for the input, Tony! I believe the same thing but just wanted to see what others think. I also like to create my own grid since there will be CSS that I'm not using in production, I don't include them in there just to make the file size smaller Cuong Dang almost 8 years ago

It really depends on the project. While frameworks such as Blueprint and 960 provide great baselines, I'm not a big fan of the grid systems they provide. Mostly for the fact that I'm of the opinion that class names should describe the content of an element, rather than the presentation. Getting back to the old mantra that states content should be separate from presentation "links", "quotes", and "content" make more sense as class names to me than "grid-9" or the like. While I like the level playing field across browsers that these frameworks offer, I'd rather do my own CSS for layout. I'll take Eric Meyer's reset.css over these frameworks any day.

Answered almost 8 years ago by Dwayne Anderson
  • Agree! Naming convention is one of the big turnoffs for me to use CSS framework since I like to take control of my own Cuong Dang almost 8 years ago

I really enjoy using -- It's got everything I need to make beautiful layouts, without the ugly hassle of actually having to build each one by hand.

I do agree, though, it can leave some 'cruft', but compression and optimization (through scaffolding, or YUI, etc) usually makes little bits largely irrelevant.

Answered almost 8 years ago by Nathan DeGruchy

I have my own "starter" stylesheet that I start every project with, consisting of Eric Meyer's reset.css and some basic typography that I always change up.

Once you've become adept at CSS, setting up a template goes so fast that I think a larger framework (like would get in the way more than anything else. I do often use's photoshop templates and dimensions, but that's it.

I'm also in agreement with Dwayne that class names and IDs should reflect content, rather than presentation. This is impossible when using a framework.

Answered almost 8 years ago by Kevin Crawford
  • it can be done: Tony Crockford almost 8 years ago
  • Eh, it still seems like unnecessary overhead IMHO. But that is neat. Kevin Crawford almost 8 years ago