Creating a website from scratch is definitely a hard task even for the most gifted and experienced web developers. As a geek programmer, it is for sure that you are a person who’s always seeking better ways and methodologies to work with which are both easier and practical to do your job. Gladly today you have a wide selection of front-end frameworks that can save your time and grossly increase your productivity. On top of all, none of that will be done at the cost of the quality of your job.
However, in a sense, this is a sort of double-edged sword. There are plenty of front-end frameworks to use but of course, you aim for the most convenient. In order for you to make an informed decision over this matter you have to first identify your needs and then check which front-end frameworks are in line with those.
For that, before listing the best front-end frameworks to use let us give you some expert advice on what things you must look at each one of them. From a general viewpoint, your selection must be based on two major aspects:
Technical advantages and personal advantages
With technical advantages, we refer to different sort of front end framework features which are designed to ease your workflow. Some of them include:
- Additional information resources
- Responsive design
- Personal advantages
Except for the technical aspects makes no harm if you base your selection on more subjective reasons, so to say. There may be a few front end frameworks that seem to offer pretty much the same features but only one or two may really fit perfectly your personal choice. Needless to mention, every one of us has a unique way of doing things and front-ending
Bootstrap sits among the most popular and widely used front end frameworks among developers today. It comes with a set of helpful features that range from a very good grid system to options for customization. Better still is compatible with all devices so your workflow won’t be interrupted if you switch from one device to another during the process. On the other hand, the Bootstrap requires strong architectural software so if you’re using on your phone mobile you will have some issues with loading and will drain your battery.
Pros: Grid system, pre-defined CSS elements, Compatibility, Responsiveness and simple use.
The downside of this front end framework is that sometimes it may take a bit more time than usual to render designed websites. Fortunately, you will only encounter this problem if you’re browsing in old computers or other devices.
Pros: Model View Controller architecture, , simplified unit-testing, DOM Manipulation, code organization.
Cons: A lot of ways for the same problem, possibly time-consuming.
UlKit has a place among the best front end frameworks to use for its wide variety of features and unique design. It contains numerous modular components from navigation bars, HTML forms and tables, JSS components and simply elements e.g like buttons badges. In addition, UlKit’s very responsive grid system will allow you to arrange elements of the website in a good way. Apart from all the advantages there is only one issue you’ll have if you decide to use UlKit and that is there are limited resources for you to learn more of it.
Pros: Very customizable, lots of features, highly modular, unit-testing and responsive grid system.
Cons: limited information resources.
There hasn’t been a long since Semantic UI was introduced but it soon earned a place among the most popular frameworks to use. Simplicity is what it differentiates it the most. It uses a simple language and it is very easy to keep track of coding. Even for non-experienced web developers, Semantic UI is easy to work with. Furthermore, Semantic UI is known to be highly customizable offering you around 3,000 different themes. Another thing for which Semantic UI is highly valued is third-party libraries.
Pros: Highly customizable, natural coding language, thousands of ready-made themes, and third-party libraries.
Cons: Large file size.
It is no surprise at all why there are many front end developers who are eager to learn how to use the Foundation front end framework. Developed in September 2011 by ZURB, big websites including Facebook, eBay and Mozilla are built using Foundation. It offers a great extent of flexibility to design the website in a way that suits your personal choices. Foundation is compatible with a large number of browsers and devices. It has a responsive menu whose style can be easily modified as you wish using CSS. Despite all advantages, Foundation might only be a good option for those who have other than amateur developing skills. Also, the Foundation has not yet a large community and their presence in online forums is not great.
Pros: Flexible grid system, device-specific customization, lots of templates, online training courses and demos.
Cons: Difficult for beginners and small communities.
Pure is created by Yahoo and was for the first time released in 2013. Although it doesn’t have any unique feature compared to other popular front end frameworks, Pure is highly valued for its functionality and practicality as well. It is identified as pretty well responsive containing however just limited responsive CSS modules. Websites designed on pure are supported in various browsers and electronic devices. The CSS modular components from their library can either be used separately or bound together depending on your personal needs. As a lightweight and modular front end framework you will have no loading issues. There are initial layouts from their template library but at the same time, the Pure offers you a high level of customization for your website.
Pros: Modular, lightweight, layout templates and flexible CSS components.
Cons: no unique components.
Pros: lightweight, Model-View-Presenter (MVP) design, back-end sync and easy to learn.
Cons: not actively updated.
Vue was launched in 2014 but despite being younger compared to other aforementioned front-end frameworks it is by no doubt one of the most popular. The Vue language is specifically valuable for functionality because you can use pre-processors instead of CSS. Furthermore, this front-end framework is significantly customizable. In terms of components’ use VUE shares similarities with React and Angular therefore if you have a background in any of them the transition to VUE is easy.
Pros: lightweight, popularity, highly customizable and easy to learn.
Cons: difficulties with debugging.
Pros: open-source, DOM manipulation and strong community.
Cons: struggling popularity.
Ideally, the Skeleton front-end framework is designed for small projects. It contains a limited number of code lines (400). Skeleton does not even consider itself a typical frond-end framework, or a CSS Framework or library, but a boilerplate. However, if you’re working on a small project the Skeleton can be a great choice because is very easy to use and runs at low software capacities.
Pros: lightweight, simply to use.
Cons: a limited selection of styling components.
Did we miss a framework worth adding to the “Best front-end frameworks to use” list? Contact us and let us know!
Alicia Newman is a 29-year-old programming professor who enjoys working with computers, and solve programming challenges. She is an Australian citizen and has a very exciting and bright personality. She is currently a PhD candidate.