CSS frameworks may seem like overkill, but more and more support has been given to this ever improving science. Aimed at improving website turnaround time, frameworks aid designers in the build process. This tutorial will show you why CSS frameworks are worth using, along with some possible solutions you can try for yourself — all for free, and easy too.
Reasons to use a CSS framework
The popularity for CSS frameworks in modern web design stems from its ability to help in rapid web development. It’s like building a house on pre-built foundations. The headaches you would normally get from starting from scratch are eliminated. A CSS Framework’s real strength comes from its cross-browser compatibility. Issues such as IE’s broken box model are completely removed meaning you can create websites without having to hack your way through your style sheet.
All this equates to time saved when building websites. meaning you can spend much more time on the minor details. Another benefit of CSS frameworks is their compliance with web standards, which will allow you to build higher quality websites. This is particularly worthy in a work environment where deadlines are tight.
Its important to say that there are a couple of drawbacks to using frameworks. First, you will need to take the time to learn the framework you choose to go with. This is important as you will only maximize your abilities when you know the full potential of framework you are working with.
The second issue is the taming nature of frameworks, they can be restraining for designers who want to achieve a truly unique design. As with any framework they are restrictive in nature, depending on your perspective you can see this as a good or bad thing.
One of the most popular CSS frameworks available at the moment is blueprint. It is ideal for designers of all levels, with a magnitude of layout options you are sure to find one to suite your web projects needs. It also has a strong developer community behind it that is always improving the framework to make it easier to use. Plus its free.
Yet Another Multicolumn or YAML for short, is another option you may wish to consider offering a range of ways to set your styles. This is a well known framework with a thriving community supporting it. It’s also free with very good documentation.
If you are new to web design, this is a worthy investment of your time. While more seasoned web designers may choose to avoid frameworks, they are certainly a useful tool to have in you web design armoury, especially if you are designing for a job where every second counts.