Using a quality responsive CSS framework can give you a nice head start on any web design project. Some, like Bootstrap, are a bit bloated with excess code while others require a fairly steep learning curve.
Ideally, you want to work with a package that gives you just enough features to help you hit the ground running, while not weighing you down with a bunch of options you don’t need.
With that goal in mind, here are 10 CSS frameworks that provide the basics – without all the bulk.
FICTOAN aims to be a great choice for those who aren’t fans of larger, more complex frameworks. It features a vivid color scheme, custom icons and lots of lightly-styled design elements.
avalanche is a framework that you can customize to meet your needs. There are available packages to enable specific features like a fluid grid system, offset classes, containers, vertical spacing and more.
At less than 5k compressed, Beauter certainly takes the challenge of being seriously lightweight. That doesn’t mean there aren’t features, however. You get the basics like a responsive grid, but also some extras like parallax scrolling, modals, tooltips and some nice containers.
Vanilla Framework is simple by design to give you a great starting point for your project. There are lots of containers and design elements included that look great own their own, but are also easily customized to match your desired look.
Based on CSS Flexbox, Bulma is a fully-responsive and modular framework that lets you use just the stuff you need. You get all the advantages of Flexbox, including columns and tiles that automatically resize themselves based on their number and viewport.
Milligram weighs nearly as little as its namesake – just 2k when compressed. It includes all the basics you’d expect and is designed to minimize the number of styles you’ll have to reset.
InvisCss was built as an alternative to more complicated frameworks. The package features simple CSS selector names and a minimal, yet attractive UI.
The result of a personal project, Look was released to the public as a minimalistic CSS framework to serve as a basic starting point for site development. Design elements are simple and can be customized to your liking.
Based on Sass, unlimitedGrid is a flexible, mobile-first grid framework. It’s modular, so you only have to use the features you need. Flexbox support is included and there are multiple grid variations to choose from.
Billed as the “reverse approach” to larger frameworks, Vital is both lightweight and scalable. Built using Sass, you’ll find an efficient grid layout, custom buttons and loaders. Several useful layout styles are also included for things like photo collages, card containers and forms.
Light but Mighty
The whole point of using a framework of any kind is to make your job easier. So going in and having to restyle a slew of CSS, or loading a bunch of scripts you’re not even going to use seems to go against all logic.
Using one of the more basic frameworks above can get you off to a fast start without all of the headaches. And, being that some of them use a modular approach, you are able to pick and choose just the items you need for a particular project. That’s more like it!