It wouldn't be wrong to say that a responsive web design is a necessity today. Statistics show that 57% of internet users refuse to recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile, and 85% of adults think that a company's mobile website should be at par or better than its desktop website. With so many people using mobile to browse on the internet, these numbers are not surprising.
Thus, companies must emphasize creating responsive websites that are equally prompt and appearing on all the devices. This brings us to the next part of the challenge, which is building responsive websites. Indeed, it is a tremendous task, but we have a solution that will help you solve your purpose effectively.
In this blog, we will discuss frameworks for responsive web design and how they help in the web designing process. So, read it till the end to find all your answers.
What is a framework for responsive web design?
Simply put, a framework in the world of web designing is a complete package consisting of a structure of files and folders of standardized codes in various languages, like HTML, JS, CSS, etc., which can be utilized to facilitate the development or designing of websites.
It can be used as the skeleton or the base of a website, to which additional elements and specifications can be added. In other words, it is the model structure of any website.
Even though websites are diverse, their basic structure is quite similar. So, frameworks provide the same in a package form so that developers can leverage the code and avoid redoing the entire design from scratch. As a result, developers can save a lot of time and effort that goes into creating the basics of a website.
How Many types of Frameworks are there?
There are two types of responsive web design frameworks available: back-end and front-end.
The difference between back-end and front-end frameworks is based on whether the framework is made for the presentation layer or application layer.
Back-end frameworks can be defined as a set of files with libraries that can be used to access databases, session management, and template structure.
Front-end frameworks are also called CSS frameworks and are made up of a structure of files. We will discuss front-end frameworks in detail.
Usual components of front-end frameworks:
- CSS source code: it is used to create a grid that allows the developer to position the different elements of the web design in a stylistic and simplistic manner.
- Solution for various browser incompatibility issues to ensure proper display of the site on different browsers.
- Creating standard CSS classes that are to be used to style and enhance advanced components of the user interface.
- Typography style definitions that are used for HTML elements.
Selection of frameworks
Even within the responsive web design CSS frameworks, we can distinguish between two framework types. This distinction is based on their complexity. They are simple frameworks and complete frameworks.
However, it must be noted that this difference is subject, and none is less than the other in any way. They just offer different solutions based on the level of flexibility or complexity required for a particular project.
Simple frameworks are also called "Grid systems", although they are frameworks in every way and offer style sheets along with column systems. This makes it easy to place and distribute different elements according to the established designs.
How to choose the right framework for responsive web design?
Choosing the right framework for responsive web design for your website is far from simple. Why? Consider the following factors:
Individual needs of sites: every website is unique and needs specific characteristics. Using a complete framework may deliver overall coverage but misses out on various resources.
The similarity of frameworks: there isn't a lot of variation and versatility in the frameworks available now. Most of them are complete frameworks and are daily easy to use.
So, how can you decide on the right framework for your website?
Here are some tips that will help you in the process:
The time required for installation
While some are easy to install, this saves your time and lets you start using them real quick. On the other hand, some require more time to configure. So, make sure you consider this factor.
Comprehensive or not
Some are a bit complicated and harder to understand than others. If you have prior experience with frameworks, you may choose the complex one, but beginners should go with simple ones.
Characteristics and options
The complex frameworks usually come with more options than the straightforward ones. They also offer more configuration options, interface options, and widgets that you can leverage.
Integration capabilities are something you should look for in all technical resources and tools. When you choose your framework, make sure it can integrate with other systems.
Long term support
Some of these projects often lack continuity in time and updates; support services may also get interrupted. Always choose a project that guarantees continuous support.
What happens if your designer abandons the project midway? You need to hire someone who has enough experience to tackle the project and save you. By choosing a popular framework, you ensure you can always hire other developers for the same project without risking anything.
What are the advantages of frameworks?
The following are the benefits of using a framework for designing responsive websites:
- The codes used are clean and tidy.
- Facilitates and fastens the mock-up process.
- Frameworks take care of browser compatibility.
- It makes it easy to participate in collaborative works.
- Provides ready-made solutions to common CSS problems.
- Simplifies mitigating various projects by providing a single procedure.
Here are a few frameworks you can use to design your responsive website:
Bootstrap is a sleek, powerful, and intuitive front-end framework that helps designers and developers work faster and more efficiently. It is also the most popular among CSS frameworks.
Responsive Grid System, by Graham Miller
It is a super easy responsive design built under the inspiration of Ethan Marcotte's responsive web design.
Gridiculo.ou is another framework with responsive grids that is feature-rich and also easy to use.
It is a very simple framework built to function on desktops, netbooks, and other mobile devices like cell phones and tablets.
We are not saying that all the businesses and enterprises out there are using frameworks to design responsive websites or that they should. Some prefer hiring designers and building the website from scratch. It ultimately boils down to your needs and the resources you have.
However, we are confident that frameworks are beneficial for those trying to speed up their mock-up process and are reluctant to start from scratch. If you have minimal resources at hand and undergoing a time-crunch, you should consider this option.