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What is the "best" front-end framework to use?

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Front-end frameworks are meant to help you quickly get started building a new website. Popular ones include Bootstrap, Foundation, and even Semantic UI. But a question we constantly get is - "which of these are the best to use"?

"Best" is subjective - it boils down to the preference of the developer. I personally prefer building websites with my own "framework". Having built websites for over 15 years, I have, in my coding-utility-belt, enough standalone and re-usable classes that they, in a way, form my own framework. I know what I need, and can leave out the unneccassary ones - hence reducing bloat, making a website more optimised for loading speed.

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What is the "best" front-end framework to use? | BlueSky Perth

Although, for dashboards and admin interfaces, I do enjoy using the Semantic UI framework - most of their interface classes/modules are very close to what I like to achieve in terms of looks, thus requiring minimal modifications on my part.

Currently at Bluesky, we have a new admin system - and since this website is an extension of the new system, I decided to built it with Semantic UI too. It took me quite a bit of time to adjust classes to be more "frontend friendly", but in the end, the turnaround was a little quicker than usual.

But I do see the advantages of using any of the popular frameworks for developers who -

  • work in a team environment where fellow developers are already accustomed to a certain framework.
  • recognise that their client may have some knowledge of a certain framework - thus making it easy for the client to edit and style content to how they want it to be.
  • may lack the skill or experience to quickly build a new website from scratch.

So which framework should you use?

Before settling on a framework to work with, do you research. Some of the factors you might want to consider are -

  • your skill level. if you believe you have the skill level to easily customise the look and feel of the website, select a framework that is pretty lean, and with less bloat.
  • if a framework already has widgets or classes that closely matches what you need for the website, choose that since there will be minimal need to customise.
  • responsiveness. unless you're very comfortable coding your websites to be responsive, use a framework that will easily help you built your websites to be responsive, with minimal effort.
  • flexibility. if the framework's classes require too much effort to override (or customise), then its something you should stay away from.

Ultimately, its all down to preference, and/or your work environment. If you feel you are experienced enough to skip a framework all together, by all means, do so - you have more control over your own code than "someone else's" code. If you're in a team environment, and everyone else involved in building websites are comfortable with a certain framework, then stick with it.

There is no right or wrong (framework) - what matters is the end product is a website both you and your client are very happy with.

Rizal Farok | BlueSky Perth
Rizal Farok
6 months ago
UI/UX design

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