Starting a new year could hardly get any better for web designers than this.

We have some of the best and most powerful web designing frameworks just waiting to be explored. These are frameworks that can help you build fully functional web templates within minutes and with extremely minimal knowledge of CSS and JavaScript coding.

There are great expectations for the year 2014. Responsive websites are already the Next Big Thing. Visitors from mobile and tablets have become an important factor for all websites. Every website has to look good and work well in every device.

In this article, we will list some of the best CSS frameworks that will help web designers and developers to explore their potential to build responsive and beautiful web applications in 2014

Twitter Bootstrap 3

Bootstrap

Whether you want to design a personal portfolio, a business website or a shopping cart, Twitter Bootstrap’s flexible and responsive capabilities will come in handy in all cases. It’s more than just a mere set of CSS and JavaScript rules, Twitter Bootstrap has within it an inbuilt responsive powerhouse. With many new features added to the third version of Twitter Bootstrap, it has once again proven that it is here in the web industry for the long run.

The JavaScript components of Twitter Bootstrap help you to design sliders that can run in any kind of device. Components like Modals, Dropdown, ScrollSpy, Tab, Tooltips, Popovers and Carousels are some of the best things you will like about Twitter Bootstrap.

You can start learning Twitter Bootstrap 3 today and make your web experience far more better in the year 2014. Try Twitter Bootstrap 3.

Foundation Framework

Foundation

Foundation Framework by Zurb has emerged in the second half of 2013 as one of the best frameworks for web designing with its version 5.0. With features similar to that of Twitter Bootstrap—and some significant enhancements—it is expected to climb the ladder of popularity in 2014.

Foundation framework boasts a 12 grid system similar to Twitter Bootstrap. It also provides reusable HTML components and JavaScript plug-ins in its package. But unlike Twitter Bootstrap, Foundation has support for Sass stylesheets. You need to compile the Sass stylesheet, convert it into normal CSS files and then use them in your project. Adding Sass support makes it more customizable for designers who want to give that personal touch to the websites.

With features like Off Canvas and Improved form, it would be interesting to see web developers explore this framework to the most in 2014. Refer to Tahir Taous’s article to know what’s new in Foundation 5. Try Foundation 5.

Gumby Framework

Gumby

Gumby Framework is built on a Sass preprocessor that allows you to customize and build designs on top of the Gumby Framework. Designing with Gumby will require you to understand the basics of Sass. It can be customized by changing the variables values using Sass. Modular scale is another great inbuilt feature of Gumby that uses a Golden Ratio tool for typography.

Just like Twitter Bootstrap 3, Gumby framework provides support for Internet Explorer 8 and above and all the open source modern browsers.

Continuing with the industry standards, Gumby also has the 12 grid layout system. It logically divides the browser’s space into 12 grids and supports nested gridding. Some new concepts like Hybrid Grids, Tiles, Fancy Tiles and Semantic Tiles make this framework unique and definitely worth trying. Reusable CSS and JavaScript plugins are also provided by Gumby Framework. Try Gumby Framework.

Yahoo Pure CSS

Pure

Yahoo Pure or Pure CSS is a lightweight CSS framework by Yahoo. It’s both extremely light and also responsive in nature. Unlike other frameworks, Yahoo Pure doesn’t have any JavaScript Plugins.

This framework also utilizes the popular 12-grid-layout system and has its own CSS rules to apply. For people who like the metro design of Windows, Yahoo Pure is the perfect CSS framework to start designing with. It promotes less shadow effects and almost no rounded corners in its designs. Yahoo’s skin builder can be used to customize the look when using Pure CSS.

Yahoo Pure CSS is perfect for developers who would like to stick to their respective framework but like to use the flat design. To achieve this, you have to just include the CSS file that is provided in the CDN by Yahoo. Try Pure CSS.

InK Interface Kit

Ink

Being new to the industry and having learned from its seniors, InK provides solutions that most people could be looking for. It has both reusable HTML and JavaScript Plugins. The most unique feature in this framework is the ability to provide drag and drop support—which is still not present in Twitter Bootstrap 3, for example.

InK provides an amazing set of form validation classes which comes in very handy. Image processing is also another power feature. Using InK you can create multiple versiona of the same image and reduce the load time in various device types. It also has an impressive set of MIT licensed icons to play with.

With such an amazing set of power tools, InK is worth trying as a web designing framework, today. Try InK.

Other frameworks to try:

These are, at least, some of the best web designing frameworks that you can try in 2014. Why use frameworks at all? Well, who wants to start from scratch?

Note that the above list is not ranked in order of preference or excellence, it’s just list. Every framework listed has its own client, advantages and limitations.

I hope you enjoyed reading through the list. Now it’s your turn to let us know know which one of the above frameworks you think will have the greatest impact on web designers and developers in 2014. Leave your comments below, with supporting text.

We hope you have an amazing Christmas 2013, and a Happy New Year in 2014.

Fazle is the Co-founder of devmag.io. He is passionate about technical writing, UI/UX and startups. He recently published a book called Jump Start Bootstrap, explaining the details of Bootstrap framework. You can also find him blogging on devmag.io Engineering and HTMLxprs.

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  • Gumbyjoy

    What a post man..thanks.

  • aniverse

    What about Unsemantic? http://www.unsemantic.com/

  • DanOwen

    No HTML5 Boilerplate? :-{

    • ckdesign

      I thought HTML5 Boilerplate was a template, not a framework. I don’t see it as being very modular and for that reason I have stopped using it. I used to use it, but then I got tired of wading through the CSS picking and choosing what items I didn’t want to be reset and which ones I wanted to restyle.

      A good framework does not force settings on your site, you add classes that you like, forget about the ones that you don’t and when you go to production it is easy to remove modules that you don’t use.

      It has been about a year since I used HTML5 boilerplate, so I am not sure how it has changed, but last I checked they did not have a true CSS framework.

  • David Scott

    Foundation screenshot missing – access denied when trying to view it

    • OphelieLechat

      All fixed now, thanks for the heads-up!

  • Vinoth Kumar

    Give http://semantic-ui.com/ a try. It looks promising :)

    • Aidan Joyce

      Fully agree Vinoth, http://www.semantic-ui.com is more than worthy of a spot here in this great article. Having used Bootstrap Twitter in the past I have now opted for the cooler, fresher approach to style provided by Semantic-UI, along with the fact that its much easier to learn. I am convinced that we will Semantic is and will be big contender to Bootstrap and Foundation.

  • ozdesign

    Another that that should be closely watched I think in 2014 – http://semantic-ui.com/

  • Ciara Burkett

    Bourbon with Neat http://neat.bourbon.io/ is definitely worth a look!

    • OphelieLechat

      They’ve nailed it with the name!

  • http://newsviews.satya-weblog.com/ Satya Prakash

    It looks that sitepoint like SASS and hate LESS!!! Ink is build on LESS but you have never mentioned. You mentioned SASS few times for two frameworks.

    • OphelieLechat

      There’s no bias against LESS; in fact, we have a few things coming up on LESS both in articles on SitePoint and on Learnable.com, our online learning site.

      • http://newsviews.satya-weblog.com/ Satya Prakash

        But when something is mentioned is regards to this then it makes greater impact than article alone. Here it is a kind of top web frameworks and all seems using SASS as I got impression after reading this article then I thought that SASS is used by top frameworks.

    • Adrian SANDU

      Bootstrap 3 is also powered by LESS. And I agree with Satya: if you’re presenting frameworks and touch the topic of preprocessors, then it would be fair to mention this for every item in the article.

  • KalpeshSingh

    Could you please tell me which one has long term scope ?

  • gskema

    Goodbye Bootstrap :)

  • http://w3responsive.com/ Javed Ur Rehman

    Indeed Syed Fazle Rahman these are great frameworks, i appreciate you for sharing this information with those who are still not aware from this. :)

    • https://www.google.com/+SyedFazleRahman Syed Fazle Rahman

      thanks for appreciating. :)

  • http://www.blackbeardesign.com Joel Black

    We’re developing all of our websites on Bootstrap now. We find its an excellent platform!

  • http://mobile.pixelcrayons.com/ Diya Kapoor

    yes, I would also vote for semantic-ui, having cool features with 3D animation effects and more.

    • JamesSouth

      If you actually think that semantic ui is a good idea then I really think you should reevaluate your position as a front end developer. A button is a button; a div is a div. They have been designed, specified, and coded to perform particular functions and it is quite frankly idiotic to use them in the way semantic does. Would you use your toaster to wash your clothes?

  • tomByrer

    Foundation is NOT IE8 compatible. Should have been noted, since that can cut out 5%+ of users (or 100% for some intranet corporate apps).

    Or better; table listing coverage & pros & cons.

    • OphelieLechat

      Good point, Tom.

      • LindaBrennan

        I’m building my first-ever responsive site using a framework for the first time, Foundation 5. So far so good! I found a post on the Foundation Forum that was helpful in getting media queries, basic CSS3, and REM to work well in IE8:

        http://foundation.zurb.com/forum/posts/241-foundation-5-and-ie8

        I still haven’t found a way to get Foundation 5’s jQuery to work, though, for example, Orbit (image slider). Anyone who’s had luck with this, I would love your suggestions.

  • HenriHelvetica

    Some days I feel like Bootstrap == Kanye West. Ppl absolutely love it or hate it. I certainly don’t mind it myself. Though I do like the reco of building my custom fw. Anyhow, going to try a few more this year. Any votes for Foundation?? I was listening to Alex from SP give his 2¢ about it on line.

  • MaMaL

    Agree with you but about the toaster…
    I would, if it could. ;)

  • http://www.dred.vn/ dred

    great list :) happy new year 2014

  • ALP

    Which one is absolutely free ?

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