Lightweight Frameworks to Kick Start HTML / CSS Projects

CSS frameworks represent the building blocks of many diverse web projects. A well constructed CSS framework or boilerplate can simplify and streamline the development of a web site. This type of framework quickens the pace of development by offering a structure of files and folders of standardized code (HTML, CSS, JS documents, and more). These frameworks provide a basis to start building a web site.

There are hundreds of devices that are used to access the web. These devices have different capabilities and constraints, such as screen dimensions, input style, resolution, and form. As more and more users access the web through different devices, in particular tablets and smartphones, developers need tools to build websites. The important of catering for different devices should not be underestimated. In a few countries, mobile web traffic has already overtaken traffic from traditional computers.

Some of the lightweight frameworks featured in this article are well publicised, but there are many good tiny frameworks that you may not have heard of that are perfectly suited for small projects.

The purpose of this article is to list the finest open source lightweight frameworks to kick start CSS and HTML projects. They help to save precious time by saving designers from writing base CSS styles, and solving problematic layout issues. They also have the virtue of lightweight CSS files which reduce queries and load, and benefit visitors on narrowband connections. We have also included a couple of the finest open source boilerplates. All it takes is a few minutes to get to grips with these frameworks, and you will be able to design some awesome websites which conform with best practice.

Now, let’s explore the 10 lightweight tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Lightweight CSS Frameworks & Boilerplates
Quantum FrameworkExceptionally versatile and advanced framework
PureSmall, responsive CSS modules
BaselineBuilt around the idea of a "real" baseline grid
HTML KickStartRapidly create website layouts
BaseSuper simple responsive framework
KNACSSSimple and lightweight CSS framework
Cascade FrameworkTiny footprint but similar features to Twitter Bootstrap and Foundation
ToastSimple CSS Framework
MotherplateBare bones SCSS HTML5 responsive boilerplate
HTML5 BoilerplateHTML5/CSS/JS front-end template

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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