A CSS framework usually contains predefined stacks of code, allowing you to accelerate the development process by a significant amount of time. They’re usually used for developing websites, web apps, as well as working with platforms like WordPress.
While there are a lot of grid systems out there for you to choose from, it makes a lot of sense to use a smaller, more lightweight framework for projects that don’t really require as much resources or require a specific style of grids or templates. A standalone CSS framework will do. The smaller ones usually take lesser time to learn and master, provide only the most important features, and are quite small when it comes to their size.
To help you save time, here are 10 handy CSS frameworks/grid systems that feature only the latest editions and features of whatever you’re working with. Check them out to see what works for you best.
KNACSS is a minimalistic, responsive, and highly extensible stylesheet that you can use to kickstart your HTML and CSS projects. It’s a collection of ready-to-use styles and snippets so you can kickstart your project right away. You can use it as a “reset”, and then make it grow to suit your needs. Make sure to read the documentation before jumping in.
This set of small, responsive CSS modules can be used for any of your web projects. It’s one of the most popular frameworks around, and is a great alternative for Bootstrap. It has an amazing style and design, and it’s lightweight, too (only 4KB gzip).
Simple Grid is an easy-to-use, fully responsive, and mobile-ready grid system that’s based on the barebones style grid. It’s designed with larger screens in mind. It’s not a CSS framework, per se, but a lightweight grid that doesn’t have styles for tables, buttons, etc. Still, it’s going to help you save precious time.
This minimal CSS framework for web developers and designers is one of the most flexible frameworks you’ll find online. Weighing only 15KB (uncompressed), it’s one of the best on the list, and you’ll surely be impressed by the smoothness of the style it uses. It’s like your most reliable helper who’s going to do the routine job for you with a smile on his face! With it, you can concentrate on more important things.
Toast is a simple yet powerful CSS framework with a simple reset, a grid, and type styles. It even supports Internet Explorer 8 and up, thanks to properties like box-sizing, to make development easier and more convenient. Maintained and developed by Daniel Eden (a designer at Dropbox), expect quality from this framework.
This feature-rich framework offers more than 10 different modules to help you build great-looking websites, on the fly. It’s just like the Twitter Bootstrap framework; only that it tends to do the opposite in terms of delivering fancy user elements that can be dropped into any project and taking control of your project’s overall look and feel.
PocketGrid is quite possibly the smallest grid system out there, coming in at only 0.5KB. Instead of creating grids with columns and rows, it introduces a more flexible concept with blocks and block groups. It’s small yet versatile.
This CSS framework provides grid layout, as well as tons of styles for you to choose from. It’s the perfect solution for web designers and developers who need an easy-to-use framework for building forms, tables, implementing buttons, as well as for managing images with a few unique features. Better still, it supports LESS.
Mistype is a collection of styles that you can use to design a new website. It’s a simple CSS prototyping framework that’s built around being responsive and mobile-ready. It also comes with great examples of media queries, grid containers, and utilities like display and float.
IceCream is surely going to bag the prize for having the cutest logo of all the frameworks in this list. And if you need a grid system without the unnecessary fluff, then this is the one for you. With the IceCream syntax, things can be done faster and easier. It’s a great little grid system for those who are looking for a fast, reliable, and nice-looking framework.