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Poll Results: CSS Frameworks

Published by Chris Coyier

How about that for a cool animated GIF chart graphic eh? I'll have to post how I got that to work sometime.

Well the results are in and it's a landslide. Over 50% of you said "I don't use CSS frameworks". This time I happen to be with the majority. I don't hate them or anything. If you use a framework and it speeds up your development time and you get good results, more power to you.

In second, 18% of you build and use your own framework. I almost voted this way myself, since sometimes I do start with some VERY basic starter styles. But ultimately I didn't think that counted as a "framework" really.

It went back and forth for 3nd place between Blueprint and the 960 Grid System, but ultimately 960 won, 11% to 10%.

None of the other major frameworks got more then 3%.

I'll leave the poll up for a little longer and then retire it to the poll archive. Then we'll get something new up. Feel free to comment any ideas of polls you'd like to see.


  1. Permalink to comment#

    Cool .gif chart! How do you get it to stop looping though?

  2. I’m laughing histerically at the fact that you used an animated GIF for that chart. Wouldn’t a nice accessible version using tabular data have been better and more of a challenge to make look pretty with CSS?

    • Permalink to comment#

      If I could give you +mod points, I’d max it out. Personally I love seeing people (especially known names in the CSS-“industry”) use tables for data – as they’re supposed to be used.

      You can get far with a nice ‘n styled table. And let’s not forget the whole accessibility-issue: There’s no data for people who can’t see the gif, or have images turned off/resized (mobile browsers).

  3. Permalink to comment#

    Unfortunately Emastic wasn’t on this list. I love to see how many of you use it.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Since it wasn’t featured on the poll, I guess no one wrote about it on the polls comment? But thank you, I’ve now got another framework to check out!

  4. xbakesx
    Permalink to comment#

    That chart looks pretty, but it can’t loop if you actually care about the data being portrayed…

  5. Permalink to comment#

    :) I agree……I think the animation looks cool (reminds me of but the loop made me skip over the graphic because I couldn’t read it.

  6. Permalink to comment#

    Looks like an exported “Keynote” file to me. Looks good. I’m just learning CSS, don’t know much about that 960 Grid System, but I keep hearing about it :/

  7. This topic seems to come up up a lot, but in my opinion the only framework that should be used is a Reset file (Eric Meyers) to give developers a base to work off of.

  8. I’m with Nick on this one. I love just setting up that reset.css file and then actually enjoying hand-coding the good stuff.

  9. Wow, the results make me a little sad. I cannot believe the “don’t use” response. To me that means that there is a lot of misunderstanding about what a ‘framework’ really is and what it does. But that’s just my opinion, I think it’s because there are so many people that don’t understand how css resets work and why/why not to use them.

  10. Permalink to comment#

    I am trying out blueprint right now, but normally I make my own :P

  11. Permalink to comment#

    Interesting how many frameworks there are and yet no one uses them. I feel kind of sad for the framework builders.

  12. Permalink to comment#

    It take less time to build one of your own than use one made by somebody else. Every web design project is different, and has different kind of issues. You can`t loose precious time by using and learning css frameworks.

    • Hmm, I promise I am not trying to be a jerk with this comment. BUT I think that if you need to take a lot of time to ‘learn’ a framework, you don’t know css well enough. Your framework is just basic building blocks, and saves lots of time and repetitive code.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Maybe I expressed my self wrong! Ill make a list for you why ill never use css frameworks.

      A large amount of css code will not be executed.
      Using Javascript to write parts of css, it is possible sometimes to conflict with your css file.
      Every web design project is unique, which calls for a unique structure, with classes and ids. Classes and ids which defines them to make the job more easier.
      Because frameworks are often bloated, removing the unnecessary code lines takes time. Not removing them, lead to other problems for those who allways optimizes their websites for faster speeds.
      Semantic problems.
      If the framework is structured in multiple files, the http requests will multiply.

      The list can continue but Ill stop here. Depends on which point of view you are looking at. And @Jason, its not about not knowing CSS, it`s about how, when, and what framework should we use. In my opinion, sometimes the frameworks can damage.

  13. Everyone should use a framework, even a basic one built by yourself. It’s one of the easiest ways to distinguish yourself as a front-end coder, much easier than building a Javascript or php framework.

    • Well put, totally agreed. I think ‘framework’ scares people and they don’t understand.

    • I don’t know about a full blown framework, but EVERYONE should definitely use some sort of reset.css file. They really remove a ton of inconsistencies in the browsers.

  14. Permalink to comment#

    hah~the GIF is nice to understand,thanks chris

  15. It all comes down to a bit of common sense depending on how light weight the framework is you’re going to use and is it really similar to what you’re going to build? Or would it be faster to just use your own?

    I don’t know many people that use all the h1 – h6 elements, then there’s lots of other variables that need to be adjusted or removed because they become redundant.

    There’s also the potential that you need to edit their framework or your work style so that it slots in nicely to your hierarchy.

  16. Permalink to comment#

    Since reading this post I checked out a couple frameworks. 960 does look pretty handy. Im going to try it out on my next project. Thanks for the heads up.

  17. Pieter
    Permalink to comment#

    I’m using 960 to test-develop, but I always try to remove it when everything has come to its final state and hand over the files without any framework used to my clients.

  18. I would love to see a screencast about the css framework issue, since I believe Im possibly missing something.

    Personally I love writing the xhtml and css and since it doesn’t take up much time to do so, I haven’t really looked into the issue.

    hm next poll? What about: how do you make mockups?




    pencils and paper


  19. Kevin
    Permalink to comment#

    3nd Place you say? 3nd? not 3rd, but 3nd.

    I find that css frameworks are really only useful for layout, but styling becomes a pain when dealing with all the bizzarely named divs etc. I like the css reset files personally, because consistency of look is beneficial.

    Slick article, Thanks,


    • Kevin
      Permalink to comment#

      I guess if I’m going to harp on 3nd i should spell bizarrely correctly. My Bad.

  20. ashvin
    Permalink to comment#

    css frameworks are useless… concentrate on cool php and javascript frameworks instead :)

  21. seth
    Permalink to comment#

    The chart has to die. Looks pretty–I’ll give you that. But it’s hogging my mac-book’s resources bud!

  22. Permalink to comment#

    Take a look:

    Cool dinamic chart in javascript!

  23. Permalink to comment#

    what php framework you work with?

  24. Chelz
    Permalink to comment#

    Ditch the .gif loop. Here I was examining the results and poof! They were gone — over and over again!!

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