A responsive web design framework is a package made up of a structure of files and folders of standardized code (HTML, CSS, JS documents etc.) which can be used to support the development of responsive websites.
In first years of a responsive web design we were creating websites based on the latest HTML and CSS technologies. At one point of time we were thinking to create our own framework that would combine the latest technologies related to responsive web design, but we decided to wait.
Luckily for us, now on the market. there are many responsive web design frameworks which can help you to create best optimized responsive websites for your client, but the main question is which one to choose?
Which responsive framework is the best?
Although we tried the most of them, I believe I should put in my opinion on which framework I felt is more user friendly.
Bootstrap was developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter as a framework to encourage consistency across internal tools. Its also famous by name Twitter Bootstrap. Soon after releasing to the world, it became the most popular front-end frameworks and open source projects in the world.
Bootstrap is loaded with unmatched features, grid system, navigation elements and much more and it is compatible with the latest versions of all major browsers. It gracefully degrades when used on older browsers such as Internet Explorer 8. Since version 2.0 it also supports responsive design. This means the layout of web pages adjusts dynamically, taking into account the characteristics of the device used (PC, tablet, mobile phone).
You can build any kind of responsive website out of it with much ease and fun. We created our own custom responsive web design framework based on the latest version of Twitter Bootstrap.
Twitter Bootstrap 3
The latest version of Twitter Bootstrap is a major change from all its past versions. It is a mobile-first framework and can claim to be one of the best CSS frameworks for building responsive website designs.
Since Twitter Bootstrap 3 is a mobile-first framework, by default whatever you design or create will be mobile compatible or responsive.
Foundation from Zerb is a new mobile first web development framework and has a ton of components and structures to help you build a responsive site without having to worry about all of your baseline, foundational code.
Zurb has recently released Foundation 5 and with new release they have reduced the learning curve of framework.
Foundation is open source and available on Github. Developers are encouraged to participate in the project and make their own contributions to the platform. It is available under MIT License.
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 and it can be customized by changing the variables values using Sass.
Some new concepts supported in new Gumby Framework like Hybrid Grids, Tiles, Fancy Tiles and Semantic Tiles.
HTML KickStart includes everything you need to rapidly create website layouts – things like slideshows, menus, flexible grids, image placeholders, buttons, forms, breadcrumb navigation, menus with sub-menus and much more.
HTML KickStart is focused on providing a clean, standards-compliant and cross-browser mark-up (for HTML,CSS and JS).
UIkit, developed in LESS, is an open source, lightweight and modular front-end framework that helps you develop responsive, fast and robust web interfaces. It’s a complete package of small HTML, CSS, and JS components that are extendable, simple to use and easy to customize. It helps developers to write easy to maintain, well-structured and extendable code.
UIkit offers more than 30 modular components that can be combined with each other. Its grid system is based on a mobile-first approach and can adapt up to 10 grid columns. Furthermore, it features a WYSIWYG customizer that lets you adjust backgrounds, colors, sizes, buttons, badges and much more without any coding. The customizer also offers three themes to choose from: Default or Basic, Gradient and Almost Flat.
These frameworks are all great starting points. In terms of which template is the best out of the box solution, our answer would be Twitter Bootstrap, but honestly any of these frameworks can help you get started with building a responsive website.