Top 10 Responsive Web Design Frameworks
These days, developers should feel challenged to create only apps and websites that will work on all browsers and to use the right framework to allow them to do so. While frameworks are both a personal and practical choice, we've narrowed the wide range of open source responsive frameworks to the 10 that we like best. Have a look and give one of them a try for your next project.
Montage is a responsive web development framework for building scalable web applications that don't skimp on speed. Architect your web applications using modules that deliver an elegant end user experience.
- Endless libraries and plugins at the Montage Studio
- Exceptionally easy to learn
- Tons of great animation effects
- Supports HTML5 audio
Base is a rapid-development oriented HTML5 framework that is nimble and lightweight.
- Responsive grid system for flowing grid layouts, minus the additional code
- Native style modules help you focus on function before design
- Base site is complete with skill-testing modules to help you learn
Build your app in a manner that mimics the look and feel of Android and iOS with Framework7. Unfortunately, that means it isn't compatible with anything but Apple iOS and Google's Material. Framework7 champions autonomy over everything else.
- Wireframing and prototyping functionality
SproutCore is one of the oldest on the list, but it still manages to build HTML5 apps faster than most other frameworks here. The MVC architecture pattern helps create native web experiences, no matter where your programming skills are at right now.
- Support for AppCache and Cordova
- Ability to change code functions depending on project requirements
5. HTML Kickstart
- More elements than most other top frameworks
- Snappy buttons and navigation bar
- Font Awesome scalable icons
- Responsive grid layout
- Touch slideshow component
4. Sencha Touch
Sencha Touch is one of the most outstanding and noticeably proprietary cross-platform framework packages on the market right now.
- Over fifty inbuilt User Interface components and templates for all platforms.
- Ignite apps with content or features using the source of a back-end data root.
- The default templates make the web or hybrid web/mobile apps seem native to each platform.
- Built-in visual data tools.
As far as CSS boilerplates for HTML5 go, Skeleton lives up to its name with one of the most bare bones experience on the market. For those who want just the tools they need and nothing more, this is a great choice, even for the amateur programmer.
- Responsive layout grid
- Responsive image elements that scale with the layout grid
- A PSD template for the design stage
- HTML5 shiv for outdated web browsers
Foundation is a popular responsive framework because it lets you build responsive websites from mobile-to-desktop or vice versa. The team behind Foundation has invested in making this modern responsive design framework reliable and robust for the purposes of rapid prototyping. Custom responsive web applications built with Foundation perform well across high and low-powered mobile devices, so you can be sure your app works as expected for users on any device.
- Rapid prototyping
- Responsive grid system
- Email templates
- The newly released V6 demonstrates some features that are truly unique to this HTML5 framework.
Bootstrap was popular from day one, but now it's practically a household name among web developers. Twitter developed this modern framework to be like a front-end Swiss Army knife: packed with everything you'll need for developing responsive sites and apps. With its triple threat of usability, flexibility and user-friendliness, it's no wonder so many developers and designers call Bootstrap as their default HTML5 framework.
- 20%+ of the 100,000 websites on the Internet was founded on Bootstrap.
- Bootstrap gives us the modern tools we need to build feature-rich web pages without having to do all the upfront heavy lifting yourself.
Bootstrap V4 is on the market now, delivering fourth generation web development and the most modern optimization.
Because a new batch of frameworks flies onto the market each year it's essential to stay up to date with them and one of our most successful ways of doing so is to engage in communities that are centered around the development community or the products we love. Here are a few of our suggestions for communities that have gotten us all through our toughest builds.
- StackOverflow — All business and no BS, StackOverflow users will get you reliable answers to your questions, but most important are the discussions about HTML5 news and tech updates and upgrades. When you need the ear-to-the-ground info on new products, this is the spot.
- Reddit — Reddit's HTML5 board is always buzzing with new tutorials, the latest new articles, and the most controversial opinions. Get your questions answered here, usually with helpful information, but don't expect the entire community to have the no-nonsense attitude that StackOverflow has.
- HTML5 Bookmarks — HTML5 Bookmarks is a newsflow of everything HTML5. We find the archives infinitely helpful and fairly easy to navigate when you need to find a specific piece of information.
- HTML5 Weekly — A weekly newsletter that gets sent out to 100,000+ subscribers.
- DesignInstruct has a table comparing the most popular responsive web design frameworks. However, they have not updated the list since 2013 so it does not reflect all of the names on our list.