Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Tagged: frameworks

12 Small CSS Frameworks To Use In Your Web Designs image/svg+xml

You probably don’t need most of the features that come with large UI frameworks such as Bootstrap, especially when you’re working on small, straightforward projects that you just want to get up and running as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are smaller, simpler CSS frameworks out there that you can use instead.

A good list of “lightweight” CSS frameworks. Contains some familiar faces, as well as others that are new to me. Furtive looks pretty neat.

Milligram, Minimalist CSS Framework image/svg+xml

Milligram provides a minimal setup of styles for a fast and clean starting point. Just it! Only 2kb gzipped! It’s not about a UI framework. Specially designed for better performance and higher productivity with fewer properties to reset resulting in cleaner code.

I really like the look of this one, it could be a nice replacement for when I reach for Bootstrap, but know that I only want/need a small amount of it.

The Website Obesity Crisis

Apparently, there is a website obesity crisis (video here) and the average mostly-text site is now 2-3MB in size. To be honest, I can’t say that I’m shocked. Disregarding the advertising and surveillance bloat, which is the main culprit for the ever increasing page sizes, I think the proliferation of modern CSS and JavaScript frameworks have to take some of the blame.

I work with a lot of CSS and JavaScript frameworks and they are all pretty hefty. I would imagine that Twitter’s Bootstrap is probably one of main culprits of the current obesity crisis, and I’m as guilty as the next web designer for using it. The problem is, when you’re faced with a large workload and short deadlines it’s just too damn convenient.

I started using Bootstrap when I started at my current position. The project which I used it on was a replacement to a decaying Intranet. At the time, I figured page weight was irrelevant as the Intranet was served over our local network. To be fair, this is still the case and it’s nice that I don’t have to worry about how big the page sizes are, but the project is an edge case.

The problem is, once you start using a framework like Bootstrap and investing time into it, it is difficult to resist using it for other projects. More so when you apply the external pressures of deadlines and clients. To be honest, I’m pretty sure the client’s don’t care, they’re ignorant about such matters, but I care. So, I’m going to revisit some of the projects where I have used Bootstrap and attempt to remove it.

One site that I won’t have to revisit is this one, because I wrote all the CSS and JavaScript myself. I tested a random page on this site using Chrome’s inspector and it came in at 216KB, which I’m pretty happy with.

Screenshot showing page weight of 216 KB.

A Week Of WordPress

It’s been just over a week since I moved this site to WordPress. To be honest, I wish I had done it sooner. I’ve really enjoyed hacking on my theme and getting more familiar with the internals of WordPress.

I normally work with object-orientated PHP following the Model-View-Controller pattern, but the event driven nature of WordPress has made for a refreshing change. For all its naysayers, I actually enjoy coding in PHP, it’s easy to knock something together fairly quickly and it gets the job done, most of the time. For me, the added complexity of tools like Composer and Artisan kind of distract from the enjoyment of bashing on the keys to get something done.

With WordPress, I feel encouraged to hack, to mess about with stuff, break stuff, and make stuff. It’s a lot of fun, which is something I seem to miss when I’m working with CodeIgniter and Laravel.

For a long time (10+ years), I dismissed WordPress as just a blogging platform, I was wrong. WordPress is great for blogging, but it is also capable of much much more. I’ve only scratched the surface of WordPress development, but it has quickly become obvious that WordPress is actually a really good PHP framework, and it’s a lot of fun to play with, but I’ve said that already. I think those 10,000 hours are going to fly by.