Which Framework is Right for You

Which Framework is Right for YouAll this talk about frameworks the past two Wednesdays, and yet we did not talk about what qualities you should look for when you chose to use one. Many businesses have their favourites and ask that you as a potential employee are comfortable around them and can work with them. In this article we are going to outline the five questions you should ask yourself when determining which framework to use on a project.

Does the framework have enough popularity? Popularity will open a lot of opportunities for you personally. It will offer you support from a community that has a variety of skills and experience. It will also offer you up to date files, with glitches fixed quickly. There is also a higher chance that companies are looking for people familiar with this framework.

Is the framework under active development? Are people updating weekly? monthly? semi – annually? or is there no one there even making a change. If the framework is not under active development it will quickly turn into a mess of glitches. You want to avoid that like the plague. It will make it a lot harder for you to work.

Does the framework offer good documentation? Good documentation is always important. It will help you understand the framework better and it also shows that the framework is not just another hot mess. The documentation is kind of like people. The better one can express themselves the easier it is for them to get their shit together. Same with documentation. The better the documentation, the more it has its shit together and actually has a game plan and direction of where it is heading.

Has the framework reached maturity? By maturity I mean has it be successfully used in real life projects. If it has not yet been used and tested then you can feel free to play around with it. however to use it on professional projects with no proof that it works would be unwise.

What is the framework’s level of specificity? A more generic frameworks is much easier to work with compared to a framework with high-level specificity. To avoid overwriting presets it is always best to choose a framework that has minimal styles applied because it is much easier to customize. If you stick to overriding settings you will increase your page load time and the size of the CSS will be unnecessarily high.

If you are still unsure you can easily classify the frameworks you are considering into these categories, and then rate them based on how well you feel they fit your needs and your project. Give them a rating from 1 – 10, and add up the scores.

  • Simplicity to learn
  • Volume of external resources
  • Versatility
  • Browser support
  • Accessibility

The last resort is attempting a mix-match approach. If one framework doesn’t satisfy your needs, you can take bits and pieces from each project.

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What are your thoughts? Do you use frameworks? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the discussion below.

  1. September 10, 2015 by Bhairavee

    Hi, I was been in a horrible dilemma bout CSS frameworks in general. I have been trying to learn the new techniques in webn development but always fail to do so even though I am an Computer Science Student!

    Thanks for the awesomely informative port, Domenica!

    • October 05, 2015 by Domenica

      I think each computer science student has a speciality, or niche that they really understand and find interest in. In my case front-end development is my favourite, however I am really getting into the back end with databases. The nice part is when you have an outline to help pick a framework you are more sure to make the right choice for you! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it Bhairavee!

  2. September 12, 2015 by Nancy

    Looking at the features of the framework is definitely important because there might be some framework that is “overqualified” for your needs or doesn’t meet it at all. Having a framework that is actively being developed is good because you’ll always be up to par with the current standards (or as close to it!). I chose Skeleton because it was minimal compared to BootStrap or that’s just me.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • October 05, 2015 by Domenica

      Thank for the great points in your comment Nancy! Minimal is always the way to go in my opinion. You should always set out the objectives, so you really understand what you need vs what you want and then choose a framework that fits that.

  3. September 13, 2015 by Georgie

    Accessibility is totally an important one that people forget. People forget how important it is to do research into frameworks because it is really silly to use a framework just because everyone else is (common mistake). All frameworks are different and fit different needs 🙂

    I like the idea of taking bits and pieces. Bootstrap is so heavy, in my opinion. There is a lot there that is good to use, and a lot that you may not use at all.

    • October 05, 2015 by Domenica

      I learned a lot of the tips I recommended through trial and error process. I never thought of taking bits and pieces until a lab instructor of mine suggested it. Best advice so far in university. The beauty of web development is flexibility, so why not bend things to work for you as much as possible. Accessibility is crucial.

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