CSS frameworks and grid systems can be extremely helpful when starting a new project.
- They give you a whole boatload of base styles that are instantly accessible through HTML tags and/or IDs and class names.
- They include well-thought-out typographic elements, default formats for almost every kind of HTML tag, and by simply following the frameworks parameters – or dropping in special framework class names – you can add some great looking styles to your project; that are built to work, with very few hitches, and across all browsers.
- On top of that most CSS frameworks come with prebuilt scripts for commonly used functions like pop-ups, modals, and menu systems.
Here is a brief framework roundup worth taking a look at if you're interested in using a framework:
I like Twitter Bootstrap. It's a great place to learn about best practices for any application or framework, and you can get some amazing designs in absolutely no time, and it's well-documented.
But here's the problem: it's built on [Less], and use it and your site will look pretty much like everyone else's. Of course you can override styles, but I'm just sayin'.
Sleek, intuitive, and powerful front-end framework for faster and easier web development.
Getting it to work with Rails is not impossible, hardly, but if you go this path there are some choices to consider:
Blueprint, in my opinion, is the granddaddy of all frameworks. I used to use Blueprint all of the time, and Compass makes it readily available. It's tried-and-true, and a good choice, but I rarely use it these days. I'm not too crazy about it's look and feel. It does seem to be more of a minimalist framework - which is not a bad thing.
Blueprint is a CSS framework, which aims to cut down on your development time. It gives you a solid foundation to build your project on top of, with an easy-to-use grid, sensible typography, useful plugins, and even a stylesheet for printing.
I've used YUI and personally I'm not too crazy about its grid system which is a pretty major component to any framework – so I generally stay away.
I haven't used Foundation, but I'm interested.
The most advanced responsive front-end framework in the world.
I also haven't used Skeleton, but soon enough.
A Beautiful Boilerplate for Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Development
In so far as responsive frameworks go, the following article gives you a nice comparison:
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