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Top 10 Best Responsive Website Design Frameworks to Develop Websites

In the last ten years, I have witnessed several changes in web design and development. It is not wrong of me to say that the programming world has changed dramatically. In this dynamic world, responsive website design has proven to be the most effective approach to accommodating it.

In fact, Steve Jobs once said: “Design isn’t just what it looks like and feels like — design is how it works.” 

Mobile optimized website design has become a critical parameter of conversion for companies worldwide. And, you need not trust me for words, the infographic below proves my point.

Source: Statista- Smartphone Penetration Rate Worldwide

Despite the popularity of mobile-optimized designs, tons of websites lack a mobile-friendly outlook. However, there are several frameworks out there that make website development quite challenging. 

Choosing an unresponsive framework means unnecessary hard work & time for developing an advanced and intuitive user experience. To help you out, I’ve compiled this list of top responsive website design frameworks to build websites. 

Choosing them will let you quickly start your first responsive website in no time!

Here they are:

1. Bootstrap

Bootstrap- Responsive Website Design Frameworks

Bootstrap is among the most popular responsive website design frameworks out there, and it makes it easy for developers to write cross-browser code and has lots of documentation on best practices. Bootstrap’s popularity (and design) has spawned several other frameworks that are more focused. 

However, on the downside, I’ve seen them used mainly by designers looking for a quick way to create mockups. If you’re an HTML/CSS wizard who doesn’t need help with JavaScript development, Bootstrap is probably your best bet.

You can also use Bootstrap’s customizability as an advantage. It just gets what you want from it, then strips away what you don’t need.

Pros of using Bootstrap: 

  • Lightweight
  • Customizable
  • Responsive Structure
  • Supports multiple browsers
  • Limited bugs for cross browsing

Cons of using Bootstrap: 

  • Verbose styles
  • Non- compliant HTML code

2. Materialize

Materialize- Responsive Website Design Frameworks

Materialize is a CSS framework built on top of Material Design Lite. It offers a responsive grid system and elegant, functional components. Many designers prefer to Materialize for its accessibility and modular approach. You can add or remove elements you don’t want/need to customize your website to suit your needs.

Each element is independent and well-coded, making it easy for developers and designers alike to work with. You can style individual components without affecting other features on your site (not all frameworks allow for such fine-tuning). 

If you like what you see in Google’s Material Design but need it customized for your brand, definitely take a look at Materialize.

Pros of using Materialize: 

  • Consistent UI
  • Rapid Development
  • Highly Customizable
  • Neat Code
  • Good Documentation

Cons of using Materialize: 

  • Heavy framework
  • Lack of support for old browsers

3. PureCSS

PureCSS- Responsive Website Design Frameworks

PureCSS is a lightweight framework that includes styles for responsive layouts, as well as commonly used elements. Pure was designed for simplicity and efficiency, so it doesn’t have a lot of other techniques that would bog down pages—the focus is on straightforward typography and white space, with a small number of classes optimized for mobile users.

If you’re looking for a simple responsive layout framework, Pure is a proven good option. The Pure CSS site lists some great examples from around its community and its website.

Pros of using PureCSS: 

  • Lightweight
  • Cross-browser compatibility
  • Highly compatible
  • Easy to Use
  • Flat & minimum module requirements

Cons of using PureCSS: 

  • Minimal framework
  • Limited support

4. Semantic UI

Semantic UI- Responsive Website Design Frameworks

Semantic UI is a free CSS framework built on top of Less. It’s an excellent framework to start if you’re just getting started with responsive design. However, as it was designed for developers, it may be more complicated than what non-developers are looking for. 

On the gleaming side, it gives you an idea of how responsive frameworks should look and feel when implemented correctly. It is a fundamental approach that doesn’t offer many bells and whistles. But it does have a design system in place that can keep your site from being broken by different devices and screen sizes.

The learning curve for non-developers may be steep, but its popularity means that there are plenty of online resources to help learn how to use Semantic UI effectively.

Pros of using Semantic UI: 

  • User-friendly
  • Supports rapid designing
  • Multiple themes available
  • Intuitive UI
  • Rapid development

Cons of using Semantic UI:

  • Supports fewer browsers
  • Non-linear learning curve

5. Foundation

Foundation- Responsive Website Design Frameworks

Foundation is among the most popular responsive website design frameworks for creating sites that work across all screen sizes. It’s geared more toward designers than developers, so it’s easy to use but hard to master. It has a robust grid system and packs in bells and whistles like CSS3, Sass mixins, animation tools, and an icon library.

However, it has no jQuery fallback or JavaScript helpers, so you need to know how to code everything yourself. Foundation is based on small modules called Foundation snippets, and it makes it easy for developers and designers to create their custom layouts with common elements.

Pros of using Foundation: 

  • Highly customizable
  • Flexible grids
  • Reduced CSS bloat in HTML
  • Supports Multiple Languages
  • HTML5 form validation library

Cons of using Foundation:

  • Lack of support
  • Steep learning curve

6. Skeleton


Skeleton is a responsive front-end framework built with Sass and Bourbon. It acts as a base style guide for developers, providing a solid foundation to develop their projects.

It comes packed with settings that are ready to use out of the box, so web designers can get right into designing without having to worry about setting up cross-browser compatibility or minifying code.

It’s also modular, which means designers can pick and choose only what they need when starting a new project, leaving out new styles when working on other projects in the future.

All in all, Skeleton provides excellent value because it allows web designers and developers alike to jump straight into creating websites rather than spending hours getting cross-browser compatibility down pat or configuring an entire stylesheet from scratch.


  • Lightweight
  • Clean syntax
  • Quick to start
  • Straightforward in use
  • Cross-browser compatible


  • Poor documentation
  • Limited support

7. Bulma CSS

Bulma CSS

Bulma CSS is a modern CSS framework based on Flexbox and built with Sass. It includes features such as box-sizing, a responsive grid system, vertical alignment, and more. It also provides high customization ability that allows developers to use what they need and extend it when needed.

The framework supports good design such as consistency & timelessness while not making sacrifices in speed or accessibility along the way. It works well across all screen sizes and feels natural no matter how much content you add.

Pros of using Bulma CSS:

  • Solid Foundation
  • Modular
  • Good documentation
  • Lightweight
  • Simple syntax

Cons of using Bulma CSS:

  • Slow CSS performance
  • Limited support

8. Montage JS

Montage JS

Montage is a popular JavaScript framework for building responsive websites. It has a range of different layouts and elements built-in, all of which are responsive. It is one of my favorite frameworks for building responsive websites with Javascript. 

I’ve used it on several projects, and I highly recommend it. If you’re interested in leveraging it for your next project, you must download their free starter kit. You can also get tons of other resources on their official GitHub page. 

Pros of using Montage JS:

  • Multiple layouts
  • Highly customizable
  • User-friendly
  • High built-in functionality
  • Visually appealing web pages

Cons of using Montage JS:

  • Limited support
  • Steep learning curve

9. Cascade


Cascade is a powerful, responsive WordPress theme that features a lot of attention-grabbing features. Aside from being a responsive theme, it has a drag and drops page builder, an easy-to-use customizer, built-in SEO tools, and much more. All these can help you design your website in no time at all.

In addition, Cascade allows you to add pages quickly via its visual layout editor, so you won’t have trouble adding new content to your site when needed. If you’re looking for a premium responsive WordPress theme with lots of great tools to help boost your online presence, Cascade is one great option.

Pros of using Cascade: 

  • Drag & drop page builder
  • Highly customizable
  • Built-in SEO tools
  • High built-in functionalities
  • Visual layout editor

Cons of using Cascade:

  • Poor documentation
  • Lack of support

10. Leaf


The Leaf is a responsive HTML5 template designed to help you start blogging. It comes packed with multiple features, including a modern design, social sharing buttons, Disqus integration, and a custom navigation menu. 

It is perfect for bloggers who want to create an interactive experience for their readers. To customize it even further, head over to ThemeForest, where you can purchase advanced plugins that are sure to meet your needs.

Pros of using Leaf:

  • Modern design
  • Social sharing
  • Highly customizable
  • Creates interactive experience
  • High in-built functionalities

Cons of using Leaf:

  • Limited support
  • Steep learning curve

Final Words

When choosing responsive website design frameworks, it’s essential to think about all of your business goals. Try to analyze whether that be providing an excellent mobile experience or optimizing your website for search engines.

I hope the article proves helpful in finding you a compatible responsive framework for your project.


Q1: What defines a Responsive Framework?

A1: A responsive web design framework is a tool kit for creating responsive websites. It includes all of the tools, components, and building blocks required for developing professional-grade responsive websites. 

A responsive framework lets you easily create great-looking websites that can adapt their layout for viewing on different devices without manual coding or additional resources.

Responsive web design frameworks also allow you to create websites that will work on many popular platforms such as Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, and Android.

Q2: What are some of the notable benefits of using a responsive framework?

A2: Flexibility is one of the main advantages of responsive website design frameworks. For starters, you don’t have to rebuild every website with custom coding for different screen sizes; you choose a framework and build your site using its existing code. 

It allows development teams to save time and resources in creating multiple versions of their sites and reduces maintenance costs in later stages of development.

Additionally, since most frameworks are open source—meaning anyone can use them—there is ample opportunity for community contributions in terms of new features or bug fixes that inevitably happen over time.

As long as new people contribute or others fix bugs on GitHub or similar platforms, developers will never get bogged down by compatibility issues.

Q3: What is the role of UX in deciding conversion?

A3: Friendly UX plays a crucial role in deciding conversion. As much as 32% of conversion takes place based on a user-friendly experience, says Statista.

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