Responsive Frameworks are springing up everywhere lately, but crowding the market occasionally leads to confusion. Whether you call them responsive grid systems or a css responsive layout - they are a web designer's best friend and we love them as much as anyone. The only issue we have with responsive frameworks is that there are just so many out there and Bootstrap vs Gumby vs Foundation 4 vs every thing else, can be a tough decision to make. With that in mind, we'll try to save you some time (and give you a few more tools)... because these are the only tools you need to provide good responsive design to your clients.
What makes a responsive framework?
Responsive Grid System
From top to bottom, there is simply no framework better then Foundation 4. Although this release is fairly recent, I would have said the same about Foundation 3. The base is solid, functionality is well documented, the theme roller does it's job, and the bonuses are very well done (Orbit Slider, Icon Fonts, etc). The responsive css examples are very helpful too.
Twitter Bootstrap has become invaluable and probably done the most to push the responsive "cause" in the industry. It's a 12-column responsive grid that makes a great starting point. Twitter Bootstrap should be high on the list of any responsive project and has done wonders for the use of grids in web design.
Gumby shows a lot of promise and has made drastic moves with their v2. Now running SASS is a plus and I must say, I think it's documentation is the best in the field.
Responsive Grid System uses solid responsive columns and codes very cleanly. That said, the learning curve is a bit steeper.
Base is not too shabby (once you get used to it) and is very stable. The primary downside (for me) would be the documentation.
If your realize that you're basically trading speed for "ease of use" with any Responsive Framework, the choices really become clearer. If you want to take a little additional time and build something quality, the choice would be Gumby vs Foundation 4. If you'd like something well documented, the match-up should be Bootstrap vs Gumby. to the If time was a large factor the choice should be Unsemantic vs Bootstrap. Ultimately if you're looking for the best website you can make, Foundation vs Gumby should really be the choice you're asking yourself.
5 Other Frameworks Worth Keeping Around
- Less Framework 4 - http://lessframework.com/
- Skeleton - http://www.getskeleton.com/
- Unsemantic - http://unsemantic.com/
- Mueller Grid System - http://muellergridsystem.com/
- Titan - http://titanthemes.com/titan-framework-a-css-framework-for-responsive-web-designs
If you need a responsive web developer to assist you in this project, shoot us a message @ http://haeckdesign.com/contact or if you've got any questions, tips, or points - feel free to leave them below.