Bulma vs Ant Design

When it comes to modern web development, the choice of CSS frameworks can significantly influence the look, feel, and functionality of your web applications. Two popular choices are Bulma and Ant Design, each with its unique set of features, design philosophies, and user communities. In this article, we’ll delve deep into the world of these two frameworks, comparing their features, ease of use, customization options, community support, and more.

Introduction to Bulma

Bulma is a modern CSS framework based on Flexbox that provides a range of responsive, mobile-first components and elements. It is known for its simple syntax and ease of use, making it a great choice for developers who want to build interfaces quickly without the overhead of JavaScript.

Popular Third-Party Addons for Bulma

Bulma Code Sample

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <title>Bulma Sample</title>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/bulma/0.9.3/css/bulma.min.css">
  <section class="section">
    <div class="container">
      <h1 class="title">Hello World</h1>
      <p class="subtitle">
        My first Bulma website!

Introduction to Ant Design

Ant Design, often referred to as “Antd”, is a design system and React UI library that provides a plethora of out-of-the-box components that are designed to enhance the user experience in enterprise-level applications. It is widely used for its design language and comprehensive set of features.

Popular Third-Party Addons for Ant Design

  • antd-theme-generator: A tool to generate color-specific themes for Ant Design.
  • antd-theme-generator
  • ant-design-pro: An out-of-box UI solution for enterprise applications.
  • ant-design-pro

Ant Design Code Sample

To use Ant Design, you need to have React and ReactDOM installed.

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import { Button } from 'antd';
import 'antd/dist/antd.css';

const App = () => (
  <div style={{ margin: '16px' }}>
    <Button type="primary">Hello World</Button>

ReactDOM.render(<App />, document.getElementById('root'));

Feature Comparison

When comparing Bulma with Ant Design, it’s important to consider the features each framework offers and how they can benefit your project.

Bulma Features

  • Flexbox-based Grid System: Bulma’s grid system is built with Flexbox, making it easy to create responsive layouts.
  • Modular: Import only the components you need, helping to keep your CSS file size down.
  • Modern: Bulma is CSS-only and doesn’t include any JavaScript, which means you can use it with any JavaScript framework or library.
  • Responsive: Every element in Bulma is mobile-first and optimized for small screens.
  • Customizable: Bulma variables can be easily customized with Sass.

Ant Design Features

  • Component Rich: Ant Design provides a wide range of components that cover most layout and functionality needs for enterprise applications.
  • React-based: Designed specifically for React, Ant Design components are interactive and easily integrated into React projects.
  • Customizable Themes: With a built-in theming system, you can customize the look and feel of Ant Design components.
  • Internationalization: Built-in support for content internationalization for global applications.
  • Enterprise-Grade: Ant Design’s components are designed with enterprise-level applications in mind, ensuring scalability and reliability.

Design and Aesthetic

The design philosophy behind each framework is also a crucial aspect to consider. Bulma offers a clean, modern design with minimal styling, making it a canvas ready for customization. On the other hand, Ant Design follows Chinese design aesthetics and principles, providing a more opinionated design out of the box, which is consistent and professional-looking, suited for enterprise applications.

Ease of Use

Bulma is often praised for its simplicity and straightforward approach to styling. With a focus on CSS classes and a mobile-first approach, developers can quickly grasp the framework’s logic and start building responsive layouts.

Ant Design, while offering a lot more in terms of functionality, requires a deeper understanding of React and its component-based architecture. The learning curve might be steeper compared to Bulma, especially for those not familiar with React.

At this point, we have covered the basics of both Bulma and Ant Design, including their features, design philosophies, and ease of use. In the next section, we will continue with customization options, community support, performance considerations, and a final verdict on which framework might be the right choice for your project. Stay tuned for the second half of this comprehensive article.

Customization Options

Customization is a key factor when choosing a CSS framework, as it determines how much you can tailor the look and feel to meet your specific design requirements.

Bulma Customization

Bulma is highly customizable, thanks to its use of Sass. Developers can take advantage of Sass variables, mixins, and functions to create a unique theme or modify the existing components. Since Bulma is CSS-only, it does not impose any JavaScript requirements, which means you can integrate it with any front-end framework or library of your choice.

Here’s an example of how you can customize Bulma’s primary color:

// Custom.scss
@import "bulma/bulma";

// Override Bulma's variables
$primary: #8a4d76;

// Your custom styles
.my-custom-class {
  padding: 1rem;
  background-color: $primary;

Ant Design Customization

Ant Design also offers extensive customization options, particularly through its theme customization feature. You can adjust the theme by modifying the less variables provided by Ant Design. This can be done within a less file or by using tools like antd-theme-generator to create a theme dynamically.

Here’s a sample of customizing Ant Design’s primary color using less:

// Custom.less
@import "~antd/lib/style/themes/default.less";
@import "~antd/dist/antd.less";

@primary-color: #8a4d76; // Override Ant Design's primary color

// Your custom styles
.my-custom-class {
  padding: 1rem;
  background-color: @primary-color;

Community Support

The community around a CSS framework can be a valuable resource for developers, offering support, plugins, extensions, and additional tools that can enhance the development experience.

Bulma Community

Bulma has a robust and growing community. There are numerous resources available for developers, including forums, Discord channels, and GitHub repositories. The community contributes to the development of new components, utilities, and templates that can be used alongside the core framework.

Ant Design Community

Ant Design boasts a large community as well, especially among developers who work with React. The framework is backed by Alibaba, which ensures regular updates and a certain level of stability. The community offers a wealth of resources, including GitHub issues for support, Stack Overflow questions, and a strong presence on various social media platforms.

Performance Considerations

Performance is a critical aspect of any web project, and the choice of a CSS framework can impact your application’s load time and responsiveness.

Bulma Performance

Bulma’s CSS-only approach means that it does not add any JavaScript overhead to your project. Its modular nature allows developers to include only the necessary components, which can lead to better performance, especially for smaller projects.

Ant Design Performance

Ant Design’s performance can be slightly more complex due to its dependency on React and potentially larger bundle sizes because of the extensive component library. However, with proper optimization techniques such as tree shaking and code splitting, you can mitigate performance concerns.

Final Verdict

Choosing between Bulma and Ant Design ultimately depends on your project’s requirements and your familiarity with React.

  • Choose Bulma if:
  • You want a simple, CSS-only framework that’s easy to learn and customize.
  • You are not using React, or you prefer to have the freedom to choose any JavaScript framework.
  • You are working on a smaller project or a project that requires a lightweight framework.
  • Choose Ant Design if:
  • You are developing an enterprise-level application with React and need a comprehensive UI library with a consistent design language.
  • You need out-of-the-box components and functionalities that are ready to use.
  • You require a framework with strong internationalization support.

Both Bulma and Ant Design offer unique advantages and can be the right choice in different scenarios. It’s important to evaluate your project’s specific needs, your team’s expertise, and the long-term maintenance implications before making a decision. Regardless of your choice, both frameworks are well-documented, supported by active communities, and can help you build beautiful, responsive web applications.

More Bulma Comparisons


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