What is Bulma?
Bulma is a modern CSS framework based on Flexbox, offering a rich set of responsive, mobile-first components and elements. It is known for its simple syntax and powerful classes that help developers build intuitive and beautiful web interfaces quickly.
- Homepage: Bulma
- Documentation: Bulma Documentation
- Installation: Bulma can be installed through various methods including npm (
npm install bulma), yarn (
yarn add bulma), or by including it directly from a CDN like cdnjs.
Popular Third-Party Addons for Bulma
- Bulmaswatch: A collection of free themes for Bulma.
- Buefy: Lightweight UI components for Vue.js based on Bulma.
What is Skeleton?
Skeleton is a barebones CSS framework designed to provide simple and clean styling for basic HTML elements. It is not a UI kit, but rather a small collection of CSS files that can help you rapidly develop sites that look beautiful at any size.
- Homepage: Skeleton
- Documentation: Skeleton does not have formal documentation like Bulma, but its GitHub repository README serves as a basic guide.
- Installation: Skeleton can be included in your project by downloading the
skeleton.cssfile from the Skeleton GitHub repository and linking it in your HTML.
Popular Third-Party Libraries for Skeleton
- Skeleton-Sass: A Sass port of Skeleton for those who prefer using the Sass preprocessor.
Bulma’s grid system is based on Flexbox, which makes it powerful and easy to use. It provides a tile system, columns, and options to divide the screen real estate responsively.
<div class="column is-one-third">
<div class="column is-two-thirds">
Skeleton’s grid system is much simpler, using a basic 12-column grid that scales down to a mobile-friendly version without the need for additional classes or structure.
<div class="one-third column">
<div class="two-thirds column">
Bulma is fully responsive and mobile-first. It includes five tiers of responsive breakpoints which can be used to adjust layouts and visibility of elements across different devices.
While Skeleton does not offer as many responsive features as Bulma, it is inherently mobile-friendly. Its simplicity ensures that websites built with Skeleton are fast-loading and adapt well to various screen sizes.
Bulma comes with a wide range of pre-styled components such as buttons, forms, navbars, cards, and more. This allows developers to create rich interfaces without having to style each element from scratch.
<button class="button is-primary">Primary Button</button>
Skeleton does not provide as many built-in components as Bulma. It styles basic HTML elements and leaves the rest to the developer, ensuring a lightweight footprint.
<button class="button-primary">Primary Button</button>
Bulma is highly customizable through variables and mixins. Developers can use Sass to adjust colors, sizes, and other properties to fit their design requirements.
Customization in Skeleton is done directly in the CSS file. It is minimalistic by design, so there are fewer variables and mixins to work with compared to Bulma.
Community and Support
Bulma has a large and active community. It has extensive documentation, and there are many resources, tutorials, and third-party extensions available.
Skeleton has a smaller community and less formal support. However, its simplicity means that developers can often troubleshoot issues on their own or with minimal assistance.
In the next section, we will continue to explore more aspects of Bulma and Skeleton, including performance, ease of learning, and real-world applications. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into how these frameworks can be utilized in your web projects.
Performance and Speed
When it comes to website performance, both Bulma and Skeleton have their advantages. However, their approaches to providing a CSS framework differ, which can impact the load times and overall performance of websites that utilize them.
Bulma is a bit heavier than Skeleton due to its extensive list of components and features. The full Bulma package includes a wide range of elements, which can increase the size of your CSS file. However, since Bulma is built with Sass, developers have the option to import only the necessary components, reducing the overall file size.
Skeleton, true to its name, offers a minimalistic approach. It provides only the bare essentials, which results in a significantly smaller file size. This can lead to faster load times and a more streamlined user experience, especially on mobile devices or in areas with slower internet connections.
Ease of Learning and Usability
The learning curve for a CSS framework is an important factor to consider, especially for those new to web development or to the framework itself.
Bulma’s documentation is comprehensive and well-organized, which makes it easier for developers to learn and utilize its features. The framework follows a modular approach, and its classes are semantic and self-explanatory. For example,
.is-primary clearly indicates that the element is styled with the primary color.
Skeleton is incredibly straightforward and can be learned in a very short amount of time. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners or for small projects that need to be styled quickly. Its simplicity also means that there is less to learn, which can be a significant advantage for rapid development.
Both Bulma and Skeleton can be used for a wide range of projects, but they each shine in different scenarios.
Bulma is well-suited for larger projects or applications that require a robust set of UI components. It is also a good choice for developers who prefer working with a Flexbox grid and need a responsive design with minimal effort.
Skeleton is ideal for small to medium-sized projects, landing pages, or simple web applications that don’t require a lot of complex UI components. Its lightweight nature makes it perfect for projects where speed and performance are critical.
Code Samples and Examples
To give you a better idea of how Bulma and Skeleton are used in practice, let’s look at some code samples.
Bulma Navbar Example
<nav class="navbar is-primary" role="navigation" aria-label="main navigation">
<a class="navbar-item" href="https://bulma.io">
<img src="bulma-logo.png" width="112" height="28">
<a class="navbar-item" href="#">Home</a>
<a class="navbar-item" href="#">Documentation</a>
Skeleton Button Example
<button class="button-primary">Primary Button</button>
Bulma and Skeleton are both excellent CSS frameworks that cater to different needs. Bulma is feature-rich and offers a wide array of components and a Flexbox-based grid system, making it suitable for developers who need a comprehensive solution. Skeleton, on the other hand, is perfect for those who prefer simplicity and speed, providing only the essentials for a lightweight and fast-loading website.
Ultimately, the choice between Bulma and Skeleton will depend on the specific requirements of your project, your familiarity with the frameworks, and your personal preference in terms of complexity and feature set. Both frameworks have their place in the web development ecosystem, and understanding their strengths and limitations will help you make an informed decision for your next project.
Before we wrap up, let’s include the links to the resources mentioned earlier for easy reference:
Whether you choose Bulma with its comprehensive list of components or Skeleton with its minimalist approach, you’ll be well-equipped to create beautiful, responsive websites that stand out. Happy coding!