Milligram vs Tachyons

When it comes to web development, the choice of CSS frameworks can significantly affect the speed of development, performance, and even the aesthetics of the final product. Among the plethora of options, Milligram and Tachyons stand out as two lightweight frameworks that prioritize efficiency and speed. In this article, we delve into a comprehensive comparison of these two frameworks, exploring their philosophies, features, and how they can be utilized in your projects.

Introduction to Milligram

Milligram is a minimalist CSS framework designed for better performance and higher productivity with fewer properties to reset. It provides a minimal setup of styles for a fast and clean starting point. Just 2kb gzipped, Milligram is a tiny framework aimed at those who like to write their own styles but need a solid foundation to begin with.

Key Features of Milligram

  • Minimalist design
  • Responsive grid
  • Flexbox-based layout
  • Typography presets
  • Form components
  • Useful utilities
  • Cross-browser compatibility

Installation of Milligram

To get started with Milligram, you can either download it directly from the website or install it using a package manager like npm or Yarn:

npm install milligram
# or
yarn add milligram

You can also include Milligram directly from a CDN:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

Documentation and Resources for Milligram

You can find the documentation for Milligram on its official website:

Popular Third-Party Addons for Milligram

While Milligram is designed to be lean and does not have a large ecosystem of addons, the community has created some resources to enhance its capabilities:

Code Samples for Milligram

Here’s a basic example of a responsive layout with Milligram:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
  <div class="container">
    <div class="row">
      <div class="column column-50 column-offset-25">
        <h1>Hello, Milligram!</h1>
        <p>This is a simple example of a centered column layout.</p>

Introduction to Tachyons

Tachyons is another lightweight, responsive CSS framework that focuses on creating fast-loading, highly readable, and super responsive interfaces. It employs a functional CSS approach, which means that instead of using semantic class names, it uses utility classes that can be combined to achieve specific designs.

Key Features of Tachyons

  • Functional CSS for rapid UI development
  • Small footprint (approximately 14kb minified and gzipped)
  • Mobile-first design
  • Extensive documentation and examples
  • Customizable via CSS variables
  • Composable atomic classes

Installation of Tachyons

Tachyons can be included in your project in several ways:

Via npm:

npm install tachyons

Or by including it from a CDN:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

Documentation and Resources for Tachyons

Popular Third-Party Addons for Tachyons

Tachyons’ modular nature has spawned various addons and extensions, such as:

Code Samples for Tachyons

Here’s a simple example of a responsive card component using Tachyons:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
  <article class="mw5 center bg-white br3 pa3 pa4-ns mv3 ba b--black-10">
    <div class="tc">
      <h1 class="f4">Greetings from Tachyons!</h1>
      <hr class="mw3 bb bw1 b--black-10">
    <p class="lh-copy measure center f6 black-70">
      Tachyons is great for quickly assembling a design with utility classes.

In this first half of the article, we’ve introduced both Milligram and Tachyons, highlighting their key features, installation methods, documentation, popular addons, and provided basic code samples. In the next half, we will dive into a more detailed comparison, including the pros and cons of each framework, community support, and real-world usage scenarios. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at how Milligram and Tachyons can help streamline your CSS workflow.

In the first half of this article, we introduced Milligram and Tachyons, two lightweight CSS frameworks that offer developers different approaches to styling web applications. Now, we will dive deeper into the comparison, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each framework, their community support, and practical use cases to help you decide which one might be the best fit for your project.

Pros and Cons of Milligram

Advantages of Milligram:

  • Simplicity: Milligram’s minimalistic approach means there’s less to learn, making it easy for newcomers to get started.
  • Clean Starting Point: It provides a clean slate for styling, which is great for developers who prefer to write most of their CSS but desire a head start with sensible defaults.
  • Lightweight: At just 2kb gzipped, Milligram is extremely lightweight, contributing to faster page load times.

Disadvantages of Milligram:

  • Less Comprehensive: Being minimalist, it might not have all the utility classes and components that larger frameworks offer.
  • Customization: While customization is possible, it may require more effort compared to more extensive frameworks that come with built-in customization options.

Pros and Cons of Tachyons

Advantages of Tachyons:

  • Functional CSS: The utility-first approach allows developers to build interfaces quickly by composing small, reusable classes.
  • Responsive Design: Tachyons emphasizes mobile-first design, making it easy to create responsive layouts.
  • Customizability: It’s highly customizable with CSS variables, allowing for a great degree of flexibility.

Disadvantages of Tachyons:

  • Learning Curve: The utility-first approach can have a steeper learning curve for those not familiar with functional CSS.
  • Verbose HTML: As you compose styles directly in the HTML, it can become verbose and harder to read.

Community Support and Ecosystem

Milligram Community Support:

Milligram, while smaller in community size compared to larger frameworks like Bootstrap, still has a dedicated following. It is well-documented and maintained, with a focus on keeping the framework stable and lightweight. However, due to its minimalist nature, there are fewer third-party addons and extensions available.

Tachyons Community Support:

Tachyons boasts a larger community and has more resources available for developers who want to dive into functional CSS. There are a number of extensions and integrations, especially for popular front-end frameworks like React. The community also contributes regularly to the Tachyons codebase, ensuring it stays up-to-date.

Real-World Usage Scenarios

When to Use Milligram:

  • Small Projects: For small projects or personal websites where you need a lightweight foundation without the bloat of larger frameworks.
  • Custom Design: When you want to write most of your CSS but appreciate a set of sensible defaults to start with.
  • Learning Purposes: Milligram is excellent for educational purposes, teaching the basics of CSS without overwhelming the learner.

When to Use Tachyons:

  • Rapid Prototyping: If you need to prototype quickly, Tachyons’ utility classes allow you to iterate on designs without writing custom CSS.
  • Large Scale Projects: For larger projects where scalability and maintainability are important, Tachyons’ composability shines.
  • Design Systems: When building a design system, Tachyons can be a powerful tool due to its consistency and reusability.


Both Milligram and Tachyons offer unique advantages for web developers. Milligram’s minimalistic approach is perfect for developers who want a lightweight foundation with a conventional CSS approach. On the other hand, Tachyons’ functional CSS methodology is ideal for those who prioritize rapid development and highly responsive designs.

Ultimately, the choice between Milligram and Tachyons will depend on your project’s specific needs, your comfort with functional CSS, and the level of customization you require. By understanding the strengths and limitations of each framework, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your development philosophy and the goals of your web project.

Remember to explore the documentation and community resources for both frameworks before making your choice. No matter which framework you select, both Milligram and Tachyons stand as testament to the power of minimalist, efficient CSS frameworks in modern web development.

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