Semantic UI vs Chakra UI

When it comes to building modern, responsive, and user-friendly web interfaces, developers have a plethora of CSS frameworks at their disposal. Two such frameworks that have gained popularity in recent years are Semantic UI and Chakra UI. These frameworks offer a rich set of components and utilities to streamline the development process. In this article, we will delve deep into the differences between Semantic UI and Chakra UI, examining their design philosophies, ease of use, community support, and more.

What is Semantic UI?

Semantic UI is a development framework that helps create beautiful, responsive layouts using human-friendly HTML. It provides a set of pre-designed UI components that can be easily integrated into any web project. Semantic UI is built around the concept of using natural language, making the code more readable and easier to understand.

Popular third-party addons or libraries for Semantic UI include:

Semantic UI Code Sample

Here is an example of a simple button in Semantic UI:

<button class="ui button">Click Here</button>

What is Chakra UI?

Chakra UI is a simple, modular, and accessible component library that gives you all the building blocks you need to build your React applications with speed. It is designed with ease of integration in mind and follows the WAI-ARIA guidelines to ensure that components are accessible to all users.

Popular third-party addons or libraries for Chakra UI include:

Chakra UI Code Sample

Below is an example of using a button component in Chakra UI:

import { Button } from "@chakra-ui/react";

function App() {
  return <Button colorScheme="blue">Click Me</Button>;

Design Philosophy and Aesthetics

Semantic UI

Semantic UI’s design philosophy is rooted in the use of semantic class names—meaning that the class names used for elements are descriptive of their purpose. This approach is intended to make the code more intuitive and easier to maintain. The framework offers a flat and neutral design by default, which can be easily themed or customized.

Chakra UI

Chakra UI, on the other hand, focuses on simplicity and modularity. It emphasizes accessibility and comes with a default theme that adheres to modern design standards. The components are built with composition in mind, allowing developers to customize and extend them with ease.

Ease of Use

Semantic UI

Semantic UI provides a comprehensive set of components, which can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, developers have access to a wide range of UI elements out of the box. On the other hand, the vast number of components and their options can be overwhelming to new users. Additionally, the framework relies on jQuery, which might not align with modern development practices that favor vanilla JavaScript or frameworks like React, Vue, or Angular.

Chakra UI

Chakra UI is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, especially for those already familiar with React. It uses a props-based configuration system that aligns well with the React philosophy of component composition. It does not rely on external libraries like jQuery, making it a more lightweight choice for projects that use modern JavaScript frameworks.

Community and Ecosystem

Semantic UI

Semantic UI has been around for a longer time, which means it has a larger community and more third-party resources available. However, its development has slowed down in recent years, and the community’s focus has shifted towards forks like Fomantic-UI.

Chakra UI

Chakra UI is newer but has quickly gained a dedicated following, especially in the React community. It has an active development team and a growing ecosystem of plugins and integrations. The framework’s focus on accessibility and modern development practices has made it a popular choice for new projects.


Both Semantic UI and Chakra UI offer unique advantages and come with their own set of features and design philosophies. Semantic UI stands out with its human-friendly class names and extensive component library, while Chakra UI is praised for its accessibility features and ease of use within React applications.

In the next section, we will dive deeper into the technical aspects, such as customization, performance, and integration with other tools and frameworks. We will also provide more detailed code samples and explore advanced usage scenarios for both Semantic UI and Chakra UI. Stay tuned for an in-depth look at how these frameworks can be leveraged to build stunning and functional user interfaces.

Customization and Theming

Semantic UI

Customizing Semantic UI can be done through its theming system, which allows developers to change the look and feel of components by altering theme variables and overriding styles. Semantic UI uses LESS, a CSS pre-processor, for its styling and theming, which gives developers the power to build a custom theme with ease.

Here’s an example of customizing a Semantic UI theme:

@import 'semantic-ui/src/definitions/globals/site.variables';

@primaryColor: #0d47a1;
@secondaryColor: #ffcc80;

// Import the rest of your Semantic UI theme files after variables

This will change the primary and secondary colors across all components that use these variables.

Chakra UI

Chakra UI is built with a theme-first approach using Emotion, a CSS-in-JS library. It provides a default theme that can be easily extended or overwritten. Chakra UI’s theme is an object where you can specify the values for colors, spacing, fonts, and more.

Here’s a snippet showing how to customize the Chakra UI theme:

import { extendTheme } from "@chakra-ui/react";

const theme = extendTheme({
  colors: {
    brand: {
      900: "#1a365d",
      800: "#153e75",
      700: "#2a69ac",

export default theme;

You would then provide this theme to your application using the ChakraProvider.

Performance Considerations

Semantic UI

Semantic UI is known for its rich set of features, which comes at the cost of a larger file size. This can impact the performance, especially if you are using the entire library for a project that only needs a subset of components. To mitigate this, developers can use a build tool to include only the necessary components.

Chakra UI

Chakra UI is more performance-oriented, with a smaller bundle size compared to Semantic UI. It also allows for tree-shaking, which means that only the parts of the library you use will be included in your final bundle. This results in faster load times and a more efficient application.

Integration with Other Tools and Frameworks

Semantic UI

Semantic UI can be integrated into various JavaScript frameworks, but it requires additional configuration. For instance, the official Semantic UI React integration allows developers to use Semantic UI components as React components.

Chakra UI

Chakra UI is specifically designed for React and fits seamlessly into the React ecosystem. It works well with tools like Next.js and Gatsby, and can be easily integrated into any React-based project.

Advanced Usage Scenarios

Semantic UI

Semantic UI is suitable for large-scale applications where you may need a wide variety of pre-styled components. It’s also great for developers who prefer a more traditional approach to CSS and JavaScript.

Here’s how you might create a responsive navbar using Semantic UI:

<div class="ui menu">
  <a class="item">Home</a>
  <a class="item">About</a>
  <a class="item">Contact</a>
  <div class="right menu">
    <div class="item">
      <div class="ui action input">
        <input type="text" placeholder="Search...">
        <button class="ui button">Go</button>

Chakra UI

Chakra UI is particularly beneficial for developers building React applications that require a high degree of customization and accessibility. Its component-based approach makes it easy to create complex UIs with less code.

Here’s an example of creating a responsive navbar with Chakra UI:

import { Box, Flex, Text, Input, Button } from "@chakra-ui/react";

function Navbar() {
  return (
    <Flex as="nav" align="center" justify="space-between" wrap="wrap" padding="1.5rem">
      <Text as="a" href="#" fontSize="xl">Home</Text>
      <Text as="a" href="#" fontSize="xl">About</Text>
      <Text as="a" href="#" fontSize="xl">Contact</Text>
        <Input placeholder="Search..." size="sm" />
        <Button size="sm" colorScheme="blue">Go</Button>


Semantic UI and Chakra UI each have their strengths and ideal use cases. Semantic UI offers a comprehensive suite of components with a focus on semantic naming conventions, while Chakra UI provides a more modern, performance-focused, and accessible approach tailored for React applications.

When choosing between the two, consider the specific needs of your project, your familiarity with React, and the importance of performance and accessibility in your application. Both frameworks have strong communities and extensive documentation to help you get started.

Ultimately, the choice between Semantic UI and Chakra UI will come down to personal preference and project requirements. Whichever framework you choose, you’ll have access to a robust set of tools to build beautiful and functional user interfaces.

More Semantic UI Comparisons


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