Semantic UI vs Milligram

When it comes to building modern, responsive websites, developers have a plethora of CSS frameworks at their disposal. Two such frameworks that often come up for consideration are Semantic UI and Milligram. In this article, we will delve deep into the intricacies of both frameworks, comparing their features, ease of use, community support, and more to help you make an informed decision for your next web project.

Introduction to Semantic UI

Semantic UI is a development framework that helps create beautiful, responsive layouts using human-friendly HTML. It is designed with a semantic approach to website development, meaning that it uses meaningful tags and class names that increase the readability and accessibility of the markup.

Semantic UI comes with a wide range of pre-designed elements such as buttons, cards, loaders, collections (like menus and lists), and even modules like modals and popups. It is integrated with a variety of third-party libraries and has a strong community that contributes to its growth.

Code Sample for Semantic UI

<!-- Including Semantic UI CSS -->
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="[email protected]/dist/semantic.min.css">

<!-- Semantic UI Button -->
<button class="ui button">Click Here</button>

<!-- Semantic UI Card -->
<div class="ui card">
  <div class="image">
    <img src="/images/avatar2/large/kristy.png">
  <div class="content">
    <a class="header">Kristy</a>
    <div class="meta">
      <span class="date">Joined in 2013</span>
    <div class="description">
      Kristy is an art director living in New York.
  <div class="extra content">
      <i class="user icon"></i>
      22 Friends

Introduction to Milligram

Milligram is a minimalist CSS framework designed for better performance and higher productivity with fewer properties to reset. It provides a clean starting point for your web projects, ensuring that your design looks good from the start without having to override a lot of pre-defined styles.

Milligram is perfect for projects that require a lightweight framework without the need for extensive design elements. It is particularly suitable for creating simple, elegant websites that do not require complex UI components.

Code Sample for Milligram

<!-- Including Milligram CSS -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="//,300italic,700,700italic">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="//">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="//">

<!-- Milligram Button -->
<button>Click Here</button>

<!-- Milligram Card (using simple HTML and Milligram classes) -->
<div class="row">
  <div class="column">
    <p>Kristy is an art director living in New York.</p>
    <button>View Profile</button>

Comparing Features: Semantic UI vs Milligram

When comparing Semantic UI and Milligram, it’s important to consider the feature set each framework offers. Semantic UI is feature-rich, including a wide array of pre-styled components that are ready to use out of the box. This can be a huge time-saver for developers looking to implement complex UIs quickly.

On the other hand, Milligram focuses on being lean and provides the bare minimum to style HTML elements without adding too much bloat. It’s an excellent choice for developers who prefer to start with a lightweight foundation and build their design from the ground up.

Design Components

Semantic UI offers a comprehensive set of UI components:

  • Elements: Buttons, containers, dividers, flags, headers, icons, images, inputs, labels, lists, loaders, and more.
  • Collections: Breadcrumb, form, grid, menu, message, table, and more.
  • Views: Advertisement, card, comment, feed, item, statistic, and more.
  • Modules: Accordion, checkbox, dimmer, dropdown, embed, modal, popup, progress, rating, search, shape, sidebar, sticky, tab, transition, and more.

Milligram provides a minimalist set of styles for basic HTML elements:

  • Typography: Styles for headers, blockquotes, buttons, lists, and more.
  • Forms: Styles for form inputs, labels, and buttons.
  • Grid: A simple grid system to create layouts.
  • Utilities: Basic utilities for margin, padding, display, and more.


Semantic UI is built with LESS and allows for extensive customization through variables, which makes it easy to theme your website according to your brand’s guidelines. Milligram, while not as feature-rich, is also customizable and can be extended with CSS or pre-processors like SASS.

Browser Support

Both frameworks offer good cross-browser compatibility, ensuring that your website will look consistent across modern browsers. However, it’s always a good idea to check the latest documentation for each framework to understand the specific versions supported.


Milligram’s lightweight nature means it has a smaller footprint compared to Semantic UI, which can result in faster page load times. For projects where performance is a critical concern, Milligram might be the more suitable choice.

Community and Ecosystem

Semantic UI boasts a larger community and ecosystem, with many third-party add-ons and libraries available to extend its functionality. For instance, there are integrations with React, Angular, and other popular JavaScript frameworks.

Milligram, while having a smaller community, is well-documented and easy to get started with, making it a good choice for developers who prefer simplicity and minimalism.

Conclusion of the First Half

In the first half of this article, we have introduced both Semantic UI and Milligram, provided code samples, and started comparing their features, design elements, customizability, browser support, performance, and community support.

Before we proceed to the second half, it’s apparent that the choice between Semantic UI and Milligram largely depends on the specific needs of your project. If you require a full-fledged UI toolkit with lots of pre-designed components, Semantic UI is a great option. However, if you’re looking for a minimalistic approach that gives you more control over the design with less overhead, Milligram might be the way to go.

In the next section, we will continue to explore other important aspects such as ease of use, documentation quality, real-world applications, and more. Stay tuned for an even more detailed comparison to help you decide which CSS framework is the best fit for your development needs.

Ease of Use: Semantic UI vs Milligram

One of the critical factors in choosing a CSS framework is the ease of use. Semantic UI’s semantic nature makes it intuitive for developers to use, as the class names are self-explanatory. However, due to its extensive feature set, the learning curve can be steeper for beginners. Here’s a simple example of using Semantic UI’s grid system:

<div class="ui three column divided grid">
  <div class="column">
    <p>First Column</p>
  <div class="column">
    <p>Second Column</p>
  <div class="column">
    <p>Third Column</p>

Milligram, being minimalistic, is straightforward to pick up. Its simplicity means there are fewer classes to remember, and the styles are more predictable. The grid system in Milligram is as simple as this:

<div class="container">
  <div class="row">
    <div class="column">First Column</div>
    <div class="column">Second Column</div>
    <div class="column">Third Column</div>

Both frameworks are easy to install and incorporate into your project, but Milligram might be more approachable for those who are new to CSS frameworks or prefer a more straightforward setup.

Documentation Quality

High-quality documentation is crucial for any CSS framework, as it can significantly reduce the time it takes to learn and use the framework effectively.

Semantic UI’s documentation is extensive, with plenty of examples and explanations for each component. It also provides a “Usage” section that offers practical advice on implementing various UI elements.

Milligram’s documentation is concise and to the point. It covers all the basics you need to get started and is easy to navigate. While it may not be as detailed as Semantic UI’s documentation, it’s more than sufficient for a framework of its size.

Real-World Applications

In the real world, Semantic UI is often chosen for projects that require a comprehensive UI toolkit with lots of ready-made components. It’s particularly well-suited for enterprise applications, admin dashboards, and complex web applications where development speed is crucial.

Milligram, with its minimalist approach, is ideal for small projects, personal websites, and landing pages where a lightweight footprint is more important than a wide range of UI components. It’s also a good choice for developers who prefer to write more CSS themselves and have greater control over the design.

Customization and Theming

Semantic UI shines when it comes to theming. It provides a theming system that allows developers to create a consistent look and feel across their application. This is particularly useful for large-scale projects that need a branded UI.

Milligram doesn’t offer a theming system out of the box, but its simplicity makes it easy to customize with your own CSS or by using a preprocessor like SASS.

Community Support and Resources

The size and activity of a framework’s community can be a decisive factor, as a strong community means better support, more resources, and frequent updates.

Semantic UI has a larger community, which translates to a wealth of third-party resources, such as themes, templates, and extensions. It also has more contributors on GitHub, which often leads to quicker responses to issues and more frequent updates.

Milligram’s community is smaller, but it’s still active. While you may not find as many third-party resources, the framework’s simplicity means you often don’t need them. The Milligram GitHub repository is a good place to find support and report issues.


Both Semantic UI and Milligram offer unique advantages that cater to different project requirements. Semantic UI is the go-to choice for developers who need a rich set of UI components and extensive customization options. Its semantic approach to design and extensive documentation make it a robust choice for complex projects.

Milligram, on the other hand, is perfect for those who value simplicity, speed, and a minimalist footprint. It’s an excellent choice for smaller projects or for developers who prefer to build their UI from the ground up.

Ultimately, the decision between Semantic UI and Milligram comes down to the specific needs of your project and your personal or team’s preferences. Consider the size and scope of your project, the importance of performance, and the level of customization you need before making a choice.

Both frameworks have proven their worth in the web development community and continue to be popular choices for building modern, responsive websites. Whether you choose the comprehensive approach of Semantic UI or the minimalist elegance of Milligram, you’ll be equipped with a powerful tool to create beautiful and functional web interfaces.

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