Front-end frameworks like Bootstrap or Foundation are popular for a reason: they can help to significantly speed up the web development process, streamlining the repetitive beginning steps of starting a new website and creating its base styles. However, sometimes these frameworks just don’t meet the particular demands of a project, and you find yourself taking up valuable time customizing a framework to your needs. If this is the case, it might be time for you to consider creating your own framework.
In this article, we will take a look at the potential benefits of developing your own custom framework, as well as how to get started.
Benefits of a custom framework
- Personalization. When creating your own framework, you can make sure that it is tailored to your unique needs and processes.
- Speed. By developing a set of base files, you won’t have to start from scratch on any future projects, significantly saving time in the development process.
- Control. You have complete control over what goes in to your framework, allowing you to choose the best components or plugins to include for your projects. Furthermore, you only need to include pieces that you will actually be using.
- Maintenance. Having control over the organization and set-up of your framework files will make it easier to update and upgrade in the future.
Popular frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation can be great
when you need to get a project up and running fast, but creating your own framework
can give you more control and flexibility overall.
Evaluate your process
Before you begin creating anything, you’ll need to develop a strategy. Evaluate the common needs and goals of your projects. Make a list of all the features your framework will need to include.
Develop your styles
Create your base CSS files to include general styles that you would use on the majority of your projects. For example, set up base styles for things like grid layout, typography, buttons, forms, and so on. Consider using a pre-processor like LESS or SASS to make this process even easier. A CSS pre-processor can significantly speed up the development process and is perfect for quickly setting up things like grid layouts and typography.
Set up your base files
Create as many base files as you need to quickly start a project. For example, create a homepage template with the basic page structure created, or a contact page template that includes a basic form.
Set up base files that will serve as a starting point for each new project.
Prepare scripts and components
Put together any scripts, plugins, or other components that you wish to include in your framework, and organize these components into files and folders that will allow for easy integration. By having these scripts and styles ready in your framework, you can reduce the time it takes to add them to your projects. It’s best to set things up in a way that if a component won’t be used on a project, it is easy to remove. Some common components you might consider including in your framework are photo galleries, modal windows, accordions, tabs, tooltips, or content sliders.
As you’re developing your framework, put together notes on how things are set up and how to incorporate the various elements and components included. This will not only serve as a beneficial reference for you, but will also be useful if you plan to collaborate with others in the future that wouldn’t be familiar with your framework.
Plan for updates
As you start using your framework, you may need to adjust your approach to certain elements, add new features, or upgrade your components. Develop a process for making these updates and upgrades to your framework so that it will be quick and easy when the time comes.
TBH Creative is always looking for new ways to speed up the web development process, and we can help you get a website up and running in no time. Find out more about our web development services
to see how we can help. Or, if you’re ready to get started, contact us today