Free CSS Frameworks for 2017

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A CSS framework helps web designers understand how to create multi-column layouts. When you create websites using CSS frameworks, you won’t have to worry about browser-incompatibility issues.  CSS frameworks also contain useful internal reading guides on how to design grids.

Did you know you can design outstanding websites using free CSS design frameworks? Here are some of the most highly rated CSS frameworks.

1. Materialize

Materialize is popular among web designers due to its compatibility with third-party browser extensions. Since its debut in 2014, Materialize has helped web designers all over the world create websites using high-quality tools that are rare in the market. Using Materialize to design a business website will help you succeed in captivating visitor’s attention instantly. Materialize contains a variety of vibrant components to help you design colorful icons and user interfaces.

Materialize enables web designers to customize their sites for smartphone and tablet use. It also provides relevant pop-up suggestions whenever you get stuck.

2. MUI

MUI stands for Material User Interface. The mastermind behind MUI used Google’s Material Design principles browsers. You can use MUI with Angular, React, and Web Components. Another advantage of using MUI is that your web pages load quickly. This efficiency helps end-users have a pleasant experience when surfing your website. MUI is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 10, and, Safari web

Web designers can obtain SAAS files freely available on GitHub to customize MUI. You can rely on MUI to create smartphone games and apps for both Android and Apple smartphones.

3. Surface

Surface is a lightweight framework that got published in 2015. Surface’s developers heavily borrowed their ideas from Google’s Material Design. Its lightweight nature enables web designers to run other software in the background without overwhelming system memory. With surface, you can optimize your websites for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 10, Opera, and, Safari web browsers.

Surface contains useful offline guides to help you in various stages of web designing. You won’t have to worry about extensive coding, because Surface purely runs on CSS framework. This helps you lay the groundwork faster. Surface is ideal when working with other web designers on a group project, because everyone is using a default codebase.

4. Material Foundation

Material Foundation debuted in 2014. It contains a simple cheat sheet to guide web designers on how to create customized icons and buttons. Material Foundation offers typography formats to work with for casual and corporate websites. Material Foundation contains progress and activity bars which you can easily incorporate into any website. If you plan on designing a website with selection controls, Material Foundation will provide you with check boxes and slide options. These tools are essential when designing online questionnaires.

The only downside to using Material Foundation is working with a limited library of resources. You can use Material Foundation to create websites that function best with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9 or 10, Mozilla, Opera, and, Safari web browsers.

5. Material Design Lite

Google’s engineers created and launched Material Design Lite in 2014. Using Material Design Lite enables web designers to create websites using typography and frameworks borrowed from Material Design, Materialize, and MUI. You can customize Material Design Lite by downloading free SAAS files.  Many web designers who have used Material Design Lite like the fact that it’s highly consistent, and offers over 900 icons grouped into several categories such as Communication, Content, Editor, and, Social Media.

Users can also obtain high-quality free templates suitable for Android-friendly websites, blogs, dashboards, and portfolios.

6. Material Components for the Web

After releasing Material Design Lite, Google’s engineers teamed up again to create Material Components for the Web in 2014. Web designers love this free CSS framework because it's highly compatible with JavaScript frameworks and latest libraries. You can count on its stability and high consistency because Google's engineers work round-the-clock to provide brilliant updates and components.

Material Components for the web uses Roboto typography. It also provides hundreds of icons that are suitable for a corporate website. Material Components for the web provides SEO optimized blog templates which help boost your published articles rankings on various search engines.

For advanced Material components, you can outsource the services to experts such as the freelancers at


Professional web designers who use MUI CSS do not rely on external dependencies to get work done. This CSS framework uses modern features to detect components, and this ensures smooth integration. MUI CSS provides web designers with Roboto typography. However, you can also use custom fonts through a little configuration. If you’re having trouble inserting icons into your design, you can simply download standardized code templates from the MUI CSS website.

MUI CSS is suitable to work with for cross-platform projects. It also contains Sketch component libraries, and Google engineers are currently working on an Illustrator component library.

8. Angular Material

Angular Material is compatible with Google's Material Design and provides web designers with plenty of reusable user interface components. These components are lightweight, offer outstanding functionality, and effectively address particular website needs. With these resources at your disposal, you won’t require any external dependencies.

Angular Material is ideal for creating modern web page layouts that help your website’s end-users conveniently access important features. You can obtain HTML Directives to set values and adjust various layout aspects.  This great free CSS framework allows you to use original and Material Design themes for app development. You can likewise configure your themes using simple command lines.

9. Lumx

Lumx provides web designers with a complete CSS framework that contains Angular Material components. You can use it to create highly responsive grids for your web pages. Lumx is suitable for web designers who have experience with Bower. This helps them to access and install libraries easily as compared to downloading external dependencies.

Lumx helps web designers to design fast response online web-based applications by using Gulp to optimize JavaScript and Sass files. You can rely on Lumx high stability because it incorporates Materialize, MUI, and, Material Design principles.

10. Ionic Material

Are you about to build an HTMl5-based mobile application? Ionic Material is a reliable, free CSS material design framework that’s best suited for such projects. After signing up and downloading Ionic Material, web designers can obtain many code samples from the website. You won’t lose any data when switching to Ionic Material, because it’s compatible with most CSS material design frameworks.

Users have access to numerous default themes and can also configure customized themes. Ionic Material uses depth, ink, and motion to address the specific conditions of your website. This makes it easier for you to customize your website for frequently used hand-held Internet-enabled devices.

11.  Material Design for Bootstrap

Material Design for Bootstrap is the best tool to use when optimizing websites and creating apps for smartphones.  It’s also easily customizable, and this ensures web designers can conveniently use numerous libraries and code from different material CSS frameworks. Material Design for Bootstrap contains a tag manager that allows web designers to make changes to their projects without having to edit existing lines of codes. This feature prevents you from making any unintentional changes that can ruin the entire project.

Material Design for Bootstrap is suitable for designing online marketing automation systems.

Before downloading any of the free material design CSS framework software highlighted above, it’s important to consider the following factors.

  • User base - When you come across a material design CSS framework with rave reviews online, it’s a positive indication that many seasoned web designers have tested the code and were happy with the results.

  • Contributor base - The name behind the brand usually tells it all. Google’s CSS frameworks get widely used because Google’s engineers spend a lot of time researching and refining their software. Always use CSS frameworks from reputable software developers.

  • Development - It’s advisable to use CSS frameworks from active developers. It makes it easier to debug your CSS framework and also update your current version with newly released features.

  • Learnability - The easier it is for you to understand how to operate available features, the less time you’ll spend on your projects.

Do you have any questions or comments related to CSS frameworks? You are welcome to post them in the comments below.


Postat: 11 august, 2017


Designer // Writer // Creative

Tom is a Design Correspondent for He is currently based in Melbourne and spends most of his non-work moments trying to find the best coffee.

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