The battle over ready-made frontend framework vs custom solution has been ongoing for decades. No matter what languages and tools you work with, you might enjoy to use a framework to make your development process easier, faster and smoother. Let's talk about CSS frameworks today, whether you need a readymade one or a custom solution.  

CSS frameworks like Bootstrap, Semantic UI, and Foundation have made significant changes in front-end web development process. You don’t have to be a world-class programmer to master front-end development using these frameworks. On the other hand, you can go for a custom solution and build your web application with it. Let's talk about the pros and cons of both options and help you choose between a ready-made framework and a custom solution.

Pros of Bootstrap-like frameworks

  • Not a programmer? No worries. With decent knowledge of HTML, CSS you will be able to create good-looking dynamic websites. All the programming work have already been taken care of by skilled programmers. 
  • These frameworks will help you make a website faster and effortlessly. 
  • It will save you a lot of time.
  • With the help of few markup codes, you can create smooth websites without paying attention to your website’s dynamic behavior. 
  • When you use a framework you know it’s stable and well tested. So, when you create a website using frameworks you can be relaxed knowing that your code will work properly in the supported browsers. 
  • Regular updates will make sure fewer bugs and new features regularly.
  • There are thousands of contributors continuously improving the experience and fixing issues, so you don’t have to worry about bugs. 
  • The global community will help you whenever you encounter any issues.
  • Pre-defined functionalities will give you access to the functions that you didn’t think you needed. 

Cons of Bootstrap-like frameworks

  • Before you can get the best out of a framework, you’ll need to spend time learning it. 
  • These frameworks provide the solution for every possible scenario that a developer may encounter, That’s why they come with a lot of unnecessary codes which make the overall work messy. 
  • Unless you make unique customizations to your website, it will look average, like all the other websites made with the same framework. This will harm your reputation or will show you are nothing but an average developer. 
  • There will be a time when you won’t get what you need with the framework, then you’ll need third-party integration. 
  • Since you are not the one developing the framework, when the development team makes changes to the framework, you have no other choice but to accept it, even if they deprecate one of your desired functionalities. 

Now let's talk about the pros and cons of a custom framework and see what you think.

Pros of Custom Frameworks

  • A custom framework will definitely save you a lot of effort and time cause it was made to satisfy your needs. 
  • Since you will be developing it, you can only add the things you need. No unnecessary stuff. 
  • Unlike ready-made frameworks, it will precisely fill your needs, not everybody's. 
  • You have the control over the framework. You can make necessary changes to your framework based on your needs.
  • Your website will have a unique look since it is not made with a ready-made framework. 

Cons of Custom Frameworks

  • You will have all those above advantages once you built your custom framework but you will need to invest a lot of time and work to make it up and running. You have to calculate the overall benefits first. 
  • You will have to test and maintain your code for all the browsers you are targeting. 
  • Your framework itself will be needing fixes, new features, and updates so this will also take a lot of time and effort. 

Picking what's right for you

Everybody will tell you to use whatever they are using, cause they like it. You will get a lot of advices as well, because they are free! But you have to choose on your own what's best for you. Now, if you are working on a large scale project and you have the manpower to build a custom framework then go for it. But I would suggest when you are working in a small or medium scale project, you should choose Bootstrap-like framework because they were designed to help you make your work a lot faster and easier with their readymade functionalities.