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Other CSS Frameworks

This guide introduces some other popular styling libraries that you might want to use in your project.

How to choose a framework

There’s no one right answer for which framework you should use. Ultimately it’s a matter of personal preference and what works best for your project.

Here are some things you might want to consider when choosing a styling framework:

  • Is it accessible?
  • Is it responsive? How will it look on a mobile device?
  • Does it require additional dependencies?
  • Does it have good documentation?
  • Are there any browsers it doesn’t support?

Bootstrap

Bootstrap is a widely used CSS and JS framework that was created at Twitter in 2010. It gained popularity for its support of responsive and mobile-first design.

Under the hood, Bootstrap uses Sass. Unlike other frameworks in this guide, Bootstrap does not provide React components directly. Instead, it provides a set of pre-built CSS class names like btn-primary or dropdown that you can use to style HTML elements.

If you’re using Bootstrap v4 or older, you’ll also need to include jQuery to get many of the JavaScript components to work correctly. As of Bootstrap v5, the framework no longer depends on jQuery.

Note: Bootstrap v5 also dropped Internet Explorer support.

If you’re interested in using Bootstrap and want to host the CSS and JS files yourself, you can install the Bootstrap npm package. Or, if you’d rather not host the files yourself, you can source them using the Bootstrap Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Chakra UI

Chakra UI is built on top of the Emotion styling library. It uses Styled System style props to override individual CSS properties for a component.

Chakra UI provides a library of components, and it comes with dark mode out of the box. It also has a theme object which you can use to customize your site’s color palette, typography, breakpoints, and more.

If you’re interested in using Chakra UI, check out the gatsby-plugin-chakra-ui documentation.

Grommet

Grommet is built on Styled Components and provides a library of modular, responsive components designed with a mobile-first approach. It also has built-in support for the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 specification.

For designers, the Grommet Design Kit provides sticker sheets and templates for some popular design tools, including Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD.

If you’re interested in using Grommet, check out Using Grommet with Gatsby (Hewlett Packard Enterprise).

Material UI

Material UI provides a library of components designed using Google’s Material Design guidelines. It also supports customizing theme elements like color, typography, and breakpoints.

If you’re interested in using Material UI, check out the gatsby-plugin-material-ui documentation.

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