Free Frameworks for Your Web Design

Often designers view frameworks as an obstacle the have to overcome when designing a site. Some feel frameworks hinder their creative leeway and instead end up conforming a design to work with a framework. It should be the opposite way around if you are interest in delivering a high quality product to your client.

Frameworks don’t have to be an obstacle, but can serve as part of the design in your creation. There are many free frameworks on the web to choose from, so choose one that fits the project, instead of stifling your creative ways just to keep things in line with chosen frameworks.

There are many frameworks to choose from whether you’re looking for something on WordPress or know your way around CSS. The best web designers are constantly learning, exploring design and seeing what new trends are out there will help you grow your knowledge and have a solid idea of what clients are after in this market.

1KB CSS Grid

This is a grid that can be adapted in many ways, so the designer has creative freedom to make the framework fit the logistics of the design. You can choose the columns, gutter width and column width before downloading. It’s truly minimalist framework that even CSS novices will find easy to navigate.


Simpl is a modular grid that can be molded and shaped to the designer’s liking. It’s simple to follow for designers who have limited CSS experience and has a series of forms, columns and tables to move around until you feel the framework suits the design.

Blueprint CSS

This grid supports styled typography, ornate layouts, plug-ins and forms. The perk to Blueprint is it comes with literature on how to use it and boasts a discussion group where you can chat around to learn more about how other designers are using the program.

Vanilla Theme*

This one is on WordPress and is ideal for the web designer who doesn’t want to touch HTML when designing. Vanilla Theme also comes with a HTML “minifier” which means linking and making text look good is as simple as clicking an icon.


This WordPress theme is clean and a favorite of some of the large, well-known blogs. There’s a layout generator, which makes designing the framework easy and built-in search engine optimization is always a plus in our eyes.

Frameworks are essential for web designers, but it does feel that some prevent designers from going the distance in their creative ventures. Experiment with these different frameworks to get a feel for how they can help your designs shine when creating new concepts for a client. It’s also important to understand that frameworks help design look good on various browsers.

Readers come to a site from many different places and it’s your job as the designer to deliver a site that’s easy to look at, but also shows off the things that matter most. Custom sites allow you to do what you want with a design and see it in different angles with framework. You can also let the client have a look at how the design will look according to the framework.

Start by letting your creativity flow with the design for a website. From there, try the design with a few different frameworks and tweak it from there. While the framework should never dictate the design, you do want to find the framework that best fits what you’ve come up with.

*Wordpress themes mentioned are free, but have upgraded paid versions that offer more.

For more information on web design check out online marketing and web design Toronto based company 9th sphere.

Leave a Reply