Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Building your own framework


From:

CSS: Frameworks and Grids

with James Williamson

Video: Building your own framework

So what happens if you decide that a framework is right for your workflow, but you never really find just the right one? Well, there is no rule against creating your own. Remember that most frameworks evolve out of the best practices and development standards of studios and individuals. If you're an experienced web designer that has a few projects already under your belt, I'm guessing that you already have a few starter files and code snippets that you reuse from one project to another. Let's talk about how those files can be molded into your own custom CSS framework.
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course CSS: Frameworks and Grids
3h 27m Beginner Jan 22, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Have you wondered if using a CSS framework will speed up your site development? In this course, senior author James Williamson introduces the types of frameworks available—including the most popular choices among working web developers—and provides an honest assessment of the pros and cons to using a framework. He guides you through downloading a framework, setting up a directory structure, and building a framework-based site, such as structuring the HTML and working with forms. A separate chapter explores layout grids, often included with CSS frameworks, which provide a simple system for laying out page content.

Topics include:
  • Understanding boilerplates, grids, and frameworks
  • Choosing a framework
  • Building your own framework
  • Crafting a deployment strategy
  • Modifying files
  • Customizing typography and color
  • Filling in framework gaps
  • Exploring grid-based syntax
  • Nesting grids
  • Using mobile grids
Subjects:
Developer Web
Software:
CSS
Author:
James Williamson

Building your own framework

So what happens if you decide that a framework is right for your workflow, but you never really find just the right one? Well, there is no rule against creating your own. Remember that most frameworks evolve out of the best practices and development standards of studios and individuals. If you're an experienced web designer that has a few projects already under your belt, I'm guessing that you already have a few starter files and code snippets that you reuse from one project to another. Let's talk about how those files can be molded into your own custom CSS framework.

First, you need to take time to examine your own processes and determine exactly what is standard on each one of your projects. What do you find yourself repeating over and over again, reusing or even having to rewrite. Once you have identified those aspects, you'll have a good idea about what should form the foundation of your framework. For some this might be a single CSS file for controlling layout. For others it might be a collection of modular CSS files that you can pull together as needed for typography, layout, and browser normalization.

Again, this is totally dependent on how you like to work and how your projects are typically structured. Once you have identified the content that will make up your framework, you need to start thinking about how it's going to be structured. To do that, you need to take some time to document your coding philosophy. Are you a web standards nut, do you have a strategy that guides your naming conventions, do you condense all external resources into a single file, or do you separate your styles and scripts into individual documents based on functionality? All of this is going to guide how your framework resources will be constructed.

However, before you can start building them, you need to clearly articulate your approach and strategy as a web designer. Taking a good look into a mirror like that is good for multiple reasons. It will, for example, help you identify your own voice as a designer and developer, as well as forcing you to be supercritical about how you author your sites. During this process, I guarantee you that you will identify areas where you'd usually cut corners and need to improve. This is a perfect opportunity to make sure things are being done the right way and take the time to carefully author your code structure.

Since you plan on reusing it, you're only going to need to do this once, so you can really make sure that it's done right. Once you have done that, it's simply a matter of constructing the pages and resources that are going to make up your framework and identifying the workflow that's involved when using them. During this step I recommend thoroughly commenting your files and creating documentation for how to use them. This is especially important if you work in a team environment, and it's going to add an additional layer of scrutiny to how your framework is assembled and used. I often find when documenting something that it's not as well thought out as I'd initially assumed it was.

Once you have finished assembling your files and documenting your processes, it's time to start using your new framework. Try it out on a few sample projects and see if you get the development benefits that you anticipated. A few trial runs will help you sort through the possible bugs and help you refine your focus. At that point if you're happy with it, consider finding a suitable license for your framework and releasing it into the wild. Sure there are a multitude of frameworks available right now, but if yours fits the way that you like to work, chances are it might fit somebody else's as well.

Now, if you don't feel that your technical skills are quite where they need to be yet to create your own framework, consider creating a framework from multiple sources. If you experiment within frameworks you are likely to find that you really like the typographic approach of one framework, but the layout grid of another. You know, there is nothing out there that says you can't combine the parts of various frameworks into a super-framework that allows you to use just the parts you like from each of the sampled frameworks. If you choose this route, be aware that mixing frameworks can cause styling conflicts, so you'll need to be very careful when assembling the different parts.

Also make sure you read the licenses that come with each framework very carefully, most are open source and quite liberal as to what you can do with their code, but some have restrictions on how you can reuse and repurpose their framework styles. Just make sure that before you modify any framework files that you're well within the framework's terms of use.

There are currently no FAQs about CSS: Frameworks and Grids.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed CSS: Frameworks and Grids.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK

Upgrade to View Courses Offline

login

With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
lynda.com provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now
 

A trusted source for knowledge.

 

We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that lynda.com helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.