November 24, 2022
As a front-end developer, one of the most important aspects of our job is styling web applications. Over the years, many different styling methods have emerged, each with their own pros and cons. In this blog, we will explore and compare various styling methods, including normal CSS files, CSS Modules, utility classes like Tailwind CSS, SASS, Styled Components, and CSS in JS.
Normal CSS files are the traditional way of styling web applications. They are simple and easy to use, and most front-end developers are already familiar with them. Normal CSS files are easy to understand and can be used with any front-end framework or library.
However, as the application grows in size, managing a large number of CSS files can become cumbersome. Also, CSS is global by default, so it can be difficult to avoid naming conflicts when working on larger projects.
CSS Modules is a popular way of styling web applications. It works by creating a local scope for CSS classes, which prevents naming conflicts. CSS Modules are also easy to use and can be used with any front-end framework or library.
However, like normal CSS files, managing a large number of CSS Modules files can become difficult. Additionally, CSS Modules require a build step, which can increase the development time.
Utility Classes like Tailwind CSS Utility classes like Tailwind CSS have become increasingly popular in recent years. They work by providing a set of pre-defined classes that can be used to style elements. Tailwind CSS provides a large number of classes, making it easy to create custom styles quickly.
The downside of using utility classes is that they can lead to a large number of HTML elements with multiple classes, which can make the HTML code more difficult to read. Additionally, using utility classes requires learning a new syntax, which can be challenging for some developers.
SASS is a preprocessor for CSS that allows you to write CSS with nested rules, variables, and functions. SASS can make CSS easier to read and maintain by allowing developers to create reusable code. SASS also provides more advanced features like mixins, which allow developers to define and reuse complex styles.
However, using SASS requires a build step, which can increase development time. Additionally, SASS requires learning a new syntax, which can be challenging for some developers.
The downside of using Styled Components is that it can lead to a large number of small components, which can make the code more difficult to read. Additionally, using Styled Components requires learning a new syntax, which can be challenging for some developers.
The downside of using CSS in JS is that it requires learning a new syntax, which can be challenging for some developers. Additionally, using CSS in JS can lead to larger bundle sizes, which can affect performance.