Why is Tailwind can be a better CSS framework for you

When starting out your web development and design career, you'll come across various CSS frameworks. Learning and using a CSS framework can help you develop websites faster by cutting down the CSS code you'll have to write. So, it is a really good idea to learn at least one CSS framework to do well in an enterprise job setting.                  

The first one you'll hear might be Bootstrap. And it is undeniably a very popular one. But I personally like to use Tailwind CSS over it. Let's find out which one you'll want to use.

1. Utility-first approach

This is where Tailwind and bootstrap differ in a very meaningful way. Bootstrap has a lot of predefined components like different buttons, input, etc. And these components are super useful to dish out a website as fast as possible, your website is going to look more or less like a generic bootstrap website. While I think this is a better approach for small clients who just want a good functional website and aren't picky about how it looks, high-value clients will want a website that looks unique and have a designer properly make that design before you start working. Unless the designer designed the website keeping it in mind that this is going to be a bootstrap website, it is going to be a challenge for you to code that website pixel-perfect to that design. Because the best way to use Bootstrap is by utilizing the predefined components and saving time.

Enter Tailwind. Instead of giving you components that are predesigned, Tailwind CSS  gives you utility classes that can be combined to create unique and personalized designs. Building a site with Tailwind is like playing with playDou. You can build pretty much anything you want with it. It doesn’t limit you in any way by encouraging you to build components in a specific way. This lets you create any design you want instead of committing to a Tailwind design.

2. Learning Curve

 Bootstrap has a relatively lower learning curve, especially for developers familiar with CSS and HTML. Its component-based approach makes it easier to get started quickly. And you’ll be building HTML components as fast as a mid-level developer can before you know it. As long as the design is allowed to look like a Bootstrap design.         

Tailwind CSS is slightly more difficult to learn. Developers need to learn the utility classes and how to combine them effectively to achieve desired designs. However, once mastered, it offers greater flexibility and control over styling.

3. Popularity 

Bootstrap, while being a very popular CSS framework and older than Tailwind, recently has been getting less popular with developers worldwide. So, you’ll be able to find large communities, and a good collection of articles and blogs to help you out when learning Bootstrap.

It is easy to find ready-built components of Bootstrap on the web build that you can use in your project. But its relevance in the future is something to be worried about, if only ever so slightly for now.

Tailwind CSS has seen a significant surge in popularity and adoption among developers and has been growing since its release. Community, articles, blog and ready-built components of Tailwind you can find on the web, are not lagging behind those of Bootstrap by that much either.

4. File Size and Optimization

Bootstrap comes with a set of predefined styles and components, which can lead to larger CSS file sizes, especially if you include the entire framework. This is a small nitpick though. Definitely not something a beginner developer working on small to medium-sized projects should be worried about.

Tailwind CSS generates CSS based on the utility classes used in the project, resulting in a smaller overall file size compared to Bootstrap, especially after tree-shaking (removing unused styles) is utilized.

In the end, Bootstrap is still a good choice for many projects. But if you want more control over your designs and smaller file sizes, Tailwind CSS might be the way to go.