If you're a developer, choosing the proper UI framework can be tough. This is partly because there are so many options to choose from, each with its strengths and weaknesses.
In this guide, I will discuss the differences between two popular frameworks: Tailwind CSS and NextUI.
Tailwind CSS is a framework that has gained a large following among developers due to its simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use. NextUI, on the other hand, is popular because of its scalability, performance, and flexibility.
This article will compare the critical features of the two frameworks, their pros and cons, and their suitability for different project types.
Whether you are a developer looking to select the best framework for your project or you're just curious about these tools, this article is for you.
Here's what we'll cover:
- What is Tailwind CSS and what are its pros and cons?
- What is NextUI and what are its pros and cons?
- How to decide between Tailwind and NextUI
Let’s dive in! 🚀
What is Tailwind CSS?
Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework – that is, it's a framework that focuses on functionality rather than its looks or UI. Adam Wathan, a Canadian Software developer and entrepreneur, built Tailwind CSS.
Tailwind allows you to completely customize your utility classes without leaving the HTML. Tailwind CSS offers a fast and easy way to style your websites.
Tailwind CSS is highly customizable. This means as a user, you can modify the fonts, colors and other design elements to match your web design preferences.
This framework also has faster load time because of PurgeCSS (which removes unused or unwanted CSS styles from your final build resulting in smaller file sizes).
Pros of using Tailwind CSS:
Just as everything has advantages and disadvantages, here are the advantages of using tailwind CSS:
- Tailwind is easy to learn and use for first-time developers.
- Tailwind uses a few lines of code to create flexible designs.
- Tailwind can easily convert a design to reusable components since it is a utility-first framework.
- Tailwind is a guide and avoids using unfamiliar names for CSS classes and ids.
- Tailwind can effortlessly be customized to suit the developer’s needs.
Cons of using Tailwind CSS:
And now here are the disadvantages of using Tailwind CSS:
- Tailwind contains large CSS files because it provides low-level CSS classes, so when styling, the files may be too large and complex to maintain over time. This also affects the performance of the website or application.
- Tailwind may have many low-level classes, but it is hard to override the styles of specific elements when changing designs or styling specific elements.
- Tailwind is not always the best framework for some projects. It is undoubtedly a powerful tool, but specific design requirements may not be achievable using the available classes when working on a project. Tailwind is best for projects that involves a lot of styling UI and customizing design elements such as Prototyping, Dashboards, E-commerce websites and lots more.
What is NextUI?
NextUI is a component-based CSS framework, which means it provides a set of pre-designed components you can use at any time. Examples include buttons, forms, navigation bars, navigation menus, and more.
NextUI is built and maintained by the Vercel team. The beauty of NextUI is that it gives you a customizable template, so you don’t have to write much CSS code to create a responsive website.
The downside of using this framework is that developers won’t have 100% control of the design as the components are limited by NextUI.
In addition to its core UI components, NextUI offers developer tools such as automatic code splitting, server-side rendering, and built-in support for libraries like GraphQL and Apollo.
Pros of using NextUI:
Just as everything has advantages and disadvantages, here are the advantages of using NextUI:
- NextUI is highly scalable when handling large and complex applications if the application grows. It doesn’t slow down when handling such large files.
- NextUI is very flexible and built to suit the user’s needs or tastes.
- NextUI has a large, reliable community so getting help when using the tool is stress-free.
- NextUI has an extensive range of pre-built components and features, which saves the developer's time when building.
Cons of using NextUI:
And now here are the disadvantages of using NextUI:
- NextUI has a large footprint compared to other frameworks despite being built on ReactJS. This can also affect its performance if the developer does not fully understand how to navigate NextUI.
- NextUI may not be the best option when building an application that does not involve or use ReactJS.
- NextUI may be relatively easy to use but has a learning curve that may be difficult to understand for those who don’t use React.
- NextUI requires more attention in setting up and configuration because it offers a range of developer tools for customization.
How to Decide Between NextUI and Tailwind
|NextUI was built for rendering React applications.||Tailwind aims at styling any website or web application easily.|
|NextUI CSS is customizable and provides a wide range of developer tools and features to customize the pre-built components to the developer’s needs.||Tailwind CSS is customizable but the only additional developer tool it provides is PurgeCSS. It doesn't provide tools for querying such as GraphQL.|
|NextUI CSS is designed to help developers focus on the performance and scalability of their applications.||Tailwind CSS is designed to help developers build user interfaces quickly and efficiently.|
|NextUI is ideal for large React applications||Tailwind CSS is ideal for small-scale React appplications|
|NextUI CSS provides pre-built UI components and features that can be used to build websites and applications.||Tailwind CSS provides a wide range of low-level CSS classes. This means tailwind gives the developers chance to build the UI components themselves.|
|NextUI CSS may take more time in setting up and configuring.||Tailwind CSS takes less time in setting up and configuring.|
If you are working on a React application for a large-scale project, NextUI is the best choice as a CSS framework. But if you are working on an application that requires you to focus on specific functionality or design requirements, Tailwind is the best choice for you.
In conclusion, Tailwind CSS and Next UI are different tools for developing web and mobile applications.
Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework designed to help developers build a custom user interface quickly. NextUI is a component-based framework designed to help developers improve the performance and scalability of the application.
Tailwind and NextUI each have strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice for your project depends entirely on the application’s design requirements, needs, and goals.
Tailwind CSS best suits developers looking for a simple solution to build a custom user interface. In contrast, NextUI is best suited for developers looking for CSS templates, so they can focus on other parts of the application, like scalability.
In the end, pick the best framework for you based on your preferences and skills as a developer. Before choosing, carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each tool to make an informed decision when building the best possible application for your users.