September 18 2023

5 minutes of reading

Why TailwindCSS might be the best way to write CSS in 2023?

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Cezary Mazur

A responsive and appealing E‑commerce website is an absolute necessity today. However, seeking tools and solutions that optimize processes is crucial to ensure smooth development and adaptability to the rapidly evolving digital landscape. One such area requiring optimization is the creation of CSS styles.

The traditional approach to crafting CSS stylesheets can be time-consuming and complex, especially for larger projects. Thus, embracing a solution that streamlines the process is essential when building or enhancing an E‑commerce website. This is where the concept of Utility-First CSS using the TailwindCSS framework comes into play.

Utility-First CSS is a groundbreaking approach that has revolutionized CSS styling recently. It emphasizes the composition of small, reusable classes designed to provide specific styles and functionalities.

In practice, this entails using a single universal class, which contains all the necessary styles for a given element or function, instead of creating multiple separate classes for colors (e.g., “text-red,” “bg-blue”). You use a unified class like “text-color” or “bg-color” and apply the appropriate value to it, such as “text-red” or “bg-blue.”

The TailwindCSS framework, in turn, is one of the most popular tools that aligns with this approach. It offers an extensive set of helper classes that can be combined and customized to suit your needs. This allows you to create custom styles directly within your HTML files without additional CSS code.

Benefits of Using TailwindCSS and Framework Components

The use of TailwindCSS and framework components offers several advantages, primarily for E‑commerce programmers (but not limited to them). Here are the key benefits:

  • Faster Development.

Leveraging helper classes and tools provided by TailwindCSS accelerates styling and layout creation, making the process much faster and more intuitive. Instead of crafting individual CSS classes for each element, you can use ready-made helper classes with predefined styles. In a sense, this process is automation, saving time and enabling programmers to focus on other critical areas, thereby promoting faster business growth.

The use of a CSS framework such as Tailwind at the design stage can reduce the implementation cost of a template by as much as 40-70%. Using this methodology, we can design a WordPress site using a ready-made starter, a headless site such as with CMS Storyblok or even E‑commerce using Shopware 6 and their headless Shopware Frontends template, which natively has Taillwind built in.” – says Łukasz Białonoga, E‑commerce Managing Director, salestube powered by hmmh

  • Reduced Custom CSS and Configurability.

With numerous helper classes at your disposal via TailwindCSS, there is no need for writing extensive custom CSS. Basic styles like colors, margins, paddings, and fonts are readily available. You achieve the desired styles by selecting the appropriate helper classes and applying them to your website’s elements.

Moreover, TailwindCSS is highly flexible and easily adaptable to various designer preferences. You can quickly configure multiple parameters to achieve the desired appearance and style.

  • Compact CSS File Sizes.

TailwindCSS is optimized for file size, even with many helper classes. This results in relatively small CSS files generated by the framework, leading to faster page loading and improved website performance.

  • Application of best practices.

TailwindCSS is designed following best practices in CSS stylesheet creation. By employing this tool, you automatically apply good programming practices, contributing to code maintenance ease and enhanced page readability.

  • Responsiveness.

TailwindCSS is fully responsive, ensuring that websites built using this framework look and function well across various devices and screen resolutions.

  • Multi-Language Support.

TailwindCSS supports different programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which means it can be easily integrated with various technologies and tools.

  • No Need for Specialist Knowledge.

Utilizing TailwindCSS doesn’t necessitate specialized CSS knowledge. The framework offers a wide array of ready-made helper classes that you can employ in your projects. It is enough for you to grasp only some of the intricate details of CSS to create modern, appealing, and responsive websites.

  • No Need to Invent New Class Names.

Unlike traditional CSS stylesheet creation, which often requires inventing new class names for different page elements, TailwindCSS eliminates this need. The framework provides a set of ready-made helper class names that are well-defined and easy to understand.

Tools and Plugins for Working with TailwindCSS

Several plugins are available for use in website creation processes to facilitate working with TailwindCSS. Here are some of the most popular tools:

  • Visual Studio Code Plugins.

Visual Studio Code, a popular development environment, offers numerous plugins related to TailwindCSS. Some notable ones include:

1)TailwindCSS IntelliSense: This plugin supports TailwindCSS class syntax, providing suggestions and tips for used classes.
2)Inline Fold: This plugin allows you to fold TailwindCSS classes directly in HTML code, making it easier to manage and read code, especially in larger projects.

  • PurgeCSS, PostCSS, or Webpack,

To optimize the file size of CSS generated by TailwindCSS, you can use tools such as PurgeCSS, PostCSS, or Webpack. These tools remove unused CSS classes from files, resulting in smaller CSS file sizes and improved website performance.

  • Tailwind UI.

Tailwind UI provides a set of ready-made components for TailwindCSS that you can directly utilize in your projects. This eliminates the need to build each element from scratch, significantly speeding up the interface-building process.

  • TailwindCSS Custom Forms.

This plugin adds styling to standard HTML forms. Thanks to it, you can easily change the appearance of inputs, checkboxes, selects, and other form elements using TailwindCSS helper classes.

  • Heroicons.

Heroicons is a collection of SVG icons that you can easily incorporate into your projects. The “Heroicons” plugin provides ready-to-use code snippets to paste into your templates. Each icon is stylized according to TailwindCSS, eliminating the need to manually customize the icons’ appearance.

Why Utilize TailwindCSS?

TailwindCSS offers numerous benefits that optimize programming processes, which are crucial in the rapidly evolving landscape of E‑commerce and websites in general. The following are the key advantages of this tool, based on practical experience:

  • Faster Styling for Large Projects.

The framework provides an extensive range of ready-made helper classes that you can use to style various page elements. This means less need for extensive custom CSS and individual class creation of each component. Instead, you can leverage predefined styles and tailor them to your needs.

  • Creation of Reusable Components.

Combining TailwindCSS with the Vue.js framework allows creating reusable components and blocks that can be easily styled.

  • Use of Pre-Made Components.

TailwindCSS also offers pre-made components to integrate into your projects. These components come already stylized and ready for use – just copy the component code from the Tailwind UI library (https://tailwindui.com/components) and adapt it to your requirements. This dramatically accelerates the user interface design and front-end development process.

  • Tailoring TailwindCSS to Your Needs.

TailwindCSS is a highly flexible tool, making it customizable to the needs and characteristics of E‑commerce services and various other complex websites. You can adjust the framework’s configuration to generate different helper classes or adapt existing classes to individual preferences. This enables the creation of custom styles that align with your requirements.

Summary

In conjunction with the Utility-First CSS approach, TailwindCSS is a tool that significantly simplifies the creation of appealing and responsive websites. Using this framework provides numerous valuable benefits, such as accelerated website development, reduced need for custom CSS, code maintenance ease, enhanced flexibility, and improved work quality. If you’re an E‑commerce business owner or a programmer, consider embracing this concept for your CSS projects.


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