GeneralPosted by Adii Rockstar on 04 Dec 08

Why we love 960.gs

If you’ve been following us, you’d know that many of our themes (as well as this website) are based on the extremely popular 960.gs CSS framework. Now even though many designers / developers prefer not to use CSS frameworks in their projects, we think that we’re maximizing the value of the framework, whilst maximizing the ability of our users to edit the themes.

See - we believe that because it is so easy to understand how 960.gs works that it makes customizing our themes slightly easier. Considering that our themes are created to serve as the basis for your next (unique) project; customizablity thus plays a big role in that regard.

Beyond the customizability of a theme using 960.gs; we also think that the framework is extremely flexible, which allows us to create a wide variety of different themes, whilst it also doesn’t limit users of our themes in what they can & can’t do with them.

Do you have any experience with 960.gs? What do you think about us using it? Think it adds value?

8 Comments For This Post

  1. David

    Is this basically the same thing as Blueprint-CSS?

  2. Greg Wilker

    yes it is kinda, there are some differences which are good and bad… besides it has a much cooler name 960 just sounds bad ass.

  3. Ryan Imel

    I understand why many developers choose to use these systems, I think. For those that grow accustomed to using them, I realize that development can get quite a bit faster with them. And your points make sense, Adii.

    I find the plus column to be too thin, though, compared to the minus column. Using one of these systems, whether Blueprint or 960 or others, requires the use of non-semantic classes and ids in the site’s HTML. Giving elements ids of “grid_8″ or classes like “column16″ or whatnot isn’t interesting to me. I find it counter to many of the best practices I’ve come to believe heavily in.

    That said, I understand my stance is a very developer-minded stickler-ish motif to it. But then again, yours was a developer sort of question :)

  4. Oliver Nielsen

    I tested Blueprint and 960 a few months ago, and decided to use 960, since it is simpler. The download of 960 is 180 kb, while Blueprint is like, 4 mb. Blueprint has 24 columns by default, which is overkill. I like using 960 with 12 columns, which is more than enough for most layouts.

    Anyway, when deciding upon a WooTheme to use for a particular project I look at the source-code to see if it’s 960 based, which is not a requisite, but nice, since as you state yourself, makes customization easy. And hopefully simpler CSS, since the layout is hidded away in the 960.css file.

    So, please base all your future themes on 960 GS. And state it clearly on each theme, so I don’t have to investigate the source code to check;-)

  5. David

    I think one of the reasons the Blueprint download is so large is that it comes with a ruby script to generate your own custom versions of the CSS files, including adding semantic class names and custom grid properties. Not that I’m a sales guy for blueprint or anything.

  6. Raymond Selda

    I started using Blueprint but ended up using 960 because the grid system of much more intuitive. Another reason I’m using 960 is that WooThemes is using it, seriously.

    What I do when it comes to semantics is I put the grid names in ‘class’ then I name the ‘id’ with a more meaningful name.

    If 960 helps your customers with your themes then definitely it adds value. Keep up the good work guys.

  7. mkjones

    I’ve been using this for a while. I used it for my last big project:

    http://www.barnsleyhospital.nhs.uk (uses WordPress of course)

    It made the development much easier. The built in PSD files are a real help.

    I noticed that the WooTheme guys have been using this since your new site launched. However, you seem to have modded the source CSS in the 960 core and added some extra padding to the container classes.

    My question is, why do it this way? You could add the extra style to using a separate stylesheet which would overwrite the built-in 960 padding.

    This way, if the 960 is ever updated, you won’t have to worry about putting the new changes in place.

    Last of all, I notice you using the built in “clearfix” style to clear the floats. I stick to the rather old fashioned - style=”clear” - class on an empty DIV.

    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues using the “clearfix” style?

  8. Spencer

    I’ve never been so sure about using a grid system. It never feels like I would use enough of it to justify including the whole grid. Most sites (even if they are based around a grid) just have 3-4 columns that are used. I usually just create a few divs (named more easily then 960 ‘.nine-sixy { }‘) instead.

    @mkjones

    I always use a clearfix method, and never have any problems with browsers. The only thing I don’t like about your method is the extra markup it adds. If it works though… :)

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