CSS Grid vs Flexbox is two CSS methods for creating layouts on websites. Which is better? It really depends on the needs of your site. But there are some clear differences that you will want to consider. The biggest difference between CSS Grid vs Flexbox is how they behave when items wrap around a grid or container. We’ll talk about what this means in more detail later on in the post, but it’s worth considering which method might work best for your layout before you start building out any code!
What is CSS Grid?
CSS Grid is a CSS layout method that allows for two-dimensional grids of items. It was created to solve the need for layouts with predictable grid lines, like those you might see in print design or on traditional computer displays. The items are given columns and rows which can be sized at different proportions than their parent container by using sizing keywords (e.g., fr unit). Items flow vertically as well as horizontally following these defined rules.
What does this mean?
If you have an item wrapped around your grid, it will fill up all available space until it reaches its respective edge where it will wrap to the next row/column – so long as there’s room in that direction! This means if we had an element with a width of 100% and then wrapped it in the grid framework, that element could fill up all available space vertically or horizontally – when there’s room for more.
What is CSS Flexbox?
Flexbox is a CSS layout method that helps you display items of any size and shape on your page. It works by dividing the available space into equal-sized boxes, which can be filled with content as needed. In flex layouts, there isn’t always an obvious main axis or way to organize its contents in opposition to one another – for example, most websites don’t use vertical alignment because it creates more work for developers. Instead, flexible box layouts are often aligned horizontally so that all their items have a similar width (like Facebook).
Flexbox is best used for simple, straightforward layouts – it doesn’t work well when the items are more complex and have different dimensions. CSS Grid Layout is a newer layout method that’s often better suited for these types of designs because it divides content into modules with explicit rows and columns so you can lay out your page how you want without having to be as meticulous about each individual element.
CSS Grid vs Flexbox: Which is Better?
CSS Grid vs Flexbox is both CSS layouts that allow elements to be laid out on the screen. As a result, they share many of the same features: for example, each makes it possible to define rows or columns so that items will appear in specific places within them. They also have some important differences which you should take into consideration when deciding between these two tools.
Pros & Cons Side by Side – Which Is Better?
This is an overview of how CSS Grid vs Flexbox work as well as their pros and cons, side by side.
- With flexbox, the main container’s width has to be specified explicitly while with grid it automatically fills up available space without having to specify a size for every element in the layout.
- Grid layouts are easier to create with CSS Grid.
- Flexbox is more lightweight and simpler than CSS Grid.
- In the case of a grid, it is not possible for one element to span both columns or rows at once while flex items can be displayed across multiple lines in a row (not just on). For example: if you have three children elements inside a parent element that has two columns, the first child will always occupy the left column but never fill up any space from the right column until there are no spaces left in either of them. However, when using flex layout where content flows horizontally as well vertically so it may take up an entire line even if only one child occupies it. If all children fit into the same row then they may be displayed in multiple lines.
- The amount of CSS code needed to create a grid is more than that for flexbox and so it may take a longer time to construct, but once created grids are faster since each item has its own space and they do not require us to wrap them inside of items one by one like we need with flexboxes (although you can use display: inline-grid; if the content contains only a few elements). The grid also makes it simpler as all columns have equal widths unlike when using Flexbox where different children in the same row will occupy different column sizes depending on their orientation or directionality.
- Flexbox is a lot faster to use than a grid.
- CSS Grid has been around for more than two years and yet we only have one browser that fully supports it, while Flexbox is universally supported across all browsers (including older versions).
- With CSS grids there are some limitations such as the layout having to be ‘columns’ or horizontally oriented rather than vertically. It also lacks responsiveness without major adjustments being done in code like flexboxes which can grow/shrink based on the container width – making them feel very adaptive and fluid.
- Grid allows for wrapping, while Flexbox does not.
- With grid, the container itself can be used to position elements by using auto margins and other properties like align-items or justify-content.
- The grid has the ability to have multiple grids on one page whereas flexbox is limited to just one single layout per document.
- The grid layout handles the alignment of items in rows and columns much better than flexbox.
- With CSS Grid you can create complex layouts with a single line of code while Flexbox needs to be nested inside containers for any kind of complexity, which gets more difficult as the design becomes more complicated.
- While it’s not necessary to declare every row or column on the grid (wasting time) if we do decide that certain content should span multiple columns/rows then specifying each individual element is required rather than being able to specify one container like with flexbox.
- CSS Grid is self-sufficient in that it does not depend on any other CSS property or feature to work, whereas Flexbox depends on the position: relative and display: inline-block properties.
- With grid, you can use a variety of alignment items such as tabs for vertical gutters between columns and space distribution with rows; however, these are unavailable in flexbox.
- The available space within grids (rows) has different proportions than what is actually created by using column widths when designing layouts with flexboxes.
- CSS Flexbox requires that you include rows and columns in your layout, while with CSS Grid these are created automatically based on the grid lines set up by the developer.
- The main benefit of flexboxes is that they can be used as containers for anything – grids, tables, polls, etc., whereas CSS Grids’ functionality, is limited to laying out items horizontally or vertically without any overlap between them.
- Flexbox allows for elements to be laid out either vertically or horizontally, while grid layouts are made exclusively with rows and columns.
- CSS Grid is more resource-intensive than flexbox because of its need for layout calculations when resizing the browser window or changing orientation on a mobile device. On the other hand, Flexboxes’ display property can be changed without affecting the rest of the page’s CSS styles.
- Flexbox is a very powerful layout tool, but it’s not suitable for all layouts. For example, while grid does have some limitations with CSS and HTML features like nesting elements (flex can handle nested content easily) or spanning multiple columns within the same line of items (grid has more flexibility to span items across different rows).
- One big advantage in favor of flexbox over CSS Grid is web animations; because Flex works with percentages, you’ll get perfect cross-browser responsive animation without any need whatsoever to include an extra library.
- The main disadvantage of using flexbox is that when building from scratch especially on complex layouts there may be some initial complexity before becoming comfortable enough to use it proficiently.
- The spacing between items can’t be controlled when using flexboxes but we can use margins or padding on elements within our layout (CSS) which will allow us more control over spacing – not just for the individual item being spaced out, but also for other items around it.
- When laying out items with Flexbox there are no “rows” that need to created thus saving time calculating row heights based on fixed height items – CSS Grid needs to create “rows” in order to know where items are going so there’s more calculation time for this component.
- If you have an item that has a fixed height and want it next to another element with variable content, the flexbox method of specifying the widths of elements will require two classes on each side (or use display: inline-flex) while the grid only requires one class per row.
- When using either method all spacing is calculated based on margin or padding on parent containers which can lead to some unexpected results if we don’t account for those margins when laying out our layout – grids calculations take this into account automatically but not Flexbox layouts.
- The default behavior between these two methods when content doesn’t fit is different – grid will automatically resize the items in a row to account for overflow while flexbox just lets it go out of bounds.
- For most tasks, both CSS Grid and Flexbox are more than adequate tools that can handle layouts with relative ease but if you need finer control over spacing or want a better understanding of where your elements end up on the page then CSS Grid may be right for you.
Conclusion- CSS Grid vs Flexbox: Who is Winner?
Flexbox is better if you’re designing a site that might need to change in the future. Flexboxes can give you the ability to easily swap your content blocks around as needed, whereas CSS Grids require a lot of coding. But flexboxes are not very good at layouts with complex numbers of columns or margins, so be careful what sort of project you choose it for because it won’t work on every single one.