CSS? That old, boring thing? Nobody uses plain CSS these days. All the cool, I mean, professional developers use preprocessors these days. You know, the things that are workarounds to CSS’ limitations and give you extra functionalities (like mixins) that can help with scalability and efficiency. I could give you 6 reasons to use a css preporcessor anyday, but that’s quite the old topic.
I would rather talk right now about the best CSS preprocessors in 2021.
The one, the only, the king among preprocessors. SASS is the most mature, most stable and powerful extension language that’s on the market, and with more than 15 years since its release in 2006, it’s hard to contest that. SASS has tons of features, like rules (like functions in a way) and built in modules, a more than large support community, and is even at the foundation of Bootstrap, so no wonder why it’s the most popular at this moment. Sass is easy to install, set up and learn on the go, given the fact that it has a great community and support forum.
LESS is what we use here at EMOTIONstudios, so we can safely say that it’s our favourite on this list. It’s still one of the older ones on this list, launching in 2009. It’s reliable, it has a smooth learning curve since it’s syntax is very similar to plain CSS. When looking at its functionalities, we can see that it has most of the same features as SASS, just under a different name, including different functions and mixins.
Launched in 2010, Stylus has a smaller user base than the former two, but still a great contender, especially for those who are familiar with Node.js. It’s built just with that, and if you’re familiar with the environment, Stylus is the CSS preprocessor for you. The versatility of Stylus is its first and primary feature: colons, semicolons, and commas are all optional. Furthermore, you don’t require curly brackets to create code blocks because Stylus utilizes indentations instead of symbols to do so.
PostCSS is one of the big contenders on this list. Almost like an underdog, it’s one of the biggest and best alternatives to the SASS, LESS and Stylus. One of the main differences when it comes with PostCSS is the fact that it’s modular. You don’t need to take the whole package (even though you can) but rather you can customize it, modify it and create almost a whole new resource pack.
What’s your go to CSS preprocessor?