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Flexbox vs CSS Grid: A comparative analysis

Flexbox has become an integral part of frontend design. Because of its ability to create any layout flexibility, Flexbox has been being increasingly popular among the frontend designers around the world. But there’s another wonder arrived in the town already. That is CSS Grid. Despite having almost the same capability to power frontend design, each of them also has their own differences. So, if you have been so confused about which one to go for, here we come for you to decide on which one to settle with.

What are they?

Before diving into their strengths and weaknesses, we better shed some light on what they are. Let’s get introduced to both Flexbox and CSS Grid in their definitive description below.

Flexbox

Flexbox is a layout mode which supports different screen sizes and devices. Flexbox model is easier than the block model for many applications since it neither uses floats, nor do the flex container's margins collapse with the margins of its contents. The layout of your design is made much easier with Flexbox.

CSS Grid

CSS Grid introduces two-dimensional grid system to CSS. It works in an intersecting set of horizontal and vertical lines. One set defines columns and the other set defines rows. Elements can be placed onto the grid, respecting these column and row lines. You can create a grid with fixed track sizes using pixels for example and have control over alignment as well as overlapping contents.

What differences do they have?

There are things that CSS Grid can do what Flexbox can not or vice versa. But most interestingly both of them can work together as well. Let’s discover some of the differences they have.

Dimension

Flexbox is essentially for laying out items in a single dimension– in a row OR a column. Grid is for layout of items in two dimensions– rows and columns. It's not possible to make multi-dimensional layouts in just Flexbox. With CSS Grid it is very much possible.

Uses

Flexbox is comparatively older and has been being widely used. On the other hand, CSS Grid is very new and may go through some updates. The number of the Flexbox users is growing rapidly. The increase rate is much more than the CSS Grid users.

Browser support

When it comes to browser support, Flexbox is far ahead of CSS Grid. Being new, the CSS Grid has less browser support than that of Flexbox. In an actual fact, Flexbox is very well supported, at 95.89% global support.

Making grids

CSS Grid makes literal grids better than Flexbox. Since you can make any layout in both two dimensions, it is easier to make grids with CSS Grids. In short, grids are what CSS Grid is for. Being able to work only in one dimension Flexbox can not make grids well. 

Dependency on media query

CSS Grid requires comparatively less media query intervention with really powerful functionalities like auto-layout, minmax(), repeat(), and auto-fill. 

Scalability

CSS grids are great for building the bigger picture. They make it really easy to manage the layout of the page, and can even handle more unorthodox and asymmetrical designs. On the other side, Flexbox is great at aligning the content inside elements.

 

If you have gone through the whole article, you can easily decide what to do. When both have some distinct uses and both are capable of different things, it is wise to use both of them together. If just a single one is enough to meet your need then use that particular one.

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