I opted to try out Tailwind for my latest personal project. We (my wife and I) want our new App to have a more professional look than its sibling (less Boot strappy). I also wanted to try something new: enter Tailwind – below is my update.
So, the update, how is it going?
I’ve now used Tailwind in anger. I’m far enough into building the new App to provide an update on how things are going.
For someone who has used Bootstrap forever, there is a little to learn. You get nothing for free with Tailwind and what I mean by that is that you need to define everything, that is the point.
In Bootstrap you are using defined components, buttons, cards, everything has a pleasant default. When you copy the example for a card, it will have some nice padding, margins and fit with everything else. With Tailwind you need to define everything which is both a blessing and curse. Which it is depends on how you create your HTML and whether you have a vision of what you want.
I purchased a TailwindUI subscription which has been incredibly useful in helping me get started. If you are a solo developer and not that great at design, I recommend purchasing a subscription, you won’t regret it.
I’m a huge fan of components, I’ve been creating reusable view components since the days of Zend Framework 1. If there is a chance I’m going to duplicate some HTML and it makes sense, boom, I create a component.
This approach works well with Tailwind. Yes, you need to define many more styles on an element, however, if it is all behind a reusable component that you define once, who cares?
If you tend to develop with the same framework, in my case Laravel, these days, the more components you create, the more components you will have for the next project. In the last four years I’ve created a substantial library of Bootstrap and Tailwind view components.
I’m not done with the new App yet so my opinion of Tailwind may change but so far, yes, I’m very much enjoying it.
My biggest issue is having to context switch between Bootstrap and Tailwind. I have several personal and client projects which I support daily. Occasionally I run into an issue where I’m trying to use the wrong styles and wondering why it doesn’t work.
I might write another blogpost when I’m closer to release. At that point I should have hit more hurdles so should be able to provide a more detailed update on Tailwind.