• author: Kevin Powell

Why I Stick With Vanilla HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

As a content creator, I often receive questions about why I still use vanilla HTML, CSS, and occasionally JavaScript on my YouTube channel. People inquire about when they'll see React, Tailwind, Bootstrap, or Material UI content on my channel. In response, I give two reasons that lead me to stick with vanilla HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Importance of Understanding Core Languages

The first reason I stick with the core languages is that it's essential to understand the core languages that all those things are built on. The base of all modern web development is HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Knowledge of these core languages is crucial to building robust websites and web applications. Skipping the core languages leads to confusion and issues further down the line.

Incorporating Vanilla Workflows into Your Workflow of Choice

The second reason I stick with vanilla HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is that it's much easier to take something that is made with vanilla HTML, CSS, or JavaScript and incorporate it into your workflow of choice. Sometimes people try to turn another programmer's Tailwind or some other CSS njs solution into their preferred workflow. It becomes difficult when they are unfamiliar with that workflow and CSS. With an understanding of the core languages, it's simpler to take something made with only HTML, CSS, or JavaScript and modify it for any workflow.

Use Tailwind With A Decent Understanding of CSS

It's essential to note that there is nothing wrong with Tailwind and other popular CSS frameworks. However, to use them effectively, it's necessary to have decent knowledge of CSS. While it's enticing to start with a CSS framework or library, it's better to learn CSS first.

Learning Progressions

Many times, people skip learning core languages and jump to modern JavaScript Frameworks like React. Now it's essential to know that learning React can be beneficial, but only after a good understanding of JavaScript. React tutorials are prevalent because they promise to make everything work quickly. In contrast, JavaScript tutorials can get bogged down in theory, but it's the most crucial step.

Learning From Prior Mistakes

Skipping JavaScript and embracing jQuery is a similar mistake. jQuery allows for an easy way to manipulate the Document Object Model (DOM). Unlike the many loops in JavaScript, jQuery provides a sense of progress because of its instant output. However, this resulted in holding me back for an extended period. If I had first learned JavaScript, I'd have understood how to make jQuery run smoother and improve my workflow.

Shifts in Industry

Learning frameworks like React and using CSS tools like Tailwind does improve your employability but not at the expense of understanding core languages. Schools teach today's frameworks, but by the time the students graduate, they become outdated. Even jQuery was thought to be a permanent website development fixture until something better emerged. The industry shifts with time and adapts to modern languages and tools over time. Having a great knowledge of these core languages provides a better foundation for adapting to changes.


In conclusion, these are the primary reasons I continue using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This was based on a recent newsletter I sent out where I often talk about general topics and not just CSS specifics. Additionally, I share all that I've been up to and share other creators' cool works. If you want to take a peek, consider subscribing to the weekly newsletter.

Lastly, I'd like to thank my patrons who make all this possible: James, Rico, Michael, Simon, Tim, Johnny, and everyone else who's contributed to my work. Until next time, keep making the web a little bit more awesome.

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