Foundation: The Most Advanced Responsive Front-end Framework from ZURB

Frequently Asked Questions

Sometimes people ask us things. Here's the most common ones. Watching Foundation grow into one of the top 20 open source projects in the world has been amazing. We get a lot of recurring questions about our framework, so we put together this list of FAQs to help you out!

1. Why doesn't Foundation support IE7 or IE8? Or: why we don't support a dying species.

This is probably the biggest question we get. Consider this: most of today's popular browsers automatically upgrade themselves including Chrome, Firefox and Explorer (starting with 9). IE 8 is the last IE supported on Windows XP, which Microsoft has officially stopped supporting a couple years ago. That played a part in our decision.

Besides that, since Foundation 4, our framework is built mobile-first, meaning it relies on media queries to layer in more complex layouts and components. Browsers or devices that don't support media queries will be restricted to a simple, single-column layout. In some ways, Foundation 4 better supports IE6-7 insomuch as it provides a mobile but not entirely broken experience. If IE8 support is important for your users / customers, you can use Foundation 3.2, which supports IE8. It's not mobile first but it's good stuff.

People have been able to get IE8 to play nice with Foundation. Here are some links to help you if need it:

Foundation 5 and IE8 compatibility from the forum →
Getting Foundation 5 to work in IE8 by Cornelius Weidmann →

2. Why is Foundation free?

Foundation had its origins in the ZURB style guide, which we used on every client project. Years ago, we decided we needed a framework that allowed us to rapidly prototype. We took our global CSS, jQuery plugins, common elements and best practices, then whipped them into what became Foundation. And once we did that, it took on a life of its own.

The simple answer: we love what we do — we help people design better products. We use it for every project we do, whether it's internal or a client one. And if it helps us do what we do, then certainly it can help others too.

3. What's the license for Foundation? (Can I use Foundation for something I'm gonna sell?)

Foundation is MIT licensed and free to use on anything you'd like. You can even fork the framework and make it your own. To give people the most freedom to do what they want with the framework, we had to give them a license to do so. Companies and people use Foundation to build their sites, templates to sell, and other resources. The only thing you can't do is sell Foundation itself.

4. Can I use Foundation with [insert CMS of choice here]?

The short answer: yes. You can use it with any CMS. Foundation is basically CSS/SCSS, JavaScript and markup structure that can be used on pretty much any project. Figuring out how to integrate it into whatever system you choose is up to you, we can't be experts at everything :) but you can check out to the Resources page to see if someone has already done the legwork!

5. How many people run Foundation?

Like we said, we use Foundation for every project we work on. 25 designers and engineers battle test it daily on our client's projects. This gives us great insight into how we should tweak or change things as we move forward. When it comes to writing the core of Foundation, we currently have four people actively working on it. Although we rope in a few other ZURBians when needed.

6. How do I use multiple versions of Foundation?

You don't want to use multiple versions on a single project. If you are using different versions for different projects, we've got you covered. You can easily use a system like Bundler to define a version (with the gem version). This lets you compile your CSS against whatever version you'd like. If you're using vanilla CSS, you shouldn't have a problem since you aren't compiling against a gem.

One caveat for those of you upgrading a project with CSS: you'll have to download a new version of Foundation and replace your files directly in your project. We always suggest backing your project up before you upgrade — just in case something breaks.

7. Why doesn't Foundation have as much styling as Bootstrap?

We purposely left our styles sparse. We didn't want to end up with a world where all the sites looked like Foundation — that's why we left out a lot of complex styles so you can add to our defaults easily without having to override a bunch of styles baked in. It also helps with integration and alleviates code bloat.

8. Can I use just the Grid?

Yep! If you only want the grid, you can select only that using the customizer or you can import only the grid in your SCSS project. There will be some global files that will come down as well, but those are minimal and needed for the grid to work properly. This includes things like our global box-sizing:border-box reset.

CSS: You can visit the download page and uncheck “All Foundation Components”. Then make sure to check “Grid”. This will let you download Foundation and only include the grid.

SCSS: If you want to remove everything but the grid, you can use your app.scss file that comes down with a new project. You’ll simply comment out @import “foundation”; and uncomment the globals and the grid components, like so:

9. How can I contribute to Foundation?

The best way for you to contribute is to use the code, find bugs and submit them on GitHub, where it's reached 20,500+ stars. If you are brave enough, try submitting your own fix through a Pull Request and you’ll be listed as one of the hundreds of contributors on Foundation!

If you want to submit a Pull Request:

10. How do I trim down my files before production?

Let's take a look at the CSS first. You have to figure out which plugins or components you aren't using and download a new version from the customizer that only includes the files you need. Then you can remove any reference to them in your development code.

For SCSS, you can simply @import only the parts of Foundation you need, making it super easy to trim down to the basics you need. If you don't need a plugin, remove the reference to it in the document and delete the file.

Bonus: Foundation's JavaScript is quite modular so you can selctively include only the JS plugins you need (along with a core function file). You'll find instructions here: JavaScript Setup →

11. Is Foundation tested on [some other device or browser]?

We try and be comprehensive in our testing and there are thousands of devices and many browsers, so we test on the most commonly used ones. We'd love to hear about Foundation's behaviour on other devices so shoot us a line if you see something odd.

Foundation Compatability →

12. Where can I find the Foundation 4 docs?

For those of you still working on Foundation 4 sites, the docs are still available. View the docs here →

Got more questions? Hit up Foundation Support

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