matt murtaugh.
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Part 3: You don't always need the newest toy

Anyone that has worked in web design or development for several years will likely have seen how quickly new technologies and tools come and go. 

I started learning HTML & CSS in my early teens (mid-2000s), and everything changed in that time. I'm happy with the frameworks and tools I use now, and they have stayed relatively consistent for several years. 

The last significant change that I made was adopting Vite into my workflow. Transitioning from Webpack to Vite was mostly painless, but it made me reflect on this piece of my development history.

My workflow has looked something like this over time:

  1. Plain CSS stylesheets

  2. Sass stylesheets processed through Prepros

  3. Sass stylesheets processed through Gulp

  4. TailwindCSS + Sass stylesheets processed through Gulp

  5. TailwindCSS + Sass stylesheets processed through Laravel Mix

  6. TailwindCSS + PostCSS stylesheets processed through Laravel Mix

  7. TailwindCSS + PostCSS stylesheets processed through Vite


Anything that uses Laravel Mix or newer is easy to jump back into, and everything works. It has been four or more years since I last used anything with Gulp or without TailwindCSS. 

Opening a Gulp project requires a significant amount of troubleshooting or updating. I don't have Prepros installed on my Mac anymore. 

Updating a site to use my current toolset can be time-consuming. A lot of times, the budget won't allow this time.


Before I adopt a new tool or framework, I think about the costs of adoption. 

TailwindCSS has been the best addition since I started building websites. I can quickly jump into old projects. A team of excellent developers actively supports it. The ecosystem for TailwindCSS is one of the best I have used.

Vite was also an excellent addition to my workflow because it solved a few issues with Mix. The speed increase was just an added benefit. I felt confident with Vite because the migration for Mix projects is straightforward. 

I regularly test new frameworks, software, and tools. I try to avoid changing my workflow as much as possible. I know that any changes will add additional work to existing projects.


The speed at which new tools appear is exhausting. Knowing when to adopt a new tool is as valuable as knowing how to use it. Nothing is worse than investing in something to find it abandoned as soon as you know it.

My Advice: Choose your tools wisely.

Other parts of this series:

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