Of course, Web design has also become much more complex and painstaking, so Web developers welcome with open arms any feature that saves them time and effort. That explains the proliferation of Web layout and design frameworks, tools that programmers and designers alike can use as starting points for their sites.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Review: WAMP stacks for Web developers | Get the lowdown on all the key HTML5 specs with InfoWorld's megaguide to HTML5 | Keep up with the latest developer news with InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter. ]
Web frameworks don't completely replace the heavy lifting required to make a good site design, but they save a designer the effort of building the hardest and most complicated parts of a site, as well as behaviors that are tiresome to reinvent. These days, that means not only a consistent theme, but also support for advanced HTML5 features or ways to handle both mobile and desktop browser rendering in the same design.
Here's an overview of some of the most useful or familiar Web frameworks, with notes about their licensing, what's included in them, and what projects they may be best suited for. A full rundown of all the frameworks in use or development would be prohibitive; think of these as the highlights, standouts, and major examples of how things are done.