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Last updated: 24 Mar 2021

publisher: Decision record: Forking frontend components from GOV.UK Frontend


We needed to add radio buttons to Government Frontend so that users can make a choice on the Service Sign In choose_sign_in page. The new GOV.UK Frontend project has a component for radio buttons, as does GOV.UK Elements, so we needed to make a decision about which one to use.


GOV.UK Elements is quite an old project that hasn't been kept up to date, and there have been issues in the past where it has conflicted with existing CSS in other GOV.UK projects. As such, the general recommendation is that GOV.UK Elements shouldn't be used for new GOV.UK projects.

GOV.UK Frontend is expected to be the standard for future frontend work, and so ideally any new components should be built to meet its conventions so that in future GOV.UK will be compatible with it. However, GOV.UK Frontend is currently in alpha and not suitable for production use. In order to use it and future-proof the frontend for this format, we forked the current alpha build of GOV.UK Frontend and tested it ourselves before using in Government Frontend. This has been done in such a way that files are isolated and can be updated to use the GOV.UK Frontend project in the future, removing the need for our own CSS and instead relying on the upstream.


As we are using a fork of GOV.UK Frontend we may not always be using the most up-to-date version.