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I am new to Sharepoint development, and am trying to build a custom responsive website through Sharepoint

Understand that there are 2 different kinds of sites: classic and modern.

For classic, we can use master pages, page layout and design manager.

For modern, we have the new Sharepoint Framework, spfx. However, I am only able to find information to build a webpart based on spfx. Based on link1 and link2, master page cannot be built with spfx.

Does it then mean it will be better for me to stick with the classic site?

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It's a matter of opinion and requirements of course, but at it's current state i would say the modern pages are more than ready to be used in production sites. You can customize them as you've discovered, with SharePoint Framework, and you can apply a theme as a part of a site design.

The classic look will be a thing of the past at some point, so my clear recommendation is to go with the modern layout.

You are more constrained with the modern layout, but it's honestly a really good thing.

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