Bootstrap for today’s web development world
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Bootstrap for today’s web development world

Author: Anurag Agarwal | Categories: Website Design & User Experience, Websites, Design & Ux

If you have any interest in web development, it’s likely that you’ve heard of Bootstrap. Bootstrap is one of the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS frameworks for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web. 

When I discovered Bootstrap a few years back, responsive design was still gaining popularity, and not necessarily the expected norm. Having experience of making websites from scratch, I was a little confused about the entire concept of the framework. I was wondering it would be even more confusing for beginners who are now expected to learn responsive design concepts and Bootstrap and JavaScript libraries, in addition to HTML, CSS, and JS.

Let’s now begin with understanding the goals of having knowledge of Bootstrap. Below are some goals to achieve while reading this blog:

  • Understand how to include Bootstrap's CSS and JavaScript properly and begin customizing
  • Learn what a front-end framework is and how it can be useful

CSS

If you’re using Bootstrap, you must know what gains you can achieve out of it. Here are the advantages of developing a website by using Bootstrap:

Advantages:

  • Cross-Browser Compatibility – Twitter Bootstrap is cross browser compatible right out of the box because it was made that way. Therefore, you don’t have to worry too much about breaking things in certain browsers (ex. Internet Explorer) when you are using Bootstrap components.
  • Lightweight
  • Gives consistency
  • Integrated with jQuery
  • Comes with some jQuery plugins
  • Good for making a responsive design.
  • Speed up development process

While Bootstrap enables you to build a highly responsive website in an effective manner, here are some pitfalls of developing website using Bootstrap:

Limitations:

  • Limited Designs: In my thinking, many websites that use Bootstrap look identical to a great extent. This is because Bootstrap works in a certain way with all its features and by using it, you have to stay within the Bootstrap’s constraints. Doing so could limit creativity in the website.
  • Learning Curve – With any framework or any other toolkit or system, there will be a learning curve of sorts. Depending on the developer’s knowledge of front end technologies, he/she may take longer to grasp. But, after the initial learning period, learning Bootstrap is not hard.
  • Overwrite or Rewrite CSS - Designing a genuine interface is a lot more than changing a background or fonts. Even if you can customize the elements, you have to overwrite or rewrite a big part of the css code. By doing so, the file size increases considerably. By rewriting, you cannot update the framework quickly.
  • Having bootstrap and making it work with your current website is a task.
  • Lack of third-party plugin support - The Facebook Comments plugin and the YouTube embedded videos allow only a fixed width: if the user ever changes his/her browser width, there will be size discrepancy and which can cause aesthetic issues.