Twitter Bootstrap has been the go-to front-end development framework for a while now. Code monkeys can now whip up some quick templates for a website or app in a matter of days, without having to worry about getting involved in interface or app design. It provides a faster, easier, and less repetitive solution to presentation, which will no doubt appeal to any seasoned web/app developer.
Although from your average web designer’s perspective, Twitter Bootstrap can be seen as big, inflexible and difficult to maintain, Twitter Bootstrap does have some amazing built-in features, namely:
- A fluid grid layout
- Responsive design
- Custom form elements
- Cross-browser compatibility
These are all cool features that have been very time consuming in the past. It seems awesome right? Well it is… and it isn’t… In this series on Twitter Bootstrap, we’ll look at it from all sides, discussing the positives, the negatives and whether you should use it for your next big web project.
Firstly, let’s have a look at some of the big positives and the many situations where Bootstrap really shines. It may not be the best tool for every job, but here are some strong arguments for why you should definitely add it to your toolkit, if you haven’t already.
1. Bootstrap development is FAST
If you need to push out a new site or app in a matter weeks and have a shoestring design budget, Bootstrap is perfect! You can grab one of the great templates available, make a few style changes, throw in some images, pop on a bit of snazzy interactivity and you’re away! In the past, fast and easy has been synonymous with bad practice, and while there are a few issues, Bootstrap has been built from the ground-up by some of the smartest, geekiest geeks on the planet. Cross-browser and device compatibility have been taken into account, which will cut down your debugging time phenomenally.
2. It’s platform agnostic
3. You can just pop magical classes onto any HTML element and make it do fancy stuff!
Now I know what you’re thinking… ‘Hey isn’t that going to make my HTML horribly unsemantic?!‘. Well maybe it doesn’t follow best practices, but it is easy and fast. If time is of the essence, or the site is a one-off promo or landing page, Bootstrappin’ is a no-brainer. If you are worried about non-semantic markup but are still eager to use Bootstrap for a big project, you may find you have to dig into the Bootstrap source code.
4. It’s responsive from the get-go!
By using the fluid grid layout, designing for responsive websites is a walk in the park. Everything just works! Enjoy the true power of the grid, watch as your columns respond fluidly at every important view-port width. Bootstrap makes mobile-first development even easier as you don’t need to go altering your mark-up with every new screen width that you are designing for.
5. It’s fully customisable
Choosing the features you want to include is super-easy! The customizer gives you complete control over which bits you wish to use, so you can streamline the framework to suit your needs. And if that isn’t enough control, you can grab the source code and optimize it even further.