To use or not to use Bootstrap Framework?

This article sums up the pros and cons of using Bootstrap. Altough Bootstrap seems to be the most popular HTML, CSS and JS framework for responsive developing, some love it and some hate it.

 

TO USE

1. Saves time and is easy to use

Using Bootstrap, you can save a lot of time. You don’t have to spend time writing code, you can just use the Bootstrap predefined design templates and classes and put it exactly where they fit. That’s why it’s simple to use Bootstrap. If you have the basic working knowledge of HTML and CSS, you can start development with Bootstrap.

 

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2.Customizable

An advantage of Bootstrap is that it offers many ways to be customized so that you can make it your own. You can pick and choose what is needed and toss what is not. Bootstrap can be adjusted exactly as you want it and as your project requires. This is simply accomplished using the Bootstrap customize page.

 

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3. Great grid system

Creating page layouts needs a good grid. Bootstrap has this benefit: one of the best responsive, mobile grid system. It’s really easy to use and if you need to work through columns, then you’re in the right place using Bootstrap. Very handy when you want to hide some content based on screen size. Adding a class such as .visible-desktop to a element will make it visible only for desktop users. There are similar classes for tablets and phones.

 

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4. Consistency

The problem that Bootstrap solved from the beginning was inconsistencies between designers and developers working on their projects. This is one of the main reasons Bootstrap came to be what it is: a central set of sevelopment code that solves the issues between the development front and the end-user front. Bootstrap’s results are uniform for every platform, it looks the same on all browser(Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox).
Bootstrap started out as a project developed by a few employees at Twitter. They were trying to develop a framework that will encourage consistency. Mark Otto, one of the team members an co-founder of Boostrap later realised it had a huge potentials, well beyond the usage as an internal tool. On its quest to pair designers with developers, Bootstrap had been made open-source since August 2011. The framework was a huge success at Twitter and it is a huge success outside of it too. The bottom line it that Bootstrap ensures consistency regardless of who’s working on the project.

 

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5.Responsiveness
The need to have a responsive website is very important. Creating mobile ready websites is a breeze with Bootstrap thanks to the fluid grid layout that dynamically adjusts to the proper screen resolution. If you shift from a laptop to an iPad, you won’t have to worry over your work. Bootstrap adapts to the change in platforms.

 

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6. Compatibility
Bootstrap is compatible with all modern browsers and Internet Explorer versions. Bootstrap is equipped with elements that are being considered the future of design itself. For example both HTML5 and CSS3 are things that are going to be big in the future. Plugins like HTML5Shiv and Respond.js come as part of Bootstrap’s default template. These help in porting HTML5 elements into older non-HTML5 browsers.

 

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7.Documentation
Another advantage of Bootstrap is that it gives an impressive documentation, examples and demos that will make it easier to use for someone new. In this way, you can save time because you don’t have to play with everything to learn how to use it. Everything is in the documentation.

 

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8.Open source

One of the main reasons to use Bootstrap is the fact that it’s an open source project, hosted on Github. You don’t have to deal with purchasing and licensing issues and it gives you the freedom to change it how you want it.

 

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NOT TO USE

1.All sites look alike

”Let’s be honest: a great many of us are tired of seeing the same old Twitter Bootstrap theme again and again. Black header, giant hero, rounded blue buttons, Helvetica Neue. Yes, you can customize the header to be a different color, maybe re-color some of the buttons, use a different font. Ultimately, however, that doesn’t change anything—it still looks like Bootstrap.”

Bootstrap is popular and easy to use, therefore everyone is using it. Even if it’s customizable, giving you the chance to make it your own, not everyone does that. The result will be a number of websites that look more alike than they should.

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2.It’s good for startups that can’t afford a designer.

“This is one of the more bizarre issues; the fear that as frameworks like Bootstrap give presentation power to the web developers, the web designer/front-end developer role will become obsolete. Bootstrap is great and all, but it shouldn’t be confused with a theme. There are plenty of Bootstrap themes out there of course, which are no doubt built by web designers.”

 

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3.Sass support
Bootstrap is built with LESS and doesn’t provide native support for Compass or SASS. LESS is ok, but a lot of people are feeling uncomfortable due to their addiction to SAAS. Although it may be a big ‘NO’ for some people, others have thoughts of work-arounds, creating Sass Bootstrap and a Bootstrap for Compass gem.

 

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4.It’s incredibly heavy
Bootstrap will help you to build an attractive, responsive website, but some mobile users could be turned away by the slow loading time and battery drain issues. Bootstrap comes with a lot of lines of CSS and JS, which is a good thing, but also a bad thing because of the bad internet connection. And there’s also the problem with the server that will take all the heat for using such a heavy framework.

 

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5.Limited JavaScript components
You may not be a big fan of Javascript, but when it is needed in a project, it must be used. The problem with this is that Bootstrap’s plugins are limiting a lot of possibilities. Many developers are complaining about the Javascrip components, especially the Tooltip plugin, that doesn’t have an IE fallback for some features.
As we can see it happening with other modern tools, Bootstrap doesn’t provide fallbacks for non-JS users. If you want to add this, you have to do it on your own. To get a bigger picture and insights into the are of non-JS usage, you can have a look here “ How many users have JavaScript disabled?”. Roughly around 1-2% of users have JS disabled as a default. We would recomment at least adding a message for non-JS users, if you don’t have the time to add CSS-fallbacks.

 

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Are you a fan of Bootstrap’s? We’d love to know your opinion.

18 thoughts on “To use or not to use Bootstrap Framework?

  1. About those cons:

    1. Bootstrap can and should be themed, not sure why this is a problem. I can’t think of any situation in which I would decide to settle on default look (apart from some temporary control panel)
    2. I am a web developer and I use Bootstrap on a daily basis, it’s just a great groundwork
    3. Not sure why this is an issue for two reasons: first is that Bootstrap 4 moves to Sass now and second – even if it didn’t, LESS and Sass (SCSS, not the indented SASS) share exactly the same idea. Variables, mixins, extends and functions work pretty much the same, so there’s virtually no difference apart from small syntax changes, namely $ and @.
    4. Why would you ever NOT minify and prune your stylesheets? You should do it either manually (ideally auditing in Dev Tools + source maps) or run it as a task (grunt-uncss comes to mind).
    5. JS components are optional and not the main focus of the development team, it’s stated in multiple notes which accompany those components in the docs, including ones regarding fallbacks.

    • I feel like you’re largely missing some major (and quite real problems).. the burden of convincing does not belong to those who want to write their own styles.. but rather for bootstrap to illustrate why these major cons are actually justified

    • Exactly. This sounds like a puff piece written by someone who has tried to aggregate a bunch of points they’ve harvested off a bunch of other peoples websites. Of course bootstrap does not have to look exactly the same through each build.

  2. Whenever I start a project without Bootstrap I find myself building many of the same components anyway – grid, tables, buttons, forms etc. And no doubt doing it worse than BS. For me it’s a great way to get to done (or at least to the value add) quicker, and you can always change or remove the bits you don’t like – its just code …

  3. Of course if you use framework X your results will look like framework X. Bootstrap is bootstrap so it is not for everyone.

    But it allows you to arrive at a superficially clean product with little time spent on design, and you never have to worry about being responsive enough. Bootstrap is truly maximally responsive! So you can focus, if you need to, on your backend, your product, your family… anything else.

    Many developers don’t have access to designers, so this allows us to deploy in a reasonable time period. It has a purpose and a place!

  4. Bootstrap is a powerful toolkit. It comes bundled with basic HTML and CSS design templates that include many common UI components. Most of the important pitfalls are mentioned in the Bootstrap documentation, but still some mistakes are pretty subtle, or have ambiguous caus..https://tr.im/rUHG8

  5. I feel like I couldn’t read this due to the ridiculous gifs that had nothing to do with the article. Why are you trying to make your site like Buzzfeed?

    • I agree. I had to make myself finish the article by holding a hand over the gifs. I couldn’t get through a paragraph without it. I’m sure I still missed some of it. Really bad idea.

  6. I agree with Kaye. The far-too-large, totally-irrelevant-to-the-subject, and irritatingly distracting images are a huge turn off. One more vote for losing the animated gifs.

    Useful topic.

  7. Nice post. Bootstrap framework is really consistent, compatible and saves time. For web designers and developers, it is advisable to use top bootstrap themes and templates to create appealing websites for personal or business purpose.

  8. I can’t stand what bootstrap has done to the web. Maybe you can customize it so it doesn’t all look and feel generic but that happens far too less. Way too many sites look and feel the same, and not only that, feel completely unstable and amateur because of it. Easy isn’t always a good thing.

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