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Bootstrap CSS Front End Development

27
Nov
2023
Bootstrap CSS Front End Development

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is one of the most complex and frustrating aspects of Web Design and Front-End Development. Yet, building a large Web App using pure CSS files can be a nightmare. Handling naming conventions, proper rendering, responsive classes, browser compatibility, and overall CSS principles and rules can seem impossible. Many junior developers and web designers struggle with it for months, thinking that’s how things work in real-life projects.

Luckily, multiple CSS frameworks help save tons of time and business resources because they enable reusable code. Bootstrap is one of the world's most popular CSS framework, used by companies like Upwork, Udemy, Mastercard, Lyft, and LinkedIn. If you've heard of it, you should probably know that some developers love it, but others dread it. Yet, whether Bootstrap is right for your type of project or not depends on multiple factors.

What is Bootstrap CSS?

Bootstrap, developed by Jacob Thornton and Mark Otto, is an open-source development framework. If you're unfamiliar with the term "framework," think of it as out-of-the-box tools that help you work more efficiently. If CSS is like Lego bricks, Bootstrap is a collection of pre-designed Lego pieces you can use for building whatever you want faster.

At its core, Bootstrap works as a gigantic collection of CSS styles you can use to customize your website. Its flexibility can save you time by handling typography, colors, spacing, icons, button classes, gradients, and responsiveness. Plus, it ensures that all your imported default styles are consistent, giving your site a professional look and feel.

Bootstrap and its default settings, responsive utility classes, and component elements simplify things by giving you pre-styled components and code snippets to import. That includes forms, buttons, nav bars, forms, cards, modals, drop-down menus, grids, and rows, styled with a base class, that work on modern browsers. On top of that, Bootstrap also gives you more complex elements like image carousels, box models, grid layouts, accordions, and popovers out-of-the-box.

How Does Bootstrap CSS Work?

Bootstrap can give you so many pre-designed components because it doesn’t only use custom CSS properties. Bootstrap components involve robust JavaScript plugins without using jQuery. As mentioned, it has pre-built components, so you don"t need to understand how they work. You just need to place them in your HTML elements, and you’re good to go. If you’re familiar with CSS principles, you can also use Bootstrap menus, maps, and variables to customize elements with SCSS. You can start by including a Bootstrap link in the head of your HTML document.

After that, you must download and host the source code version locally using npm or link your HTML document to a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Bootstrap recommends using jsDelivr, which is a free and Open-Source CDN. Once you've done that, the next step is to add Bootstrap CSS custom styles to your HTML lines of code and JavaScript components if you need interactivity. 

You can handle the entire page's responsiveness by implementing Bootstrap's Grid System. You can also use Bootstrap Grid System to make responsive breakpoints. We recommend that you spend some time customizing your Bootstrap project. Otherwise, your website may look very similar to many other sites that use it.

When To Use Bootstrap CSS?

Bootstrap is a simple and easy-to-use 12-column system for Front-End Development that is ideal for creating responsive layouts and custom breakpoints when you want to focus on cool Back-End functionalities. It gives you modern, responsive styles out-of-the-box. That makes it perfect for responsive, mobile-first websites that require special attention to the Back-End. 

Suppose you are concerned about functionalities, features, and database architecture and don't have that much time or resources to invest in the User Interface (UI). In that case, Bootstrap may be great for you. Say you're prototyping or trying to launch your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as soon as possible. Also, you can use Bootstrap CSS for improved cross-browser rendering.

When Not To Use Bootstrap CSS?

One of the main pitfalls of Bootstrap is that since it gives you pre-built components, your site will potentially look like many others if you don't take the time to customize it. As a matter of fact, Bootstrap isn't ideal when your project requires high levels of customization. If you're concerned about the UI and want to give your site a unique look, you may want to use either pure CSS or Tailwind CSS. Also, remember that Bootstrap uses JavaScript (JS) under the hood.

Additionally, consider that, with Bootstrap, the Front-End work you'd do is minimal. That means you shouldn't use it if you're a junior developer or want to learn Web Design principles. Learning Bootstrap won't help you learn CSS at all. You'll just learn how to use Bootstrap. Finally, remember that all frameworks involve many functions, translating to longer loading times. You can ensure you only add the classes and the CSS you need. However, if you're worried about speed and performance, it would probably be best to use Tailwind CSS, React.js, or Nest.js, depending on your requirements.

Why is Bootstrap CSS Important?

Bootstrap is the most popular CSS framework in the world for developing responsive and mobile-first websites. It's straightforward, even for people with little to no experience in Web Design. On the one hand, tons of tutorials and courses can help you learn Bootstrap and get the most out of it. Plus, being so popular, it has a massive community of developers that can help you solve whatever problem you may come across.

On the other hand, it has a bunch of themes and design templates that can help get you started even faster. Besides, it seamlessly integrates with popular module bundlers like Vite, Webpack, and Parcel. With over 2000 icons and native support for dark mode, Bootstrap is perfect for blogs. Finally, it's worth noting that Bootstrap is compatible with most major browsers. As mentioned, the main goal of this article is to help you understand whether Bootstrap is right for you. 

Conclusion

Bootstrap CSS is a powerful Front-End framework that is excellent for building complex web products requiring minimal UI work. Bootstrap gives you beautiful, 100% responsive interface components, helping you speed up the Product Development Lifecycle. Bootstrap is also great if you're learning Back-End development, like Node.js, Python, Ruby On Rails, or Java. Bootstrap will allow you to create a beautiful and responsive UI, giving you more time to focus on the heavy Back-End.

Whether you're an experienced developer or interested in learning Front-End development, you must understand HTML, CSS, and JavaScript before harnessing the Bootstrap framework's built-in components. Ideally, you should know the basics of Responsive Design with CSS for mobile devices. Bootstrap's well-equipped toolkit enables stronger Web Development processes to provide a seamless User Experience (UX) and great user interaction. Overall, it's still worth learning for those interested in developing responsive websites that look good across all screen sizes.