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18Sep

2B or Not 2B: Is Bootstrap Right for You?

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In my work as an R&D analyst at PSD2HTML, I often come across projects where Bootstrap is necessary and helpful. Unfortunately, there are some cases where the framework is used by only 2 – 3% and its integration doesn’t make sense. In this article, I will help you decide if you need Bootstrap for your next project or not. Let’s get started!

Why Should You Use Bootstrap?

 

Bootstrap is a popular and easy-to-use tool set for creating websites and apps. It includes HTML and CSS design templates for typography, web forms, buttons, labels, navigation units, and other web interface components, as well as JavaScript extensions. Moreover, it is responsive from its core. Bootstrap 3 comes with the “Mobile First” approach, so now sites target mobile devices and scale up for larger screens.
Here’s what I like most about it.

Grid System

In my opinion, the Bootstrap fluid grid is simply amazing. It makes responsive website creation a whole lot easier. You need just a few tricks in HTML and CSS, and the result will look equally great on desktops, tablets, and phones.

Handy Components

Do you want to use pagination, but don’t have the time or desire to develop it yourself? Here you go! Use standard Bootstrap pagination. Are you tired of inventing your own buttons? No worries! Do you need an icon, but you can’t decide which one? Choose your favorite from the dozens of icons offered by the framework.

Simplified Prototyping

I believe this is the most significant thing to consider. Bootstrap comes really handy if you are building a site prototype and you do not have a design ready yet. You can simply create a mockup of your website layout and then let your designer complete it in Photoshop.

Work-flow Optimization

Bootstrap is also good when you work in teams that use standard components and JavaScript in their projects. If your desktop layout is created based on the Bootstrap grid, you usually won’t need to create tablet and mobile design versions as well. A developer can easily realign all the elements using the Bootstrap grid, which simplifies development and project support for you and your team.

When Is Bootstrap Not the Best Choice?

Even though you’ve just heard how awesome it is, don’t use Bootstrap if you’re not clear about its capabilities and how they will meet your project’s needs. For example, what functionality and elements do you use in your project? Does your designer work with the grid? Does the designer know Bootstrap? Are you going to play around with the code and maintain the project yourself?

Do You Know Your Needs?

In a nutshell, you will need Bootstrap in the following cases:

  • You know Bootstrap and understand what it is for.
  • The project will be maintained and modified by developers who know the framework.
  • Your project will use the functionality and components provided by the framework without complicated modifications.
  • Your designs are created using the grid and you want to create a responsive layout without much effort.

You don’t need Bootstrap if:

  • You don’t know for sure why you need this framework.
  • Your designer doesn’t work with the grid.
  • You have a small, simple site that won’t use Bootstrap functionality.
  • You are not going to upgrade the site or use Bootstrap components.
  • You just want to keep up with trends.

Of course, it’s totally up to you whether to use Bootstrap or not. Just keep in mind that it’s just one of dozens of alternatives out there. Perhaps another framework will work better for you. Chances are, you may not need any framework at all! In that case, adding a tool set like Bootstrap will only get you some extra lines of code and more work in the long run.

You are always welcome to consult with our experts about Bootstrap and other available solutions. We are more than happy to help you out!

Alex

About the Author: Alex is a talented web developer, passionate tutor and geek. He has been coding websites for over 9 years. This has led him to be the R&D analyst at PSD2HTML who loves web standards and enjoys experimenting with various technologies.

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