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[2020] Should You Use Bootstrap?

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Should you be using bootstrap?

People have been asking this question forever since bootstrap just came out and with every other CSS framework since it. So, Today I’m gonna break down this question and answer once and for all whether you should be using bootstrap or not? I want to breakdown a little bit what bootstrap is some people maybe never heard of it and bootstrap is just a CSS framework and a CSS framework is just a collection of different CSS styles that have been all brought together into a style sheet that you can import into your project lots of times.

They have styles for buttons drop-down menus. They have styles for grids rows forms all these common things that you use in your application these frameworks are going to include and they’re going to also include a bunch of things you probably will never use such as carousels.

It has just a bunch of features in it to make working with styling things so easy and you don’t really need to know CSS in order to use these frameworks. It actually depends on quite a few things and the first thing that you should ask yourself is what your project is for? Is this a project that’s for a really cool front-end design that you’re working on or maybe you’re just doing a simple front-end to go along with a really complex back-end that does a lot of cool things compiling data or maybe you’re working for a project for a client that needs to have a really cool front-end.

These different questions are going to determine whether or not you use bootstrap or not in the first example I said if you’re making a really cool unique front-end with a lot of cool UI and UX designs bootstrap is a terrible idea.

You’re gonna spend more time working against bootstrap trying to make it look like you wanted to rather than actually using it for the things that help you with but like I said in my second example if you’re just making a really simple front-end site with a really complex and you don’t care so much about how the front end looks you.

Just want it to look good enough and function then bootstrap is great for you because you don’t have to spend a bunch of time working with CSS and styling. You just throw in some classes and it just works and you’re not gonna really tweak the styling too much.

So you don’t have to worry about messing with bootstrap and trying to make it look like you want because you’re just gonna use the bootstrap styles and it’s going to work how you want it to. Another thing you need to consider is the timeline of your project.

If you’re working for a client or a company lots of times you’re gonna have a deadline set on you when your project needs to be finished and if it’s a short deadline and the UI doesn’t matter too much. It just has to be good enough then bootstrap is probably a great option for you because it’s gonna save you tons of time by just throwing bootstrap into your project putting in the classes.

That bootstrap gives you and just having a functional UI because without that you have to manually create all of your own styles and while you’ll probably get a better-looking result in the end it’s time-consuming and it’s not as easy as just throwing in the classes.

So if you have a very short time frame or you’re constantly changing your product. So your product goes through lots of iterations and it’s constantly changing using bootstrap is great for getting up and running with those changes but if you have a longer timeframe or your project doesn’t change as much maybe you’re not in a startup situation then doing your own CSS is gonna be great because it gives you more control and it’s going to look better in the end.

Even though it’s going to take a little bit longer another thing to consider is why you’re building a project? So for example, if you’re doing this project to learn which a lot of you. I’m sure doing and it’s a great way to learn if you’re building a project to learn and your main focus of learning is on nodejs.

For example something on the backend then sure use bootstrap go right ahead you don’t need to worry about the styling because you’re focusing on learning the backend. So if you’re focusing on learning the backend you shouldn’t make yourself struggle through all the CSS required to make a good-looking front-end but if your focus is on learning front-end technologies or learning CSS then bootstrap is a terrible idea.

If you want to learn CSS don’t use bootstrap. It’s going to make it hard to learn CSS because you have to learn bootstrap CSS which is so much different than just normal CSS and it makes you do.

So if you’re doing this project to learn CSS to learn how to style to learn how to design definitely do not use any CSS framework and go from scratch with your own CSS now most of these are pretty self-explanatory reasons to use or not use a CSS framework.

But something many people forget about is what parts of the framework you’re going to be using.

For example, if you’re just using bootstrap for the grid system the rows and columns you’d be much better off just using flexbox and CSS grid to make your own custom styles. It’s going to be easier than using bootstrap because you can make it exactly as you want it to and it’s not going to bring all the bloat of bootstrap.

If you’re only using bootstrap for the buttons maybe or the colors or maybe even the table these are things that are not that hard to make on their own. So if you only need a few parts of bootstrap such as these buttons and grid or the buttons table and grid you’d be better off just spending a couple of hours making your own system. Unique to your specific use case.

All the tables all the classes all the alerts all the headers everything that bootstrap has and you’re okay with your site. Having that bootstrap look then definitely go with bootstrap it’s just gonna make it easy for you to get started.

With later you can change out bootstrap and use your own Styles if you want it’s going to be a little difficult and cumbersome but it is possible to take out bootstrap and put in your own styles but I recommend generally if your plan, in the long run, is to use your own styles and your own custom look just start with your own Styles because then you don’t have to go through the struggle of removing bootstrap and then implanting all of your own Styles overtop of it.

Whether you want to use bootstrap or not is going to be the JavaScript portion of bootstrap now. Many of you may not realize but should-you-use-bootstrap has a lot of JavaScript components they have accordions collapsed toggle as they have pop-ups dropdowns all of these different things.

Use JavaScript and behind the scenes they’re using jQuery and now you may love or hate jQuery. It doesn’t really matter but in the end, jquery’s a fairly large library to download and install inside of your application.

If you’re doing something with like react for example ora front-end framework jquery and react don’t play very nicely together. It’s a real pain to use them together. So having to support bootstrap and react at the same time is just not fun in my opinion and I’d recommend not going with bootstrap if you’re going to be doing heavy front-end work or utilizing these JavaScript components of bootstrap with a framework like react now.

If your application is fairly light on front-end JavaScript then having these extra components is great because you don’t have to do the work to make these dropdowns or collapse menus issues built-in there for you and it works.

In the end, it really depends on you whether you want to use bootstrap or not. If you’re in the learning phase then I will recommend you go through CSS classes and use it in your modules. Thank you very much for reading this article. If you have any questions about bootstrap classes, please comment below. I’ll be happy to reply you ASAP.

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