For those of you, who like me have been developing websites for few years, we tend to use similar chunks of CSS code that we copy paste from project to project.
Those of you who are more organized may have developed your own set of base CSS files to use as foundation for your projects. This method works, but let’s face it, this is not the most efficient way to do things.
Creating a CSS framework that is flexible, follows latest standards and is thoroughly tested takes days of work and could become a project in itself. Most of us don’t have time to do this.
To make matters worse, with the rise of mobile devices, making responsive websites and keeping up with the latest technologies is time consuming.
Bootstrap and CSS frameworks
Designers need a solid foundation that gives us almost everything a typical website would require but is flexible enough for customization. Thanks to hundreds of hours spent by some developers and companies, we now have dozens of CSS Frameworks to choose from.
Among all the available CSS frameworks out there, Bootstrap is my favorite and also one of the most widely used. It’s included by default in Joomla 3.
Bootstrap’s CSS files are also provided in LESS which makes it very easy to customize if you already use LESS for CSS pre-processing.
So why should you choose Bootstrap? Here are 6 great reasons:
- Reason #1. Easy to get started
CSS Pre-processing is great and every front end developer should learn it. However not everyone is using it. There are still many designers creating and managing CSS files the same old way. Bootstrap offers LESS files for those of us who know how to use it, but it also provides the plain old CSS file for those don’t want to use CSS pre-processing.
To take advantage of what Bootstrap has to offer, you just have to download the files from Bootstrap on Github and after unzipping, include the files in the head of your HTML document.
Reason #2. Great grid system
Bootstrap is built on responsive 12-column grids, layouts and components. Whether you need a fixed grid or a responsive, its only matter of a few changes. Offsetting & Nesting of columns is also possible in both fixed and fluid width layouts.
Another useful set of features are the responsive utility classes using which you can make a certain block of content appear or hide only on devices based on the size of their screen. 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.
- Reason #3. Base styling for most HTML elements
A website has many different elements such as headings, lists, tables, buttons, forms, etc. All these fundamental HTML elements have been styled and enhanced with extensible classes.
The HTML elements for which styles are provided are:
- Reason #4. Extensive list of components
Whether you need drop down menus, pagination or alert boxes, Bootstrap has got your covered. Styling of every single element follows a consistent theme and if you know LESS, then customizing it takes just few minutes.
Some of the components pre styled are:
- Button Groups
- Navigation Bar
- Labels & Badges
- Progress Bar
- And many others.
If you project requires sliders, tabs, accordions, then you no longer have to try and test numerous different plugins across the web. Adding these functionalities is just a matter of adding few lines of code and you are all set. With the customization option you can also choose only certain plugins to keep the file size to a minimum.