What Is Bootstrap?
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 22 September 2022 | Published 6 June 2021
Updated 22 September 2022
Published 6 June 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
What Is Bootstrap?
Using Bootstrap In Your Projects
But, if you require to customise the Bootstrap framework, you are required to integrate the source code in your project's pipeline, which requires an additional step. You need a Sass compiler for the Sass CSS extension language included with Bootstrap. You also need Autoprefixer, which applies vendor prefixes to CSS properties automatically at build time. Fortunately, both are included in Bootstrap's build process. To simplify their installation, you can use a package manager such as npm, yarn, Composer or NuGet.
Basics Of Bootstrap
To start working with Bootstrap efficiently, you are required to know its file structure, layout, content, forms and components at the very least. We have included a brief overview of these features below:
Bootstrap is built around a flexible grid system that utilises four essential elements to create a flexible layout. They are:
The container class encapsulates and provides structure to the content within. You can centre the content, modify justification to the left or right and adjust the padding from the container edges. Bootstrap even allows you to implement nested containers to create a hierarchy.
Breakpoints are the primary building blocks that allow creating responsive, mobile-first layouts. These are fixed-width elements in the screen-size enumerator (enum) with pre-defined values for standard screen resolutions. For example, the size of 'md' breakpoint is 768 pixels for standard screens with 1366x768 resolution. For HD resolutions such as 1920x1200, you can select 'xl' enum, set at 1200 pixels.
Bootstrap has a limit of 12 columns per row for its grid. The alignment options include start (top left), centre (middle of the container) and end (bottom right). You can use a combination of these alignments to create complex, hierarchical layouts of your tables. If you use more than 12 columns in a row, Bootstrap automatically wraps them around in the second line.
Gutters act similar to how page and printing layouts work in word processing applications. They provide both horizontal and vertical padding to your columns and rows, respectively. You can also modify the width of all gutters at once or set different values for each. Still, you require to adjust the container sizes to prevent overflow of content with extra width.
Bootstrap contains an additional set of utilities that help you adjust most options for your components such as margins, padding or visibility without writing too much code. But, you require to specify the z-index value to each component's property to create overlays.
Content in Bootstrap is available in four types:
Bootstrap typography has standard settings in the normalize.css file, which allows you to specify the font styles and sizes for headings, body text, hyperlinks and lists. Bootstrap defaults to a browser's native font size for more accessibility, which is usually 16 pixels. As an added feature in version 5, the font sizes scale across multiple devices, so you do not require to specify them for every viewport resolution.
To make the images responsive, Bootstrap uses .img-fluid while keeping the width at 100% and making the height variable. These values ensure that the images scale up or down according to the size of their parent container.
The table tag is optional to use in Bootstrap to ensure maximum compatibility with third-party widgets. You can set different accents for default Bootstrap tables, such as striped or hoverable rows and active tables. You can also make them responsive, but they scroll horizontally instead of scaling their width.
Use figures when you require to display some content with additional text, such as an image with a caption.
As a web developer, you may require to create forms on a website, such as a contact form, login or subscription pages and discussion boards. In such cases, you can use the form feature of Bootstrap with pre-defined selection boxes, text areas, checkboxes, radio buttons and sliders. You can extend the functionality of text boxes with input groups that add one or more form elements on either side. Additional features include autoscaling floating labels inside text boxes and validation properties to form inputs.
Bootstrap components are extra features that provide interactivity to your web pages. For example, the accordion allows you to build collapsible content. Carousels help you create a slideshow of containers that can have text, images or streamed videos with support for navigation controls. You can find a complete list of supported components in Bootstrap's documentation.
Advantages Of Bootstrap
Most front-end developers prefer Bootstrap to build mobile-friendly websites because of the following advantages:
The primary advantage of Bootstrap is its focus on responsiveness. Its grid system provides pre-defined sizes for different viewport resolutions across multiple devices such as laptops, monitors, tablets and smartphones. So, you can start working on your layouts and include content without having to create a new grid or worrying about resizing the elements. Similarly, the .img-responsive class allows you to insert images and modify their shapes without switching between design and code.
The official Bootstrap website has extensive documentation about downloading, installing and using it in your projects. All the included features have straightforward explanations with examples of implementing their code. You can quickly search for a particular component, check how to use it, code it directly in your project and fine-tune its properties. Even beginners and junior web developers can understand it and start working in a business-as-usual (BAU) environment.
Since Bootstrap is available as open-source software, you can download the complete source with its build tools to modify the core functionality. This customisation allows many developers to create custom themes and templates available on online Bootstrap marketplaces.
Disadvantages Of Bootstrap
Even though Bootstrap is a popular web development framework, it has some limitations in its use, such as:
Large file sizes
Frequent framework changes
Each major release of a new version changes the way Bootstrap works. For example, version 4 included many incompatible changes from version 3. Similarly, version 5 has dropped jQuery entirely and stopped supporting some older browsers. Such updates cause costly rewrites of many websites.
Limited use-case scenarios
Starting with a template and customising its design is a good feature for most websites. But any limitations within that template also apply to all websites using it. For example, some websites may need more columns than Bootstrap's 12 column limit. So using a Bootstrap template would not work unless you modify its grid system to bypass this limit.
Explore more articles
- What Is Cross-Selling? (How It Works, Tips And 8 Examples)
- A Guide To Client Relationships (Plus Effective Strategies)
- What Is Resource Planning? (With Benefits And Techniques)
- What Is A Business Manager? (Types, Duties And Skills)
- 7 Popular Static Code Analysis Tools (And Tips For Choosing)
- What Is A Point Of Sale System? (With Types And Benefits)
- 13 Examples Of Useful Data Virtualisation Tools
- Corporate Governance: Principles, Roles And Mechanisms
- What Is A Churn Rate? (With Importance, Merits And Examples)
- 18 Big Data Examples (Common Uses in Different Industries)
- 10 Help Desk Software For IT And Customer Service Agents
- What Is Asynchronous Programming And When To Use It?