Billing itself as the most popular HTML, CSS and Javascript library in the world, Bootstrap is an integral part of any front-end developer’s toolbox. The free and open-source framework is widely used across the web and holds the title as the tenth most starred project on GitHub. From its initial release in 2011, the framework has undergone multiple changes and improvements. Read on as we break down the primary use cases of Bootstrap and dissect why you should consider mastering it as part of your comprehensive coding and programming education.

What is Bootstrap?

For those starting out in the programming world, you can think of frameworks like bootstrap as libraries, which help developers create websites that feature standard and compliant design elements. In the case of Bootstrap, it is compliant with all the main front-end languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so a working knowledge of these three serves as a prerequisite to diving into the framework.

Bootstrap was initially developed by two programmers at Twitter, who created it as a framework to develop consistency among the internal tools used by the new social media site. In subsequent years, it has gained widespread popularity and a reputation for mobile-first browser compatibility. Five major updates have been released, adding features like navigation customization options, improved API and responsive web design support.

Users can get started with Bootstrap by installing the source Saas and JavaScript files via npm, Composer or Meteor. They also have the choice of installing only the compiled CSS or JS via jsDelivr, with full quickstart directions available on Bootstrap’s website.

Why is Bootstrap Useful?

So what are the actual use cases for Bootstrap’s frameworks? Simply put, it helps front-end developers simplify the creation of informative web pages. In practice, this means applying Bootstrap will create a uniform “look” to a site, inclusive of color, size, font and layout. Bootstrap provides a basic style definition to HTML elements on a page like text boxes, tables and forms, so they look consistent on any browser.

In the framework, the most basic layout element for any page is called a “container” and developers can rearrange or place any other element that comprises the page inside it. Bootstrap also offers an open source library of more than 1,300 icons that adhere to its style, and a large selection of themes available for purchase in categories like e-commerce and retail, corporate and portfolio and blogs.

Below are two examples of web pages created using the bootstrap framework, one rendered for desktop and one in mobile.


If you’re still not convinced this widely used and versatile framework for you, we’ve included several more reasons you might want to reconsider:


It’s Easy to Use and Versatile

Bootstrap can be downloaded within minutes and has user-friendly tools to quickly design web pages within its parameters. Its 12-column grid system makes adding or removing elements a snap, and it’s compatible across fixed and responsive pages. With more traffic than ever taking place on phones, the mobile-first approach of bootstrap is an excellent way for developers to ensure their site looks beautiful on any screen.


Extensive Component List

One of the reasons Bootstrap can be used across any number of site types is the pre-styled components developers can add to any page. These include dropdowns, navigation bars, labels and badges, alerts and more. Some components are even accompanied by Javascript code, which allows for additional functionalities like auto-complete for input fields.


Large Open-Source Library and Online Community

As the most popular programming framework, there is a large community of users able to troubleshoot common problems and add to the growing open-source library. Users can join discussion forums on Github or the official Bootstrap Slack for inspiration and collaborative problem-solving. The framework itself is also open source and does not require a license to use.


(Nearly) Unlimited Customization Options

Developers can go in pretty much any direction off of Bootstrap’s default design. CSS and Javascript behavior of the framework can be overridden for custom templates and bundled JS plugins allow for the addition of all types of design elements with just a few lines of code. Bootstrap integrates with all the existing customization options of WordPress and Drupal and as stated above, offers a large icon and template library to explore.

How to Learn Bootstrap

If you have an existing background in front-end development programming languages, incorporating Bootstrap into your skillset is relatively easy! The company maintains a getting started guide and a starter template for new users.

If you’re interested in obtaining a more comprehensive development education, attending a coding bootcamp might be a great choice for you. These programs provide a streamlined education in the critical skills needed to work within development roles, including Bootstrap for many. Be sure to take a moment to browse our bootcamps and see which one might be the best fit for you!

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