What exactly is Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is simply a collection of free and open-source web tools which help easily create websites and web applications. Bootstrap contains HTML and CSS design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other user interface components. It’s aim is to help web developers and designers easily establish templates and layouts for dynamic websites and web applications.

Bootstrap is considered a front-end framework which acts as an interface for the user. The framework is required to be bundled or wrapped around server-side code (which is the ‘back-end framework’) in order to function. Another popular alternative to Bootstrap is Foundation. However, both achieve practically the same thing one way or another. Both come with set components and JavaScript add-ons.


How Does it work?

Bootstrap is flexible and customisable. You can quickly put together a template using Bootstraps pre-built components, piecing together different blocks, columns, buttons, text, styles and so on for a clean professional look. Bootstrap also has an easy way to customize its interactive components, less variables, and jQuery plugins to roll your own flavour of Bootstrap. Simply make changes to suit your style and download the generated package files!

For website developers new to Bootstrap and front-end frameworks, think of it as a library of functions and design components which are pre-built for you to easily use. Instead of manually creating and styling a button or adding pop-up functionality to forms, you can easily just use the given class name and Bootstrap will do the rest! Simple as that!

What makes Bootstrap special?

Since many visitors are using mobile devices to browse the web, having a responsive website is important. What if you already have a website running but is unresponsive? It may cost a lot to do a full rebuild and sometimes that’s the better option; instead, using a framework such as Bootstrap to turn your static site into a responsive mobile site can be easily done and can be the cheaper option too! Bootstrap’s aim is to give web designers and developers a collection of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript libraries to easily develop responsive, mobile responsive projects.

How do I get started with Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is simple and easy to set up. Before you jump right in and download the pre-built package, check out the ‘Getting Started’ page on the official Bootstrap website first. The page features an overview of Bootstrap and how to download and use it. There are also basic templates and examples to check out if you ever need help or inspiration for your project.

Bootstrap offers many ways to help you get started. You can download the compiled and minified package of Bootstrap and extract to your project, or you can use package managers such as Bower/npm or Composer to automatically pull in Bootstrap and keep it regularly updated. Bootstrap comes with jQuery out of the box so you won’t have to worry about installing it separately since all JavaScript related features in Bootstrap require jQuery to run.

Once you’ve downloaded Bootstrap, simply initiate the JavaScript and CSS files within your header/footer and you’re good to go! The Bootstrap website has a simple basic template to help you get your project started. There’s also plenty of help available from communities and a quick Google search will usually give you answers to any queries you may have.

Wrapping it up

Bootstrap is a powerful framework for designers and developers alike to simply and easily set up a structured layout and beautiful design as it offers rapid prototyping with set standard structures and layouts. The framework is perfect for basic and small business sites and it is becoming an industry standard of sorts. So if you’re a web designer wanting to try out a bit of prototyping with coding or a web developer new to responsive design, you’ve got to give Bootstrap a go. It’ll definitely save you time!

All websites that Fireworks build are mobile responsive and we recommend using Bootstrap for mobile responsive web design and development. To get a quote or to talk to someone about upgrading your website, give Fireworks a call today on 1300 660 160.