What Is the Bootstrap CSS Framework?

Bootstrap is a set of tools to build mobile-first, responsive projects on the most popular front-end component library in the world.

Bootstrap is a front-end development framework for building websites and apps. It includes HTML and CSS-based elements and templates to create responsive designs with ease.

Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework available for creating responsive websites. Part of the reason for this success might be that the tools are open-source and free for anyone to download and use.

Bootstrap was launched in 2011 by developers at Twitter (and was originally called Twitter Bootstrap). According to Twitter, Bootstrap was “designed to kickstart development of web apps and sites.” It grew quickly in popularity and became the number one project on GitHub in 2014. It has continued to grow and power thousands of websites ever since.

Designers like the open source toolkit because it is easy to use; is based on a mobile-first, responsive platform and is compatible with pretty much every browser.

How to Use Bootstrap

bootstrap

If you have a fair understanding of code, using Bootstrap isn’t a challenge at all. And non-coders can still use the toolkit thanks to an abundance of documentation and tutorials.

The first step in using Bootstrap is to download and install the files. Downloads for Bootstrap’s source Sass and JavaScript files are available via npm, Composer or Meteor. (You can get the download here.) Then you are ready to start building.

Add the Bootstrap stylesheet into your header before all others so that the CSS is properly loaded. Then, you want to ensure that you have all the JS you need (there’s a script that should be included at the bottom of pages). Make sure to add the HTML5 doctype at the top of pages with the proper language attribute and character set.

Because of the mobile-first, responsive nature of Bootstrap, it is also important to include settings for touch and zoom in the header block.

Everything you need to get up and running quickly (including a starter template) is in the formal documentation.

When getting started with Bootstrap, the first step is to get comfortable with the templates available. These templates include:

  • Typography
  • Forms
  • Buttons
  • Navigation elements
  • Tables
  • Image carousels
  • Wireframing kits
  • Custom generators
  • Widgets
  • JavaScript plugins

And if you don’t really want to build everything yourself, there are plenty of themes for Bootstrap 4 (the current version). “Official” themes are built by the team at Bootstrap and for a small fee, you have a ready to go website kit in just a few clicks.

Why Should You Use Bootstrap?

bootstrap

Because of Bootstrap’s popularity, there are tons of resources available. From tutorials and documentation to kits, templates and themes to help you build a complete website or app, there’s a learning and development opportunity for designers at almost any level.

Plus, it’s not that tough to figure out. Whether you like it or not, there’s a reason this toolkit is so popular. When it comes to Bootstrap, there’s something for everyone.

3 Versatile Bootstrap Templates

Looking to get started fast? Here are three of our favourite Bootstrap templates that fulfill three very different niches.

Bootstrap Admin Dashboard

Creative Business Template

Jestem Resume & vCard Template