Bootstrap: A Responsive Front-End Framework for Your Web Design

Frameworks have proved as a boon for designers since their inception. They are a standardized set of concepts, practices and criteria which help designers in dealing with a common type of problem. They provide a specific set of common and familiar features that can be used across many websites. These can be used as a reference to help in approaching and resolving new problems of a similar nature. Since they provide a common structure to the developers, they do not have to write every time from the scratch. They are ready for prototyping and the developers can reuse it again and again. This helps in saving redundant efforts and a large chunk of time.

There are a number of frameworks available to aid web designers and front-end developers. They are widely categorized into two types: backend which is for the presentation layer and frontend which for the application layer.

Among these, the widely used frontend framework is Bootstrap. Developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter, it was released as an open source product in August 2011 on GitHub. It’s a CSS (cascading style sheet) framework that helps to keep information in an appropriate display format. The CSS files help to outline size, font, spacing, border, location and color of information on the page. Along with all that, it helps to create a continuous look throughout multiple pages of the site.

There are many features that make it the most preferable framework among the designers:

Easy start: Some designers create a set of CSS files and use it in the respective projects. But with this framework, files do not need to be created in the traditional manner any more. CSS-preprocessors are in for a while and are beneficial for every frontend designer. They take code in the preprocessed language and save time as you don’t have to write that amount over and over again. Just download the files and include them in the head of document after unzipping.

Supported by every browser: Browser support is also a very significant feature to take into consideration for website design. This friendly framework is supported by almost all popular browsers such as Chrome, Explorer, Opera, Mozilla and some more.

Responsive grid system: Grid system helps to create webpage layout through a series of rows and columns. The code starts by targeting smaller devices such as mobile phones and later expands grids for larger ones such as computers and laptops. The responsive grid system scales up to 12 columns as the viewport or device size increases. It is incorporated with predefined classes for cool layout options along with powerful mixins for more generation of semantics layout.

Provides base styling for HTML elements: HTML elements such as headings, tables, lists, forms, buttons etc. are styled with enhanced extensible classes. This framework provides styling elements for code, typography, tables, buttons, forms, icons and images.

JavaScript plugins bundled: The drop down menu is quite interactive with various JavaScript plugins bundled in bootstrap. The designer no longer has to beat his head trying number of different plugins available all around the internet. Simply with some lines of code, add functionalities such as sliders, tabs and accordions to your project. You can also customize your file size as per the requirement, by only choosing the plugins of your interest.

Effective documentation: Documentation is necessary for the design description of every website. This feature helps in good documentation with the aid of certain examples and demonstrations. The simplicity of this feature is especially useful for new designers in the field.

Thus the love of designers for bootstrap over other frameworks is obvious. Due to the amazing features incorporated with it, it is included by default in the most popular CMS, Joomla 3. The latest Bootstrap 3.3.6 release addresses many CSS bug fixes and documentation updates. Thus make your designing easier, faster and enjoyable by incorporating this framework in your protocol.