How I Learned to Love the Bootstrap

When I was first introduced to Bootstrap, Twitter’s responsive grid-based framework, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Adding all those divs and classes just seemed so intuitively wrong after we had learned the importance of semantic coding and web. And those components….oh man. You could have a half decent site up in no time if you used all that Bootstrap had to offer. Problem was, it had that Bootstrap look. And it’s easy to get carried away. We’ve all done it. It starts with a few wells, the Jumbotron, some sweet call to action buttons. Suddenly, uh oh – your bootstrap is showing.

Let’s take a look at the name though. By definition, and I will thank my entrepreneurial education course for this tidbit, the term bootstrap means building a business using little resources or using resources that are available to you (it also just refers to a strap on the back of your boot). Likewise, Twitter Bootstrap provides front end devs with a quick and easy method to create a responsive, attractive looking website or application. It’s utility for web is undeniable, especially when working with shorter timelines and budgets. It may not be the best tool for every job, but for some jobs, it sure does come in handy. And designing a site based on a 12 column grid? As we used to say in the 90’s – wicked!

So use bootstrap if it works for the project. Don’t be ashamed. But remember, if you use 5 or more of the components available, take a step back, a deep breath and evaluate. Do you really need all those panels?

Do you Bootstrap? Share your thoughts with me below?

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