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One of our favorite tools for developing websites is a little something called “Bootstrap.” If you’ve never come across that term before, at least in the way we’re using it, you’re in luck, because this post is going to explain what Bootstrap is and why we use it for most of our sites.

What is Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is a web development framework, a library of prewritten CSS and JavaScript that can lay the groundwork for a project. The CSS provides some basic styles, like more uniform (and, frankly, modern,) styles than browser defaults, while the JavaScript powers templates for common UI features like drop-down menus, carousels, and more.

Bootstrap was originally called “Twitter Blueprint” because it was developed in-house at Twitter before it spun off to become its own thing. It’s completely free to use, and it’s one of the most popular frameworks out there, thanks to its own quality and Twitter’s high profile. You can find Bootstrap’s source files, along with customization options and documentation at getbootstrap.com.

Why does Web Design Shop use Bootstrap?

We started using Bootstrap back in 2014 when a partner requested it for a project, and it became a favorite almost immediately. Instead of needing to combine a separate grid system with standalone JavaScript for drop down menus, image carousels, and other components, Bootstrap gives us a shortcut to many of the pieces we were already using, all in one package. Using Bootstrap allows us to implement all kinds of common components in a standard way, which speeds up our development process tremendously. Ultimately, it frees us up to spend more time deciding how a project should look, and less time on actually building the look envisioned.
Bootstrap Icon

One of the best parts of Bootstrap is its “mobile-first” approach, which perfectly compliments our own dedication to designing mobile-friendly websites. Bootstrap provides a grid system and utility CSS that makes it easier than ever to create sites that are as attractive and usable on a phone or tablet as they are on a desktop or laptop. More and more internet uses are accessing websites through mobile devices now, so it’s important to ensure that their experience is a good one.

Since Bootstrap provides familiar tools to build a site with, it offers the long-term benefit of producing sites which are easy to pick up, both as a developer returning to a project after several months or a totally new hire who needs to modify an existing site. You wouldn’t use non-standard pipes in the plumbing of a new house, and using a well-developed framework like Bootstrap allows us to build a system that’s as nice on the inside as it is on the outside.

What if I’ve never used Bootstrap? Do we have to use it?

If you have another grid system or development framework you would prefer us to use, that’s not a problem!

There are plenty of great alternatives out there, and if you have a preference, we’re ready and willing to accommodate you. Some clients have existing systems they need a project to tie into, and our primary goal is to provide a finished product that meets your needs. Give us a call and let’s talk about what Web Design Shop can do for you.

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