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What is Bootstrap framework and how and where to use it

By Editorial Team on 2018-05-11

Bootstrap is originally created by developers at Twitter Company. It is mainly made of HTML and CSS codes. Web designers normally view it as front-end web development framework. This article explains more on what Bootstrap is and how to use it.


Bootstrap is a free and open-source front-end framework for developing websites and web applications. Bootstrap can be used for desktop and mobile development. There are built-in capabilities that automatically resize an application making it a smooth process to go from a website to a mobile App. It contains HTML and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components, as well as optional JavaScript extensions. Unlike many earlier web frameworks, it concerns itself with front-end development only. Bootstrap makes it easy for developers to build user interfaces.

Bootstrap has a huge support community behind it so you can usually get help when you run into issues. Furthermore, Bootstrap itself is being continuously updated and the creators have been really good about putting out timely updates. It is an Open-source and is currently being hosted, developed and maintained on GitHub with over 9,000 commits and over 500 contributors. It is released under MIT license giving developer’s freedom to completely change and experiment with it.

Before begin, be sure to have some working knowledge of HTML and CSS to use and install Bootstrap. You can either include the precompiled version of Bootstrap using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) or download the source file from getbootstrap.com. Compiled download contain compiled and minified version of CSS and JavaScript files as well as icons in font format for faster and easier web development, while the source file contain original source files for all CSS and JavaScript, along with a local copy of the docs.

It has become an increasingly popular front-end development framework. Many Content Management System (CMS) allows integration of bootstrap for their front end development; Bootstrap is the default framework for Joomla3 CMS. Also, you can download BoostrapWP, a version of the framework just for WordPress sites.

Bootstrap provides convenient layout classes which ranges from smallest mobile device to high-definition displays, logically dividing the screen into 12 columns that can be combined to make larger columns. Bootstrap lets you start out with stacked layouts (for mobile devices) that migrate to horizontal, for desktop versions. This makes it easier to developers for quick prototyping.

Bootstrap is used to speed the development of a website as it comes with many reusable CSS and JavaScript components that can help the functionality needed in almost any kind if website. There is no need coding from scratch, Bootstrap allows you to utilize ready-made blocks of code to help you get started. All you need is to have some HTML to plug them into your template, with no need to spend a ridiculous amount of time writing complex CSS and JavaScript. Also, the entire component is responsive.

One of the biggest advantages of using Bootstrap is the Browser compatibility and CSS-Less functionality, many hours of coding can be saved. Bootstrap is compatible with the latest, stable release of all major browser and platforms. To achieve the fastest route possible, you can also purchase ready-made Bootstrap themes and modify them to suit your needs.

With Bootstrap you can develop a highly customized website to your taste. Bootstrap can be tailor made according to the specifications of your project. Developers have the ability to pick and choose the features that are needed and the rest can be tossed. This is easily accomplished using the Bootstrap customize page. Simply tick off all the features you don’t need and your custom version of Bootstrap will be ready for download.

Additionally, Bootstrap requires jQuery to function. JQuery is an extremely popular and widely used JavaScript library that both simplifies and adds cross browser compatibility to JavaScript. Bootstrap is a responsive lightweight, fast, and easy framework to develop mobile-first websites. You can use it uniformly across multiple platforms.

Programming Languages and Resources for Web Designers
Note, Bootstrap uses programming languages that are in use by millions of sites. HTML, CSS (or HTML5 & CSS3) PHP, MySQL, JavaScript (or JS frameworks like jQuery, Angular, React, Node, or Express) or MongoDB, Apache, Ruby on Rails, and Linux can all be used just like any other platform. Bootstrap works well with common Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. Also, obtaining the following PHP and database certifications are highly rewarding for all backend website developers: Zend Framework 2 ,Zend Certified PHP Engineer, Oracle Database 11g Administration and Oracle Database 12c SQL Fundamentals. For those interested in learning more about web design and development, here are a list of step-by-step training guide articles: i- Become CMS specialist, ii- Become front-end specialist, iii- Become expert SQL developer, iv- Become expert PHP developer

Summary
Bootstrap coding is well suited for those interested in pursuing a career in web design and development; however, other options are mobile App design and development, system admin and software engineering. It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.

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