Thinking about kick-starting your new website design project? Then you have to consider using ready-to-use themes or templates powered by Bootstrap.
What is a Bootstrap theme?
Here’s why everyone loves Bootstrap –
- It is faster and smoother
- It is cost-effective and resource-friendly
- Can support the development of responsive webpages
- It is browser compatible (IE9 and higher)
- Can power platform-independent webpages
- Some Bootstrap themes and templates are completely free
As a result, it currently powers millions of eCommerce, business, portfolio, and blog websites.
The developer can choose Ruby, Java, Angular, .NET, and PHP to render HTML. However, these ready-to-use templates do not require coding skills for development. Anyone with the basic know-how of website design can utilize Bootstrap templates to create fully functioning websites.
Getting access to almost all necessary components in their ready-to-use state saves both money and time. It is no wonder that Bootstrap is the #1 choice among veteran developers as well as novices.
What are the different types of Bootstrap themes every website developer needs to consider?
Just like with any other frontend development platform, Bootstrap has different types of themes. Currently, there are around four varieties of themes you can check out at any theme store.
1.Theme type that modifies the look of the existing Bootstrap components of the template
This type of theme is the most common and most straightforward too. This category of Bootstrap theme is typically free, and it can add a new look to your existing Bootstrap components. Only CSS files make up these themes that offer a distinct look to a website development project.
In this instant, the term theme is interchangeable with the template. This category of Bootstrap themes is identical to templates in structure and function.
2.Themes that can add new page layouts and extra components to your site
If you are looking for a shortcut to a finished website without compromising on any of its functionalities, then you should opt for this particular type of theme. However, you should check the different layouts you receive with the theme. The array of layouts depends on the purpose of the theme and template.
You can browse subcategories of templates – business websites template complete with “About us,” “Landing Page,” or “Contact Us” pages. Unfortunately, since Bootstrap is an opensource framework, you will not find a standard set of features for this category of themes. You will have to explore each theme manually to check if it has all the features you desire.
3.Themes that can do both I and ii
Themes belonging to this type are very similar to the ones we have described in ii. However, these bootstrap themes also contain extensively reworked Bootstrap components for website design.
You might notice that with some themes, the template components look identical to those in vanilla Bootstrap. In other themes, the same components might look completely different. The official Bootstrap themes from the makers of Bootstrap is the perfect example of a theme that adds new layouts, components, and modifies existing Bootstrap components too!
4.Themes which integrate seamlessly with an existing CMS in addition to providing functions as mentioned above
When you are into professional website design, you need something that does a little more than add layouts and modifies Bootstrap component looks. For a smoothly functioning website, you will need to integrate the theme with a robust CMS platform like WordPress.
Most Bootstrap themes have the ability to integrate with current CMS versions. However, only the premium versions offer complete integration and support. This type of theme is necessary when you are planning to use a specific CMS. If you are thinking about DIY-ing the entire backend management from scratch, you can stick with the Bootstrap theme from the previous categories.
What new features and components do Bootstrap 4 bring to the developer’s table?
Apart from choosing the type of theme, you need to pick a version of Bootstrap that will power your site. Right now, there are plenty of versions out there that can meet up to your expectations. However, Bootstrap 3 and Bootstrap 4 are the two most commonly used versions in the market today.
Bootstrap 3 came to the market in 2013, and Bootstrap 4 debuted in 2017. There are a few points of differences between Bootstrap versions 3 and 4 that you must know to make the right choice for your website development or design project.
The Bootstrap 4 framework introduces the Flexbox. Flexbox was unavailable in all the previous versions of the framework. It is a necessary feature that enables the easy changing of grid columns and layout alignments. It helps with the alignment of the negative components. Changing complex layouts of webpages is no longer time-consuming or tricky with the Flexbox.
Here are a few tasks you should be able to complete with ease with the Flexbox at your disposal –
- Create grid columns with equal width.
- Create cards with equal dimensions.
- Establish utility classes for altering direction, scaling, display, and alignment.
- Develop justified navigation and button groups.
- Design auto margin on the webpage layout for default spacing.
2.More SASS less LESS
As of Bootstrap 4, the CSS source files have updated from LESS to SASS. It is another significant change that Bootstrap 4 users are experiencing. SASS is more robust and dynamic. It offers functionalities along the lines of extending, rem, mixing, loops, nested media queries, logical operators, and em.
LESS might be easier to master as compared to SASS, but LESS is also more restricting. You might need to put in an extra couple of days to learn SASS, but it will be a long-term investment that will pay off in the long run. Currently, there are several options for compiling SASS to CSS.
Almost all Bootstrap versions consist of particular classes, aka the utility classes. These enable the user to arrange Bootstrap components within a theme layout. Users of Bootstrap 4 with notice several changes to the utility classes along with the addition of a flurry of new classes to the framework.
These utility classes can contribute to the speed of website development. You can add responsive-friendly margins or padding-values by leveraging the spacing utilities directly.
4.Inclusion of cards
Bootstrap 4 has replaced panels, thumbnails, and wells with cards. Their functions are identical to those of thumbnails, but the cards are significantly more flexible. So, new users will not be able to locate .panel, .well, or .thumbnail.
These cards align perfectly with Flexbox since Flexbox powers them. Designers can use card groups to create new cards of identical height in an instant. They are useful and attractive, and they make categorizing information a lot easier than before.
5.Relative CSS units
The inclusion of px, em, and rem are the best practice of typography on the web. The Bootstrap 4 framework currently uses rem instead of px. It allows all users to scale up or scale down components of a Bootstrap template. It gives the developer better control of his or her website design and facilitates a smooth and fast website building process.
At the same time, Bootstrap version 4 continues to use pixels for grid breakpoints, media queries, and container widths since viewports remain unaffected by type size.
The use of rem by Bootstrap 4 allows the development of entirely responsive website design.
The Bootstrap 4 Navbar is the latest version in the Bootstrap framework. The Flexbox powers the Navbar entirely. It improves the responsiveness and customizability of the Bootstrap template and theme.
A few changes Bootstrap 4 has introduced to the Navbar includes –
- The update of .navbar-toggle to .navbar-toddler-icon for better customization.
- The cessation of .nav base and replacement with the .navbar-nav class for all Bootstrap 4 projects.
- Bootstrap 4 only consists of .navbar-toggler in place of .navbar-toggle.
- The Bootstrap 4 navbar also brings a wide array of new preset colors.
- .navbar-form class is no longer relevant, and users can use .form-inline in its place.
Bootstrap 4 has made website design much smoother than it used to be with the earlier versions. The options of easy alignment and realignment of columns, rows, and grids in responsive layouts, customization of typography, and styles make Bootstrap 4 the most coveted among site developers experienced and new!
With each new version, Bootstrap is making website design and development easier and faster. It is now possible for smaller teams with less budget to create impressive websites without worrying about coding. You can forget about paying for each website component or plug-in separately as long as you have Bootstrap themes and templates by your side.
Sujain Thomas is a writer and SEO expert. Nowadays Sujain manages and writes for Flosum.com. Her primary focus is on "Salesforce DX". She is responsible for building content that helps IT professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.