Ask DN: To Bootstrap or Not to Bootstrap?

almost 7 years ago from

Finally getting around to putting my personal site up. The question is, should I start from scratch or go with Bootstrap?

I'm going with a single page portfolio site and I want to keep things simple. I have basic HTML/CSS/JavaScript knowledge, enough to where I can figure out how to get things going by browsing the web for a little help.

I'm leaning towards Bootstrap but I would like to hear some opinions.


  • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, almost 7 years ago

    I'm a firm believer in writing your own site. It promotes education and the ability to make something that looks unique to you.

    With that said though, I do understand the value of a framework as it's done a lot of the tediious work for someone.

    I agree with other folks in the thread that bootstrap could be a bit of an overkill. My 'favorite' framework is probably skeleton. It's really simple and you can build something out quickly.


    5 points
    • Ketan Anjaria, almost 7 years ago

      Double vouch for Skeleton. Much simpler and easier to get started on. Frameworks trick you into thinking you are learning HTML/CSS when really you are just learning the framework. Skeleton is very bare bones and easy to take apart.

      0 points
  • Geoff KimballGeoff Kimball, almost 7 years ago

    With regards to frameworks in general, I think they're worth using because, even if you don't use their bevy of pre-made UI components, they get the basics out of the way for you. A CSS normalize, responsive adjustments, good typography, etc. Also, a good framework allows you to quickly build a basic page layout, enabling you to get a good look at how your site will be structured, before getting into the nitty gritty of the visual design.

    If you do use a framework, you need to download a customized version which only includes the features you need. Otherwise you'll be sacrificing load times to download code that you aren't even using.

    As far as specific frameworks, I'd recommend Foundation over Bootstrap. Broadly speaking these two frameworks do a lot of the same things: they give you a responsive grid, a collection of common UI elements (buttons, tables, forms, etc.), and some JavaScript plugins to make fun things like image galleries or modal windows.

    The fundamental difference between them is that Bootstrap is more "opinionated" than Foundation. You can built a nice, albeit generic-looking website with Bootstrap's default styles. Foundation is more vanilla by design, allowing you to build your own design on top of it.

    If you're interested here's their documentation: http://foundation.zurb.com/docs/ And their download customizer: http://foundation.zurb.com/download.php#customizeFoundation

    3 points
  • Michiel de GraafMichiel de Graaf, almost 7 years ago

    I'd say write it yourself if you know how to. Twitter Bootstrap is an overkill for one page.

    2 points
  • George ColtartGeorge Coltart, almost 7 years ago

    For a single page portfolio site bootstrap might be overkill. You should start with some framework though. I guess you need to decide what components you might need outside the core grid layouts.

    ie. do you need drop down menus, modal windows etc? If not then adding all the Bootstrap JS might not be needed.

    I havent used this but it's a stripped down very lightweight framework thats worth looking at: http://purecss.io/

    1 point
    • Per VPer V, almost 7 years ago (edited almost 7 years ago )

      "You should start with some framework though.", why should he use a framework, why not start from scratch?

      Chris, I don't know if you want to get more knowledge when it comes to HTML/CSS/JavaScript. But if you do, then I think creating your own portfolio is a great opportunity to try out things and experiment with HTML/CSS and JS. With that said, if you decide to go with Bootstrap or any other framework, CSS/JS will still be there for you to dive into...

      Good luck with whatever choice you make!

      1 point