When it comes to designing a website or a web application, Bootstrap is the first framework that anyone can think of. But what if you are looking for an alternative? What if you are in pursuit of finding something new which is much better and faster than Bootstrap and makes the development of web applications much easier?
On the other hand, specific projects have precise requirements that would not be possible for Bootstrap to offer. In such a circumstance, it is best to look for an alternative to Bootstrap and see which one best fits your project’s requirements.
Bootstrap is still, in a lot of ways, the best web development framework out there. But, it is true that there is no framework available that is one-size-fits-all. So, there arises the need to look for a Bootstrap replacement.
Through this blog post, you will become familiar with a list of the top 7 best Bootstrap alternatives to try for the development of web applications. I shall walk you through the pros and cons of each Bootstrap alternative so that you can have a better idea of which one to choose.
So let’s begin!
What is Bootstrap?
Bootstrap is a well-known front-end, open source, and free framework for developing websites and web-based applications. It is developed in a way to help designers in the creation of mobile-first websites. It holds a collection of syntax for designing templates, which a developer can use for their projects.
This framework comes with all the necessary templates for creating a responsive website. Thus, if you are working with Bootstrap, you only need to insert the code in a pre-defined grid system.
Advantages of Using Bootstrap
Disadvantages of Using Bootstrap
Before we begin with our list of Bootstrap alternatives, let’s first talk about some of the cons you must be aware of when you are working with Bootstrap.
- Every Website Developed Using Bootstrap Looks Familiar
Bootstrap was initially developed by a team of engineers at Twitter. Their main motive was to create a framework that enables the standardization of the interface. As a result, Bootstrap became a purpose made-tool, meaning the core concept behind the development of Bootstrap was not fully aligned with standard concepts that are used for website development today.
This makes everything built by Bootstrap look similar. There is a way for you to override and make changes to the styling sheet manually. But if you do so, you are not using the framework for its initial purpose, which was to make the work easier and faster.
- Bootstrap is Not Easy to Learn
It is easy for you to learn how to use Bootstrap for your projects. Still, there is a lot that can go wrong when you are using it. So you need to invest time in learning all the concepts of Bootstrap. First, you need to understand all the Bootstrap CSS classes. In addition to this, you need to have a complete understanding of how different components of Bootstrap access the classes.
You have to perform experiments on your own to find how the grid system of Bootstrap works. When it comes to documentation of Bootstrap, you need to go through the whole learning process. But once you get used to it, you won’t need much time for its adaptation for a new project.
- Bootstrap can be Power Hungry
With Bootstrap, it is relatively easy to build responsive websites, but the end result is much heavier; what this means is a user will not have a fast loading time for their website. Besides this, users with slow internet speed will have to wait a little bit more for the Bootstrap website to load than an average website. This is because the files generated in Bootstrap are pretty massive in size, and they slow down the speed of loading. You can delete things manually, but this will again defeat the purpose of a Bootstrap framework in the first place.
Top 7 Bootstrap Competitors You Should Know About
There are other disadvantages of Bootstrap that we could have mentioned here. However, we believe these are enough for you to take a sneak peek at some of the other alternatives of Bootstrap that are available at present.
Here is a list of Bootstrap competitors that you can consider for your web development project.
Right behind Bootstrap in popularity comes the Foundation framework. It is quite an advanced front-end framework in the present world. With this, you can create unique prototypes and production codes for your web application, which can work on any device without any issues or bugs.
Foundation is more than just a simple framework; it is more of a cluster of multiple frameworks that allow developers to build responsive websites, apps, and emails for any smart device. Over the years, it has been considered one of the most comprehensive frameworks for building websites, and it is more thorough than Bootstrap.
As a result, everything that you need to set up your web application can be found in the Foundation framework. It follows the responsive mobile-first layout system, customization, JS plugins, a grid system, UI components, and more.
In addition to this, there is a whole framework dedicated to the creation of emails, which is something we have never seen in a framework ecosystem ever before. Foundation is one of the top-notch frameworks which is not competing toe-to-toe with Bootstrap and, in a lot of cases, winning the competition as well.
- Foundation is well known for easy customization in order to match the requirements of your project.
- Foundation’s training and certification are available online from professional e-learning platforms like Udemy, LinkedIn, Coursera, and more.
- It is developer friendly with Ruby on Rails.
- Furthermore, it has support for right-to-left languages.
- It is not easy to learn the foundation framework as it is pretty extensive.
Tailwind is known for prioritizing the utility first, and it does it with the help of classes like flex, pt-4, text-focus, and truss 90. It can be used for the fabrication of any plan that you want to execute in a project. In addition to this, it can also be used directly for the markup of the project. Due to Tailwind using utility classes, it is known for being customizable.
On the other hand, it comes with a CSS IntelliSense, which makes sure that you don’t cram up the different elements of your projects, such as class names, object names, templates, etc., in one space.
This CSS framework is the one you would want to use everywhere as it allows composable changes and angle control via CSS factors.
- With utility classes present in Tailwind, you are free to build custom designs without having to write the CSS code in the first place.
- The size of your CSS files will be much smaller as Tailwind comes with utilities, and you can take the help of the padding feature to make most of the styles reusable.
- No need for inventing class names as there is already a pre-defined design system available at your disposal.
- With CSS, you could break something when you are making changes, but here the utility classes are local in your HTML. As a result, making changes will be less worrisome, and there is less chance of your breaking something else in the code.
- It doesn’t have any components by default; you have to create them on your own.
- The footprint of a developed project is a bit more.
- Onsen UI can be used for developing excellent HTML 5 hybrid and mobile web applications.
- There are tons of ready-to-use components, and it comes with automatic styling as well.
- All animations in Onsen UI are optimized for a wide range of mobile devices. Even with lower-end devices, the UI feels smooth and less jittery.
- Lastly, Onsen UI is easy to learn, and even though it is quite a powerful tool for the creation of complex apps, one can quickly learn from its official documentation.
- The community is not that extensive, and it is hard to find solutions to problems online.
Free to use.
Pure.CSS is a family of small, repetitive CSS modules which users can implement in various projects. For many developers, Pure serves as a framework for developing the opening point of every web-based application. PureCss takes care of every single CSS task that developers need to take in order to provide a unique and original look to websites.
The grid system is quite responsive, and it is lightweight as well; this is a crucial factor responsible for the user attraction towards Pure. The main intention of the developers of Pure was to create something that is simple and minimalist.
There are two methods by which you can use Pure, the first is the local installation, and the second is CDN based version. In the local installation, you can download and install the Pure.CSS on the local machine and then use it with all the HTML codes of your project. In CDN, the user needs to take the assistance of the Content Delivery Network to upload the Pure.CSS on their HTML code.
- Due to its Normalize.css base, it removes any form of cross-browser compatibility issues.
- With the use of a skin builder, one can make changes to the skin using one click.
- There are pre-built elements such as buttons, drop menus, forms, grids, tables, and more.
- This framework does not require the user to install it on the local machine; that’s because it can work with CDN as well.
- The development community isn’t quite massive, and there is very little technical support available if you run into any problems.
- Many of the fantastic designs and styles are not present by default in the framework. You have to add them in manually for your project.
Free to use.
Bulma is a CSS framework that has a ton of similarities with Bootstrap, and it is based on a modern, flexible box module known as flexbox. It has all the standard front-end elements that you will need for building a web application, with the exception of JS plugins. The layouts are mobile-friendly and come with normalized CSS, helper CSS classes, and familiar UI components like menus, modals, breadcrumbs, cards, and more.
The thing with Bulma is that it can’t be considered a complete alternative to Bootstrap; you can use it with other frameworks. But it is purely a CSS framework, and there are no JS plugins added by default. If you are someone who doesn’t use JS plugins, then it is a perfect choice for you.
- The grid system of Bulma is relatively easy to understand and implement.
- The mobile-first approach makes it 100% responsive to all the different mobile devices.
- You only need to add what you need in the code, as Bulma follows the concepts of modularity.
- The grid system of Bulma is based on a flexbox that shows issues with a bi-dimensional layout.
This framework uses Google’s Material Design to provide front-end framework elements to the developers. It comes with custom components in order to give users default stylings. On the other hand, with the help of Materialize, one can create a solitary responsive framework across various platforms in order to provide a more comprehensive client experience.
One of the significant downsides of using Materialize is that it does not support the older versions of the browsers. Also, in some cases, it has been found that Materialize doesn’t perform well with certain types of component nestings, which leads to uncanny looks of your web application. It is one of the well-versed and highly responsive frameworks which makes it possible for developers not to write the code from scratch.
- Materialize provides consistency across various platforms and devices
- A single line of code can be used in multiple projects of web development.
- With its ready-to-use design elements, there is no need to write the code for creating CSS components from scratch.
- It gives you access to build faster prototypes without having to use a new design for every element.
- The end-user has the ability to create UI, which is quite interactive and has a smoother animation.
- It, sometimes, cannot handle the nesting of elements, which may turn into something weird.
- Materialize is a heavy framework.
- It doesn’t support old browsers.
The Boilerplate is the one professional front-end template that you need for the development of a robust and adaptable website. It includes HTML5-ready features and its elements.
You can download the framework from the website, or you can choose to go with the strip-down version that doesn’t come with explanatory documentation. We recommend you download the lighter version only if you have worked with it previously. For newcomers, it is best to download the full version and understand how it works.
It comes with an optimized Google analytics snippet and placeholder touch-device icon, and there are tons of docs that cover all the tips and tricks that you require in order to master this framework. In addition to this, it has the latest version of Modernizer in a minified form. It can be used for the detection of a library and allows the creation of custom build configurations.
- It has apache settings added in for maximum performance and has server config for multiple platforms.
- Normalize.css is present as the alternative to CSS assets.
- It was developed keeping in mind the need for progressive enhancement.
- Likewise, it comes with built-in support for taking a printout of the web page.
- With its new update, the framework has completely dropped the compatibility support for the older versions of the web browser.
So there you have it; these were some of the top-notch alternatives better than Bootstrap one should try while looking for something new in the world of front-end web frameworks. The Bootstrap alternatives that we have mentioned in this article can be used in multiple scenarios. As a result, you need to try them out and then choose accordingly.
The thing is, when we add Bootstrap for a smaller-scale project, it brings a lot of extra weight to the size of the project. This leads to a slowdown in loading time. On the other hand, Google won’t rank a website higher, which has a longer load time.
On average, a website should be able to open up in less than 3 seconds to have a better ranking on Google’s search engine. The frameworks we have mentioned above can eradicate the loading issue of Bootstrap with additional features as well. So, in the end, it is up to you to choose from them and use them in your project.
We hope this article has helped you find the answer to the best Bootstrap alternatives to use for your website development. If there is some popular framework that we forgot to mention, make sure to put it down in the comment section for other readers to see. Till then, happy learning!
Graduate in Computer Science, specialized in Digital Marketing. I am very fond of writing tech articles and creating my own blog to teach my audience.