DEV Community

Cover image for What are some alternatives for Bootstrap?
Adnan Babakan (he/him)
Adnan Babakan (he/him)

Posted on • Updated on

What are some alternatives for Bootstrap?

Hey there DEV.to community!

Edit: I had to write this edit since I'm getting lots of negative comments. This article wasn't supposed to be hateful or condemning Bootstrap. This is only about the things I think Bootstrap lacks in. Please accept my apology in advance if you feel insulted or this article gives you bad feelings.

Edit 2: Since lots of comments warned about my bad title picking ability. (XD) I changed the title from 'Please avoid Bootstrap!' to 'What are some alternatives for Bootstrap?'. I hope this post doesn't get the most hated DEV.to post in the past 7 days. XD

Well, actually I was thinking about writing this article a while ago but I was afraid of the reactions that I might get. Anyway, I decided to do it and I hope you enjoy this article.

DISCLAIMER: This article is based on my own perspective and I DO NOT force it on anyone. I neither created Bootstrap nor sponsored by any others to write this article. (Well I'm not that famous to be sponsored anyway LOL)

Please

Why do I not like Bootstrap?

Well, the best thing to start with would be why I don't like Bootstrap.

The same look over and over

First things first are that almost 90% of Bootstrap using websites look exactly the same. Although this can be changed, usually designers don't bother with such options so they use the default look and theme.

You can search Google and see all discussions about this thing with lots of samples.

Not that much modern-looking

Second thing is that Bootstraps look isn't that polished. It was for a time but I believe now the design pattern is changed and bootstrap is kind of behind.

Not supporting RTL

Well, this can be situational and not all designers would use this but still, it is a problem that might irritate some middle-eastern based countries' designers.

Something extra: When I was choosing to learn a CSS framework Bootstrap wasn't supporting flex containers so this was another reason I started avoiding Bootstrap at that time. Which now it does support Flex since version 4 I believe.

Have I ever tried Bootstrap?

For those who might say: "Adnan if you tried Bootstrap for once, you would love it." I have to say: "I designed lots of websites using Bootstrap due to the clients' demand"

So basically YES I tried Bootstrap.

What do I use then?

Since I'm not using Bootstrap it doesn't mean that I code the whole CSS by myself (It is ridiculous).

I have some tools in order to get my projects done.

Zurb Foundation

Zurb Foundation

Foundation is my go-to framework. I love using it since I'm pretty much fluent in it and it provides very good SASS/SCSS compatibility and a very rich customization system.

Zurb Foundation is the most advanced CSS framework I believe.

The only down point that Foundation can have is its incompatibility with Webpack which you cannot import Foundation's JavaScript library to a bundle.

Semantic UI

Semantic UI

Semantic UI is the most polished-looking and modern-feeling framework ever I believe.

It is so beautiful and elegant that you would fall in love with it.

Semantic UI has full compatibility with React which I enjoyed using and also almost complete compatibility with Vue. If you don't want to use it as a component and only as a normal CSS framework in Vue or React it has no boundaries and by compatibility, I only mean component-based library for this framework.

Tailwind CSS

Tailwind CSS

Tailwind is one of the newest CSS frameworks out in the development world and it's gaining lots of attention recently.

I started using Tailwind recently and I can say it can be my next go-to framework since it aims at rapid development and, to be honest, it has reached this goal I believe.

Tailwind is a little bit different than other frameworks since it is a utility-first framework as they say and it provides you to design your own look rather than a default look.

Tell me if you are using other CSS frameworks or why you love Bootstrap in the comments section below.

Buy me a coffee

Discussion (82)

Collapse
jkhaui profile image
Jordy Lee • Edited on

Why is the title of this article alarmingly telling everyone "Please avoid bootstrap!" and then in the 2nd paragraph you have a disclaimer stating it's just your opinion and shouldn't be forced on anyone.

Maybe a better idea would be not to use such a clickbait-y title in the first place, such as "Reasons I dislike Bootstrap", then you wouldn't be obliged to include a disclaimer in the first place.

You were probably afraid of the reactions you might get because deep down you know this isn't the right way to draw attention to yourself

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author • Edited on

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
I actually had no intention of click baiting people and drag them here. I was kind of afraid of the reactions and I mentioned it at the beginning.
Anyways please accept my apology if I cause you any inconvenience.

Collapse
jkhaui profile image
Jordy Lee

Hey, no worries. Don't worry about causing me inconvenience - I don't personally care much but a lot of people on the internet do. So it's just advice to help you maintain a higher quality for your personal brand :)

Thread Thread
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Thanks for the advice

Collapse
kshitijmeets profile image
kshitijmeets

Don't all CSS frameworks have a default look and need to be grokked at to customize? The purpose of Bootstrap is to abstract-out the low-level nitty-gritties of CSS for Devs who are not CSS experts/Front end engineers, but need to deliver someting professional looking. And it is amazingly successful in this space. Thats why the popularity. It may come as a shock to some, but a majority of people working in Enterprise space don't really care about FlexBox/CSS transistions and what not. Bootstrap comes to the rescue here and does its job really well.
Tailwind should not be called a framework at all as it does not abstract out anything.

Collapse
znuff profile image
Bogdan I.

As a mostly part-time programmer, full-time server administrator, there are times when I just need a simple page that gets data from an API or something for internal uses. Bootstrap fits the purpose perfectly, and it takes me less than an hour to make a decent UI for my purpose.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment. You have good points of view that I might missed.
Thanks again for sharing this wit us.

Collapse
umutahmet profile image
Umut Ahmet

I agree with a lot of what's being said in the comments tbh.
Bootstrap has it's place and it might not look great out of the box but it's a great base to build from. Not only do you learn some good css tricks but if you adapt and extend the library for your own use, it can be a power tool :)

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Yes Bootstrap is a great framework and I have no doubt in it.
This was only my reasons that I don't like Bootstrap.
Thanks again.

Collapse
andreasvirkus profile image
ajv

If it's a "great framework" then why would you write an article explicitly telling people to avoid it? Also, as you're going around and apologizing to everyone for having a clickbait-y title, why not just change the title if you didn't mean for it to be

1) clickbait-y
2) a warning for people to not use bootstrap?

πŸ€”

Secondly, don't Foundation and Element suffer from the exact same issues as Bootstrap? Except it seems that Foundation is the one to have the only actual issue - of not being compatible with modern build tools (Webpack), no?

Thread Thread
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
I appreciate your comment.
I'm only apologizing for the feelings I caused.
I will change the title for sure. (To be honest, I didn't even think about it.)
I am not even earning any money from this so click-baiting isn't my purpose anyhow.

Thread Thread
andreasvirkus profile image
ajv • Edited on

Absolutely no harm done and I hope you don't feel a need to constantly apologize to everyone. It's a big industry and it's hard to always please everyone :)

FYI clickbait can also be used simply to grab attention/views, it's not only about monetization.

Lastly, to also provide something useful to this thread from my end, I quite like the visuals of Element UI. It has that modern look that Bootstrap and Semantic seem to lack

Thread Thread
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Oh thanks
This was very heartwarming.
And yes I've seen Element UI and it is literally beautiful.

Collapse
andy_preston profile image
Andy Preston

In the real world, many business cases dictate that the design isn't as important as the functionality.

I've seen many companies use bootstrap for backend portals for internal use only. You don't need a flashy design, it just has to be functional.

Maybe you're a startup with limited funding and time, building a minimal viable product in the hope to gain investment. Bootstrap can be a useful tool to throw together a layout.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment
In that case, yes, Bootstrap can buy you a lot of time in development as well as other frameworks.

Collapse
moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

The reason I don't use Bootstrap is that it goes against everything semantic. Tailwind, however, is way worse.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author • Edited on

Hmmm. Interesting reason, and now I think you are pretty right about it.

Collapse
cdsaenz profile image
Charly S.

Before Bootstrap I had a lot of trouble delivering simple business pages, let alone make them responsive. Bootstrap worked its magic for me, same as codeigniter. And I learned a lot a lot of CSS in the process. These tools allowed me to focus on the application logic instead so I'm very thankful, doesn't matter if they're not fancy.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment
Yes working with Bootstrap or other frameworks can make you faster in developing. The point of article was to share with you the reasons I have for not using Bootstrap.
Thanks again for sharing your experience with us.

Collapse
mibusawatori profile image
Arung Isyadi

When you put a title saying "avoid", normally any dev in the world thinking about a backdoor. The way you continue your article then make no connection with the title itself. If you have any concern about the framework then you have to say what concerns you, using a strong word like "avoid" attract misunderstanding and make people like me would less respect to your articles anymore.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
I'm sorry if I disappointed you. I just wrote this to share some reason I have that I don't like Bootstrap.
Sorry for the title again.
I hope I gain your trust again.

Collapse
mpuckett profile image
Michael Puckett

Good points and alternatives!

A big reason Bootstrap was invented and adopted was because of the grid.

Now with CSS Grid I think these libraries are less useful. Especially once we have wide subgrid support.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Ues of course but I still believe using frameworks would actually help us even nowadays.

Collapse
fanmixco profile image
Federico Navarrete • Edited on

My only comment is: "If you haven't tested or used Bootstrap 4, it's pointless to criticize something that you don't know" Since your article could be invalidated with Bootstrap 5 that is already on going or any future version.

I'm not saying that Bootstrap is perfect, but you have sections like: "Which now it does support Flex since version 4 I believe." If you add the expression: "I believe", it means you didn't do your homework and research, and you are only going to get bad publicity from the most experienced members because you could have started to code very young, but you haven't learned some very important lessons in life like: "Ask for feedback and research before publishing any article."

Hopefully, your next article would be based on facts, checking sources (Google your thoughts doesn't take too much) and not coming with sections that contain: "I believe" since that reduce your credibility significantly, looking forward to your next article.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi Federico
Thanks for your comment and your advice.
The expression "I believe" didn't mean to be reflecting that I didn't research. Actually, I even used Bootstrap 4 in lots of my projects. That section was an extra note I added to the post.
Anyways thanks for your advice and I will try to avoid such things in my next article.

Collapse
fanmixco profile image
Federico Navarrete • Edited on

Good, still, the most important lesson: "Ask for feedback." Any time you're going to bring a controversial topic, you need to be smart and I'd recommend you to read:

"How to Win Friends and Influence People."

There is one edition for the Digital Age.

Thread Thread
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Oh nice
Thank you so much
I will read it for sure

Collapse
wintercounter profile image
Victor Vincent

For me no framework is the best framework. Usually what you end up using mostly from these is the grid system. With flex and grid in CSS I don't feel the need for a grid system anymore. Usually the components being shipped are not being used 1:1 so you end up customizing/overriding the styles where you can waste just as much time as defining your own styles. In most cases and on big scale projects it's just simply not worth to go the CSS FW route. In case you need a fast UI for some admin interface, than go for it.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Thanks for your comment.

Collapse
momander profile image
Martin Omander

Bootstrap has helped me with many projects in years past. But nowadays we have lighter, more modern-looking frameworks to choose from. I prefer Bulma myself (or its cousin Buefy that adapts Bulma to Vue).

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Yes I like Bulma as well and I also use Buefy sometimes in my personal projects till I get fluent in it so I use it in some commercial projects as well.

Collapse
goonerify profile image
Leslie Enwerem

If you're going to use such an alarming headline then the least that you can do is to present some really strong points to support your opinion.

As a developer in north America, I'm pretty sure I'd pick being able to properly bundle my app with webpack over having the capability for RTL anyday.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Yes, you are right. The title might be kinda strange comparing to the content of the article, but I also mentioned my reasons as well.

Since I'm in Iran it is really crucial for me to be able to use RTL out of the box.

Collapse
hectorcaac profile image
Hector

I agree with almost everything you are saying, but I won't say that everyone should avoid it. I think bootstrap can be really useful to learn UI principles ( Or at least that was my case) Also thank you for posting about Semantic UI, I did't know about that framework.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author • Edited on

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Actually I think if people start learning web design with Bootstrap or even other frameworks they won't have the ability to understand the CSS properly, at least for a long time.
And yes Semantic UI is incredible.

Collapse
sshanzel profile image
Hansel Solevilla

This is me, which is why i'm trying to improve now my CSS skills. I've though back then if i can do Bootstrap, I am great. Lol what a newbie thinking. Though it is still good on some cases.

Collapse
iggsgrey profile image
IggsGrey

Hello
A cool alternative (in my biased opinion since I'm a part of it) will be youniversely CSS. It's new and it's still in the build, trying to recruit some support and contributions at the moment, but it's worth visiting the page to check ot out. youniverselycss.com

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment and for sharing this with us.
I would be happy to test your framework and write a review for it if you let me to.

Collapse
iggsgrey profile image
IggsGrey

Yes please. Go on and head over to youniverselycss.com
To check it out

Collapse
bkairu5 profile image
Halafu

You are trying to kill a mosquito using a hammer. Using a bike when you should be using a boat and then claiming all boats look the same borders on madness. Tools exist for different purposes. One of the skill that a good developer should possess is the ability to choose the right tool for the job at hand. There are instances where Bootstrap is the perfect tool and instances where its not. This does not mean it should be avoided.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Yes I believe Bootstrap is a good framework.
When I was writing this article I didn't mean to cause any bad feelings to any.
Sorry if the article was bad.
Will try to do better next time.

Collapse
vitalipom profile image
Vitali Pomanitski • Edited on

If I may say, I like that you are from Iran. I'm from Israel and currently in our media the total mass from Iran wants to kill us. Us and U.S. I like how you did just pop out from around and like 'hey, I'm from Iran, I've got an opinion on Bootstrap', it made me afraid much less as of today from those missles targeting my city and understand that among mass of people who want to kill us, there's you. So, 'hey buddy!'.
Thanks for being here. β™₯

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Politics are very complicated.
No nationality is against any nationality.
Stay safe.

Collapse
vitalipom profile image
Vitali Pomanitski

You're really kind of heart.
Don't worry about what people say on your post. You are professional, thus have an opinion. To get 12 years of knowledge, most of them will have to learn 4 more years.
You're cool. Keep being yourself and for today you're my role model. Really thanks for being a member of dev.to.

Collapse
synchromatik profile image
synchromatik

Can dev.to finally add 'avoid/ignore articles of this type' option. Thnx

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Sorry if you didn't like my article. I will try to do better next time.

Collapse
danielrsantana profile image
Daniel Santana

Thank you for your article and the suggested frameworks to avoid Bootstrap. I will take a look at them.

In the past, not sure if it changed,I've started avoiding it because it is too heavy (my opinion) and not modular (at the time).

This is the reason why I've chose Bulma at the time. I will take a look at your suggestions as well.

Thank you again. Your article added info to my knowledge.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment and reading my article

Collapse
avxkim profile image
Alexander Kim

What's the point of this article? If you're developing a website with unique design, you absolutely don't need a bootstrap now (grid/flexbox does it's job), but if you're doing an admin ui, or simple local web-service, why shouldn't i use bootstrap?

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
I actually mentioned my reasons.
Anyways this was my own opinion to avoid Bootstrap.

Collapse
rleddy profile image
Richard Leddy

I did a Bootstrap site for a guy, based off someone's CMS, and the guy complained about the looks and told me that I should have used Bootstrap. It took a lot of explaining to him that Bootstrap was in use. And, I think he never quite got it.

And, that was for grinding through the giant CSS base that never quite decomposes into independent parts.

Later I did some work on drawn SVG with modest amounts of addendum CSS. It really is much less work, much less code to send on a page and with much greater control over fine details.

You can probably guess I spend considerable energy avoiding becoming an artist. So, short and simple is what I look for.

Thanks for the pointers to the other frameworks.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi Richard
Thanks for your comment
Some clients can be really stupid sometimes and it can get really annoying.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Collapse
gribchic profile image
gribchic

Bootstrap compatibles flex, scss so it can be different. You can use only necessary bootstrap's tools so I'm fallen in love with it

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Yes Bootstrap also provides SCSS components but the time I was choosing a framework Bootstrap wasn't as featured as Foundation so I mentioned it as well.

Collapse
sharminalvandi profile image
Sharmin

As a software developer I'm proud of you. Please don't be sorry! You're at the beginning of your journey where mistakes are inevitable. Keep up your good work and never give up!

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your heartwarming comment.
I really needed this.

Collapse
edimeri profile image
Erkand Imeri

I like tailwind and bulmacss.

Regarding tailwindcss, it's a bit tricky to setup in webpack. I think they need to create more examples on configuration.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
It will get better by time

Collapse
goussarova profile image
goussarova

Hi Adnan.
Could you please use word 'anyway' instead of 'anyways' , and also use it sparingly.
Thank you for your efforts in writing up this article.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for telling me my mistakes.
I will fix it.
Don't know why Grammarly didn't tell me that. LOL

Collapse
mehdico profile image
Mehdi Mousavi • Edited on

I Recommend Bulma. it's amazing.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
Yes, Bulma is amazing.

Collapse
genocideaon profile image
Pranat • Edited on

When you use any CSS framework you should know CSS well. it can save your time and you will know that all CSS framework is the same.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment
Yes absolutely.

Collapse
samuelonoja profile image
Samuelonoja

In my opinion this article doesn't make a lot of sense I must confess...! Sorry to ssy

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
There is nothing to be sorry for.
I appreciate you and I will try to write more valid articles next time.
I'm sorry.

Collapse
alexqhj profile image
Alexander H

This description of tailwind won't make anyone understand what tailwind is. It's not a framework like any of the other frameworks you've described here

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment
Yes Tailwind is a little bit different than other frameworks.
I will edit the description.
Thanks again

Collapse
xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

I'd say that the only reason that i avoid it for small projects is that I'm not using enough of its functionality to justify the CMS call that adds download and speed impairments.

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment.
You can actually use the components needed and get your bundle size as minified as possible.

Collapse
andrewtrecha profile image
Andrew Trecha

UIKit - getuikit.com/

Collapse
adnanbabakan profile image
Adnan Babakan (he/him) Author

Hi
Thanks for your comment
UIKit is a pretty one.
Thanks for sharing it.