Today’s users live in a multiscreen world, our user behaviour and journeys have evolved over time to reflect it. Each user now spends a significant amount of time toggling between multiple devices such as tablets, mobile phones, desktops, laptops and even television screens through the span of a single day. Every website or app worth its salt has to give users a premium and seamless user experience across these devices to capitalize on this screen time. That’s where the Bootstrap framework comes in to make life easier for developers.
What is Bootstrap?
Bootstrap is a toolkit, open-source project used to develop a mobile-first web app or a website. It was created by Twitter employees Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton to help make it easier to build responsive and aesthetically pleasing websites.
Websites built on Bootstrap work by automatically adjusting the website’s size according to the screen the website is being viewed on. Say, you’re viewing a website or browsing one on a screen that is 450px wide, then the website will detect your screen and scale down the website to 400 px to fit perfectly within your window.
Bootstrap toolkit allows you to create a web app or a website with extensive components such as a responsive grid system, prototype creation with Sass variables and mixins, and many other components. Although it was originally created at Twitter, it’s currently hosted on GitHub.
Why do developers choose Bootstrap?
The most common use of Bootstrap is to create a well optimized layout. Bootstrap helps your web apps and websites load on just about any type of a device and screen, without hampering the quality. Additionally, there are extensive Bootstrap html templates and resources available to help beginners create their website and apps with minimal coding effort. It is designed to work exceptionally well with modern browsers such as Chrome, FireFox, etc. It also resolves a lot of cross-browser issues. In other words, it’s designed in such a manner that it can work well even with older browsers.
Large Developer Community
Bootstrap has an extensive support system. Since Bootstrap can be a bit complex for beginners, there are many online portals you can turn to for help in learning the framework. There are also a lot of free online tutorials and resources available for almost every kind of use case.
Ease of use
Once you know your way around Bootstrap, it would hardly take you an hour to fix up a basic website or an app. The easy availability of Bootstrap templates and resources also helps speed up the development process as the developer does not need to start from scratch. It can also be easily customized and is flexible enough to meet your requirements, irrespective of your niche.
Why should you learn Bootstrap?
Sure enough, in the beginning, it may be hard to understand and may appear a bit complex, but once you get the hang of it, it’s one of the easiest frameworks to work with. There are a number of free responsive Bootstrap templates available on the web that come with coded extensions and links to tags that can be reused.
If you have a style code, which is already written, you can always copy it and make use of it on your website or web app. However, for you to do this, you will need to learn more about Bootstrap.css. Unless you master Bootstrap and the components, you won’t be able to reuse the content you already have efficiently. We’ve compiled a list of the best free Bootstrap tutorials and online resources to help guide you on your journey.
What’s covered in these online tutorials?
- Bootstrap: Basics
Bootstrap basics entail nothing but an understanding of what the framework is and an overview of the same. There are two types of Bootstrap options- a source code version and precompiled version. However, there is no hurry for you to decide which one of the two types suit your style more because all the styles can be overridden if you want.
- File Structure
Every online resource on Bootstrap has its way of helping you understand the file structure. It can be in the form of a downloadable link or through a different format. Learning the file structure will enable you to understand how Bootstrap works and how to segregate various components.
- Templates and their usage
- UI components
No website or web app is complete without its UI components. Typography, tables, forms, labels, etc. are common aspects of any website and web app. Understanding the various styles and kinds of UI components is essential to mastering Bootstrap.
- Bootstrap Grid System
Although the latest version of Bootstrap is version 4.3, there are many aspects from the previous versions that need to be mastered as well. The grid system in Bootstrap demands attention, as it is one of the pillars to the entire development process. These courses will cover the usage of the grid system in current and previous versions.
Finally, here’s our Masterlist of free online Bootstrap learning resources:
What better way to learn than from the makers themselves? GetBootstrap is the one-stop destination for all Bootstrap learners. Free of charge and informative, there is hardly anything that the developer site does not cover.
GetBootstrap has the latest information and updates about Bootstrap 4.3, and has the latest help and FAQs about recent updates. Furthermore, you can be absolutely sure of the authenticity of the matter on the website. From documentation to understanding how it works from the ground up, you will get a lot of information on beginner to advanced level Bootstrap topics.
My favourite learning resource on GetBootstrap is their “Examples” tab which will help you to go through how Bootstrap has been used for various different product use cases and niches. This makes it an ideal hands on resource to refer to.
You can find help and detailed documentation about Bootstrap on the website to help guide you in the development process. However, it’s best to get a fair understanding of how Bootstrap works through video tutorials and the likes before delving deep into the official documentation.
The course on CodeOfaNinja is one of the most highly recommended online resources to learn and master Bootstrap. Designed for complete beginners, it handholds you through the basic concepts and gives you time to digest the information before getting into advanced topics.
The website was created and is being operated by Mike Dalisay, a software developer since 2010. His extensive hands-on knowledge in the field has allowed him to set up a platform that focuses on not only rote learning but also on tips and tricks that can make the life of Bootstrap developers easier.
Furthermore, Mike user plain language and avoids jargon to keep the course as beginner-friendly as possible. The best part of this course is that you can begin to apply you knowledge almost instantly by clicking on the ‘Live Demo’ option once you finish the tutorial.
If you’re looking for a way to understand everything included in Bootstrap down to its very core, then this is the one tutorial you must go through. Unlike most other free tutorial guides, this one covers just about everything. Detailed and extensive, it is one the best free Bootstrap resources for advanced learners. It covers everything from basics, overview, and environment set-up to Bootstrap demos for each and every component.
Every section on the website is detailed, informative, and contains ‘ready to use’ codes that will help you understand the section better. Another attractive feature of this online resource is that each example provided on the platform comes with a “Try it” button, located on the right-hand side, top corner of the examples. By clicking on it, you can verify the examples and make use of the code to see the results. Furthermore, you can also edit the example code to suit your requirement or preferences.
If you know what to do with Bootstrap development codes, what grids are and what they do, already have an idea of plugins and know which Bootstrap starter templates to make use of, then here is a way to test everything out and speed up your learning curve.
BOOTPLY is the one place where you can test out your Bootstrap skills. You can make use of the website builder to create something new, make your own prototypes, and learn with the help of examples. The platform offers a wide list of tools and Bootstrap layout templates to help you understand and try your hand at Bootstrap.
You can also connect with the strong Bootstrap community on Bootply to collaborate with fellow Bootstrap developers for your passion projects or startup ideas. With free themes, a means to test your Bootstrap skills and communicate with a large community, this platform is definitely a great asset for developers looking to master Bootstrap.
Tutorials point has an extensive collection of Bootstrap tutorials covering basic as well as advanced topics. It also has real life practical examples and useful references to help you build your own website or app. The tutorials are really user friendly and has segregated sections for you to jump in and learn whatever you’re looking for. There are also a number of interactive in house tools on the platform like HTML Editor, SQL Playground, Color Picker, Bootstrap Button Generator and many more to help you apply your learning in a simulated environment.
Tips to keep in mind while learning Bootstrap.
When it comes to mastering Bootstrap or for that matter any new framework, merely theoretical understanding of the concepts does not cut it. Here are some other things you need to keep to help you master the trade.
Keep your mind analytical and playful.
Since every part of the development process is interlinked, you will have to make sure that you have your basics and concepts right. You’ll also have to have a willingness to experiment and accept that failure is part of the learning process. It also helps to note that learning Bootstrap won’t be a linear process and some modules may be harder than others.
Practice is key.
Understand that you will need to practice for hours and hours to even get moderately good at Bootstrap.
Ask for help
Make sure that you have access to an active online community where you can ask a developer each time you hit a roadblock. Having a mentor to guide you in the first few weeks of learning a new language is a great luxury if you can afford it.