Currently, Bootstrap is among the most popular frameworks in the developer community. One of the most straightforward solutions for front-end development methods available, Bootstrap allows users to access convenient CSS and HTML components for forms, typography, sliders, navigation, and everything else you might need.
Bootstrap is naturally a pretty fast development solution, as it allows you to access everything you need to create your app in a straightforward environment. You can access premade classes, kits, and themes right out of the box and speed up your development without compromising on performance.
Still, this doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to enhance the speed of your Bootstrap strategy from time to time. So today, we’re going to look at some of the things you can do to speed up the development of your Bootstrap app.
Make The Most of the Tools Available
Let’s start with the basics: One of the things that makes Bootstrap so effective as a development tool is the ability to access specific tools and services to make building more efficient. The more you leverage these features, the better you’ll be at designing amazing apps quickly.
The most popular Task Runners available right now are Grunt JS and Gulp JS. Gulp is based on Node.jS, while Grunt works in line with its templating environment.
Other helpful tools you can check out to accelerate your development process include Sass or Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets – a pre-processor scripting language compiled into CSS so that you can create better stylesheets with minimal effort. In addition, the Sass technology reduces the need for repetition by extending CSS through various methods like inline imports, variable, and nested maps. This means you can implement changes a lot quicker and take more risks in your designs.
Tools like BrowserSync JS will synchronize your browser testing process by performing as a middle man between your browser and server. Using this tool, you shouldn’t have to hit the refresh button on the browser over and over when editing your code to see updates.
Get Comfortable with Scaffolding and Kits
Bootstrap’s front-end framework relies heavily on the grid system within the technology, packed with features to help developers structure a responsive layout. Because of this grid system, it’s easier to scaffold responsive designs before you do any coding. This way, you get ahead of the coding process and better insight into where content should go.
Bootstrap’s grid system is pretty flexible so that you can define a set of rows divided according to each of the sections in your site or app. The best part is that each column can adjust to suit the template perfectly.
You can speed up your development process even more by simply accessing existing themes and UI kits from the Bootstrap ecosystem.
Bootstrap kits are UI kits consisting of a collection of flexible, attractive, and easy-to-use Bootstrap-based components and assets. You can easily plug your solution into your website and customize it based on your required design output. UI components might include things like input forms, widgets, navigation menus, and testimonials. A few options include:
- Pixel: A free Bootstrap 5 UI kit with over 80 coded UI components, example pages, and more to help you design and build a website that makes sense for your projects.
- Fabrx: A comprehensive Bootstrap 5 kit with access to more than 500 responsive components, 250+ wireframes, and a host of ready-made templates. This comes seamlessly coded with CSS and HTML.
- Material Design: One of the most popular open-source UI kits based on Bootstrap 5, this solution makes it easy to create material design-based components with CSS, JS, and HTML. There are more than 700 UI components already available within the kit.
Experiment with Bootstrap Themes
While Bootstrap UI kits give you multiple pieces of coding and technology you can use in your development and how you like, Bootstrap themes are intended to be plug-and-play solutions. You modify a few components and resources, and you’re ready to publish.
Bootstrap has its own selection of themes available, though most are available for a premium cost, so it’s worth checking out what you get in advance. One good option is the Admin and Dashboard template designed for creating applications for tracking things like analytics and website information.
The theme here comes with access to all of your crucial bootstrap components, as well as Brite charts, Apex charts, multiple widgets, and icons. A few alternatives to try include:
- Space: A free Bootstrap 5 multi-purpose theme with access to a creative, clean, and high-quality design with three different homepage variations, more than 100 UI elements, and a fully responsive layout.
- Front: A multi-purpose premium responsive template. You’ll get six pre-built demos, 16 landing pages, and a host of other different page types to sort through.
Use a Bootstrap Builder
Most developers prefer to code their application or website entirely from scratch with Bootstrap – mainly since it’s easy to do. However, there’s also a faster alternative route you can consider too. For instance, using a Bootstrap builder or studio will turn the design process from a hard-code configuration into a more visual and straightforward process.
Page builders come in many shapes and sizes, designed for both the web and desktop. Popular options like the Bootstrap studio come with drag-and-drop functionality for grid-based content, component creation, and access to quick-add components.
Another bonus of using a builder is you can usually expect to have the latest version of Bootstrap available, so you don’t have to update constantly. For example, some of the newest page builders offering access to Bootstrap 5 include:
- Start-up: A simple bootstrap-based builder, Start-up allows designers and developers to create websites, applications, and landing pages with drag-and-drop functionality. The solution is compatible with all Retina devices and has easy exporting.
- Boostrap Build: This is a simple and effective bootstrap application for prototyping and designing all kinds of Bootstrap themes and templates. There are tons of theming capabilities built-in, as well as live preview, color picker, variable search, and size adjuster.
- Mobirise: A free and straightforward bootstrap builder, this solution focuses on building various Bootstrap websites.
Bootstrap, like many development and design tools today, is constantly evolving. As new versions and components continue to emerge, it’s essential to be confident with the options you have for your website, application, or whatever else you might be making.
It is exhausting to continuously check out the latest tutorials and posts on the official Bootstrap website; it is much easier to get things done when you know how everything works. The good news is that many of the courses and guidelines available on the web today are free to use. For example, you can get a crash course for beginners on Bootstrap 5 or find a collection of some of the most popular crash courses here.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on the latest news released by the Bootstrap team, so you can get an idea of any new features or functionality you might need to learn as you’re working on your builds. If you’re using the tools we mentioned above, like Sass, make sure you check out the latest updates for those, too – many of the tools available for Bootstrap will get updates too.
If you’re feeling really in the dark about your new Bootstrap features, you can check out sites like Udemy, which offer step-by-step guides for beginners. Though the entire course does have a fee attached to it, you’ll learn how to build various projects within Bootstrap, which could make you more efficient at development later.
As you’re learning how to master Bootstrap development, try not to pile too much on your plate at once. If you decide to work with the precompiled download package for Bootstrap, it’s worth accessing only the specific aspects of the library you need at any given time.
Start by using simple tools like bootstrap-reboot.min.css for a simple CSS reset for your project, or access the easy-to-use grid system at bootstrap-grid.min.css. You don’t necessarily need to access and learn all the frameworks at once.
Remember the Basics
Finally, all aspects of Bootstrap development get a lot easier when you start thinking about becoming a better coder. Apart from the above points, optimizing a website in any landscape still means incorporating the right front-end performance techniques you would access for any website.
Although focusing on getting the UX right with your bootstrap build might add more time to your development process initially, it also means you’re less likely to have to come back to your website and make changes in the future. This should mean that you can spend less time developing your project overall and more time optimizing the experience.
For instance, you should still:
- Minify your JS and CSS code: An essential step in optimizing your website is limiting the number of HTTP requests a website makes to render the content. Each trip to the server and back takes more time, harming user experience. Minifying the document will help you to keep file sizes small and reduce HTTP requests.
- Reduce image sizes: The weightiest part of your website is usually the image files. However, video and audio files will also play their role. Make sure you’re always using the right image or file type for each job and squeeze extra bytes from your images wherever you can with compression too.
While it’s great to get a development project done quickly, don’t mistake rushing through and forgetting essential elements that influence the impact of your project. You still want your project to work perfectly – even if you’re developing it quickly.
Speeding Up Development with Bootstrap
Bootstrap is a fantastic, fast-paced solution for developing all kinds of incredible websites, applications, and projects. However, learning how to use all the features and components of your Bootstrap environment correctly can ensure you’re more likely to speed up the development process. The tips above will allow you to discover all the benefits of the Bootstrap front-end framework.
Remember, try to find the right balance between speeding up your development process, and maintaining a high level of quality. Time saved on initial development won’t do much good if you have to come back and make additional fixes later. So focus on getting things right the first time, but use tools and templates to help you whenever you can. The more you work on Bootstrap, the better your projects will become.