For faster and effective software development, the role of a frontend framework is highly significant. In the world of front-end frameworks, Bootstrap has been reigning high for quite a few years now. It has a wide user base and has a set of salient features that makes it so popular.
But just the way everything in this world has alternatives, there are competitive Bootstrap Alternatives that have been receiving rave reviews all through 2021 and have a promising 2022.
Before we plunge into the details of Bootstrap alternatives that are growing popular, let us have a glimpse of what Bootstrap is.
What Is Bootstrap?
Bootstrap is a free and open-source CSS framework directed at responsive, mobile-first front-end web development. – Wikipedia
Bootstrap is a sleek, intuitive, and popular HTML, CSS, and JS library that can create fast and responsive sites. It offers a customizable and responsive mobile-first experience with a responsive grid system, powerful plug-ins, and elaborate prebuilt components.
It simplifies the development of web pages and as a free and open-source tool, it is fast and easy for web development. It has HTML and CSS-based design templates for different components like tables, buttons, typography, forms, modals, navigation, etc.
Certain major components of Bootstrap are labels, dropdown menus, breadcrumbs, navigation bars, button groups, pagination, etc.
Key Features Of Bootstrap:
- Mobile-friendly and easy to use
- Flexible and offers seamless integration
- Responsive with browser compatibility
- Pre-styled-components and a good grid system
- Detailed documentation
Top Bootstrap Alternatives To Look For In 2022
- Tailwind CSS
- HTML5 Boilerplate
- Metro UI
- Onsen UI
- Pure CSS
- Semantic UI
- Flexbox Grid
- Inuit CSS
Skeleton is a simple, responsive, lightweight boilerplate and a CSS framework. It consists of a 12-column fluid grid, consisting of rows and columns. It is built keeping in mind the mobile framework. It is easy to start and needs the least compilation. It is best for a small project since it styles only major standard HTML elements and considers a grid.
Whatever the screen size may be, Skeleton considers the layout as the major attraction. It offers basic components for the developer such as lists, forms, buttons, tables, etc. Its grid system fits all kinds of screens – small, medium, and large. There is automatic resizing of column width with a change in one line of CSS. The syntax is easy to implement and hence provides responsive styles in a simple manner.
As one of the popular alternatives of Bootstrap, Bulma is a modernized CSS framework that is free, open-source, and offers competitive frontend components. It needs no prior knowledge of CSS framework and developers can easily create responsive web interfaces. It has a comprehensive flexbox grid, a wide range of colors and helps in building good-looking websites with ease.
Since it is designed with the mobile-first approach in mind, it is 100% responsive. It is modular in nature; you can import whatever you want to. It is considered one of the simplest grid systems. It is rich in components, modular, easy to learn, compatible, well documented, and constantly enhancing. Hence, it is sought after by developers.
Considered as a very light weighted framework, Pure.css is apt for small projects since it has a bunch of CSS frameworks clustered together. Since it is designed especially for mobile devices, it helps developers build responsive layouts with the use of grids, menus, forms, buttons, etc. Despite being tiny in size, it offers great performance and output.
It keeps file sizes small, and each line of CSS code is done with care. It has minimum styles and makes developers write the application styles on top of it. Elements created by Pure look good on all screen sizes. Pure has a flat design and hence it is simpler to append newer CSS rules. With just a few lines of CSS code, the entire appearance can be customized.
It is built with Sass, a powerful CSS pre-processor. It keeps source code free from vendor prefixes. It offers rapid prototyping, responsive text, and is flexible. Developers can generate their own styles and bolt for other functionalities. It is competent to create text blocks, responsive headings, etc.
Cardinal is a mobile-first, CSS framework that is ideal for creating applications and responsive websites. It offers high performance, maintainability, and scalability. There are several helper classes for better application of styles thereby lessening the time for development. It is easy for developers to build a prototype, scale, and create CSS. It offers the flexibility of designing and creativity to the developers.
Cardinal gels well with the most advanced browsers. With its mobile-first approach and the CSS box model, it is considered a good alternative to Bootstrap. It has modern-day styles, useful mixins, and variables. Its flexible grid system, utility classes, and gzip compression are some of the salient features for which it is known to developers.
PowertoCSS is a light weighted front-end framework ideally designed for front-end framework. It can be leveraged to build grids for websites. Even personalized designs can be created with this framework. It is designed based on Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS. It is simple to learn with easy class names.
Since it is small and size and light-weighted, it is quite fast in performance and loading. Developers find it easy to handle as it can offer a good development speed. It is flexible and can be customized as per requirements. Even user-oriented themes can be added. As a simple, light, and responsive tool, PowertoCSS has been offering versatile functionalities.
As a good alternative to Bootstrap, Mueller has been a modular and responsive grid system. It offers effective frontend framework functionalities with its Sass and Compass frameworks. It helps developers with grid creation through a grid function. It helps in the addition of classes straight to the elements to keep the HTML elements transparent and neat. It has one default grid and other pre-media grids if needed.
Developers can even extend their media grids to pre-defined layouts. This grid system is considered ideal for the creation of adaptive and responsive layouts. There is complete access over media queries, column width, gutter width, and baseline grid, for customizing those components. Fractional classes can also be added in addition to grids and layout. Templates can be added instead of presentational classes in the markup.
Bootflat is a popular, open-source, Flat UI KIT framework meant to develop attractive web designs. For web developers, it offers a quicker and easier way to create web apps in an effective manner. It is compatible with most modern-day browsers. Components of this framework are created with HTML5 and CSS3. There is an in-built panel of color schemes for the best customization.
It is created on the fundamentals of Bootstrap, with a flat design. It is trustworthy and scalable for developers who wish to have proper off-screen navigation with the best performance and lower size. It also has a mobile-first focus and there are plug-ins that offer a great performance boost.
Materialize makes the most of components and animations of Material Design to offer effective feedback to its users. The user experience gathered is collaborative and is easy to work with. There are detailed documentation and code examples that help novices to learn faster. It provides a drag-out mobile menu, card design, ripple effect animation, Sass mixins, etc.
Tailwind CSS is a utility-first, front-end framework that helps you create modern-day websites without leaving your HTML. It has a variety of classes that help in creating any design, directly to the markup. It has Utility classes that assist in executing within the system limits. It is a customizable, low-level CSS framework that operates based on utility classes.
It has lesser stuff in the CSS bundle and all its utility classes are responsive in nature. It is a component friendly with which developers find it easy to create their own components. Since it is a low-level framework, you can create anything you want to. It becomes simple to create different looks even with the same combinations.
It has been designed keeping in mind an advanced thought process. It has inbuilt support for web page printing. The documentation is simple to understand and hence reading each line of code is easy for developers. It does not have any layout or component modules. It is used for creating HTML5 websites with cross-browser compatibility.
It offers interoperable CSS pre-processing with Sass or Less. There is an in-built icon library, and it offers support for right-to-left languages. It is quite a simple framework that has a few design components and developers can easily switch between components as needed. It lets the designers go by the modular approach for creating the applications.
Element is a component-based, desktop UI library meant for designers, developers, and product managers. It is meant mainly for Vue. js-based applications. There are reusable and pre-defined Vue.js components. The salient features of this framework are its effectiveness, reliability, feedback, and controllability.
In Element, every UI entity is an Element-based project including the building of blocks. Customizing styles can also be done with the pre-processing feature. It has flexible themes, a Laravel starter kit, inbuilt internationalization support, and wireframing integration. There is a seamless code integration with Sketch/Axure.
Onsen UI is a front-end framework that is meant for web, mobile and hybrid apps. It helps developers in building mobile apps with web technologies. It has all the fundamental UI components that are a must for creating a mobile app user experience. It has customizable themes and gives its users a native-like experience.
Onsen UI has strong connections with other frameworks like Angular, AngularJS, jQuery, React, and Vue.js. The CSS component is written in Cssnext. It is considered one of the most efficient ways to create HTML5 hybrid and mobile web apps. Developers enjoy the streamlined development with Onsen UI with zero-time setup. It offers a native feel with a lot of ready-to-use components. It is easy to use and possesses automatic styling.
Cirrus is a component and utility-based SCSS framework that is completely responsive with effective controls and a simple structure. It can easily be integrated with any current design or can be leveraged for upcoming applications. It can ideally be used for rapid prototyping.
It offers a simplified responsive layout breakpoint for all types of devices. There are two modernized alternatives for layout – flexbox and grid. Since it is open-source and free to use, developers find it easy for different web and mobile projects. There is high-end interoperability with Vue.js.
It provides a full software development kit – Montage Studio, for the creation and management of modern-day single-page apps. It is easy to manage applications with data bindings. It makes use of a data binding library, with functional syntax. Developers enjoy the reusable software environment that it creates, making it simple for them to test the code and try it.
Pure CSS is a tiny CSS framework that can be used to start off any project. It helps developers create websites faster and with a responsive layout. It has a minimum footprint that makes use of Normalize.css for offering styling and layout for common UI components. Since it is responsive, all elements look perfect on different screen sizes. It offers the least number of styles and makes developers write applications on top of it.
Pure CSS is modular and offers different modules like grids, tables, navigation menu, etc. It makes use of the SMACSS architecture for the modularization of the CSS code. Each module is accessible in different files which have a very small size and hence are much more efficient. Pure’s appearance can be customized to look and feel the way you want to since it has a flat and minimalistic design.
Semantic UI is a popular framework that assists developers in the creation of responsive and attractive layouts with the help of HTML. It treats classes and words as interchangeable fundamentals. Semantic makes use of simplistic behaviors to activate functionality. It helps in writing human-readable HTML code instead of verbose methods.
Flexbox Grid is a well-known grid system centered on the flex display property. It is like Bootstrap’s flex-based system. In this, you can make your web page fluid and responsive. It is easy to learn and grasp. It has a simple syntax in which you just need to remember the row, content, and column.
It has an auto width feature in which you can add a number of automatic sizing columns to a row. It works better in a single dimension, either a row or a column. It provides space distribution as an ideal option for arranging components in a single column or single row.
Foundation by Zurb is an advanced responsive front-end framework in the world. It is meant to be effective for any type of medium or device. It assists developers in creating beautiful responsive websites, emails, and apps that work well with any device. It is customizable, readable, and semantic in nature.
There are continuous updates available to garner the latest features of the Foundation. It has major components that a good frontend framework must have – grids, buttons, typography, and major UI fundamentals. It also handles HTML emails with effectiveness through Foundation for Emails.
Inuit CSS is an extensible, scalable, Sass-based frontend framework that is meant for large projects. It gives a perfect architectural framework on which the other components are built. It is free from styles and can be leveraged for all types of projects. It is a mix of OOCSS and BEM frameworks.
Inuit is a completely structured CSS framework going by the best of architectural methods. It can be downloaded and saved into the project’s CSS directory. It features a grid demo, is a very small framework, and goes by the Mobile-first framework. Inuit is created to work on small-sized screens and tiny ones, with the least effort.
Jeet is a popular grid framework for Sass-based projects. The grids are composed with a semantic markup depending on the utilization of mixins. It facilitates showcasing a page grid without any nesting needs. Developers can create fast applications with lesser code and more flexibility.
Since the source code is lightweight with only a responsive grid system, it is easy to use and understand. It is an alternative responsive framework that has a focus on markup, style, and semantics. It has a flexible approach without any additional markup style and is not restricted to any column size.
Kickstart CSS is an important CSS library that has many components to convert it to a completely functional UI framework. It is considered a kickstart boilerplate library. It is faster and lighter than Bootstrap. It has been used in production websites for a long time. It is an ultra-lean, open-source framework that helps developers in the fast creation of web page prototypes.
HTML Kickstart is a collection of HTML5, CSS, and jQuery files that are ideal for giving developers a wonderful start to the creation of a project. There are various elements like form styles, superfish style menus, CSS buttons, typography fundamentals, slideshows, etc. that provide the biggest help in creating the best of UI elements. It is light weighted and does not need jQuery to operate.
As We Wrap Up
Finally, it depends upon the need of the project, parameters like budget, timelines, skills needed etc. to finalize which framework to choose from.
Bootstrap has its own loyal community support and at the same time, the above-mentioned tools are getting their own user base stronger as the new year comes.
The world of UI and UX development has seen many advancements in 2021 and much more to come in 2022!
Let us wait and watch.