cogent free knowledge

Personal blog of Joel Clermont, a Milwaukee PHP, Ruby and .NET developer

I Love Twitter Bootstrap

If you haven’t heard of it, go take a quick look at Twitter Bootstrap. As you click around the github project site, you’ll get the sense that all these layout guides and widgets and buttons and icons look oddly familiar. Part of that is the fact that Twitter itself is built with this style package. But even beyond that, many many many many sites are using this tool kit as well. I’ve sensed a little backlash, mostly from designers, at this rampant use of the Twitter Bootstrap. At a certain level, I agree, but I’m here to talk about why I love Twitter Bootstrap.

First, let me make it clear that I am not a designer. I am a developer. In fact, I am most comfortable doing server-side development. That should give you some stereotypical idea of what my design skills entail. So coming from this context, you begin to see why I love the Twitter Bootstrap so much. Very often, I’ll get an idea for an application but quickly get bogged down in spinning up a user interface for it. Sure, I could just go totally utilitarian while building the application, but it’s hard to put your heart in something using default browser styles. But now, with Twitter Bootstrap, I can download a small package of images, css and javascript and immediately have default styles that look halfway decent. I even have sane stylings for forms, buttons and other useful widgets. I have a simple way to do grid layouts and side bars and navigation bars and all those little things that you use on every single site.

Once the idea comes to fruition, I work with a designer to make it look less generic, but Twitter Bootstrap gets me from idea to implementation without bogging me down in the parts of a web project I find less interesting and often frustrating.