3catsdesign — 2012-09-16T10:14:14-04:00 — #1
Background for my question: I work at a Fortune 500 company and we are getting ready to do our first responsive design site. It is a portal site that will be aggregating content/applications from across our organizations. Our company has been using a fluid layout for years on its various sites. We have extensive style sheets for basic typography and various HTML elements plus style sheets for various components (i.e. tabs, expandable panels). Each our of sites has its own branding style sheets that them provide the unique look/feel based on the company's brand and marketing requirements. We have experienced front-end developers who has been managing the CSS for content/applications across multiple platforms (CMS, J2EE applications) and multiple web sites for over 10 years. When you look at our sites - we are set-up completely for doing responsive design - except for the media queries.
Problem: We have some developers at the company who believe that Bootstrap is the answer and the best choice because “it can do it all and in less time” than a front-end developer can code the CSS/HTML. We have been debating whether you can really take Bootstrap out of the box and create the complicated designs/navigation of an enterprise site we require. From looking at their style sheet base - we would need to override many of the basic styles to meet the branding requirements for the company.
Question: Is Bootstrap really an enterprise solution? Given that we already have most of the components that Bootstrap has (reset, basic styling, components, grid) and we would be adapting our styles, why use it? Does it really save time creating a site that has to meet specific branding for look/feel? To make the site truly meet the company’s brand (typography, colors, ui components, navigation), wouldn’t a person have to spend time overriding Bootstrap’s styles?
Looking forward to hearing if other Fortune 250 companies are using Bootstrap to manage their sites.
-Responsive cat herder
ralphm — 2012-09-16T10:27:47-04:00 — #2
Hi 3catsdesign. Welcome to the forums.
This can be a contentious issue, but ...
From looking at their style sheet base - we would need to override many of the basic styles to meet the branding requirements for the company. ... Given that we already have most of the components that Bootstrap has (reset, basic styling, components, grid) and we would be adapting our styles, why use it? ... wouldn’t a person have to spend time overriding Bootstrap’s styles?
These are all great questions, and (to me, at least) the answer seems obvious: put on rubber gloves, hold your nose, drop Bootstrap into the toilet and flush it. This (and every other framework I've seen) introduces bloated, unnecessary code that you then have to fight with, override and otherwise wrestle with pointlessly. It sounds like your code is already written to meet the specific needs of your site, which is far better than using something unrelated. That seems like a better starting point for going responsive to me. Others may disagree, but I'd say the majority around here are not too keen on frameworks.
3catsdesign — 2012-09-16T10:45:03-04:00 — #3
Curious if you would still flush Bootstrap if you were starting from scratch with style sheets? If you already had the grid and the basic styling --but not the components or overall branding for the top, left, bottom area of the site -- would you still recommend starting flushing it? Seems even in this scenario, you would still need to override their styles to make it look not like Bootstrip/Twitter but rather your company's site.
ralphm — 2012-09-16T10:53:13-04:00 — #4
Indeed, yes. That's why I wouldn't touch them in any scenario. I prefer to code from scratch, so that I understand the code from the ground up. I'm sceptical that this is any slower than using a framework. We get a lot of questions here arising from issues caused by style conflicts with frameworks ... horribly bloated code that a few crisp lines of CSS would have made much easier in the first place. Dealing with these issues is like trying to proofread a page covered in spaghetti and sauce. Horrid! (Sorry about my overly dramatic metaphors! :lol: )