I must not have my finger on the pulse of the web design world, because -despite hearing about Twitter Bootstrap in the past – before this past month, I never had the opportunity to really get to know this beautiful, beautiful creature.
Don’t mistake me – you still need a knowledge of web design and CSS in order to make use of Bootstrap (it’s not so simple as drag-n-drop), but it effectively eliminates the arduous task of defining column widths, display properties for your elements, and many of the other headaches associated with ground-up CSS developing. The burden still falls upon you to structure your divs and other web elements to create the actual structure of the website.
While there are more than a few other mobile-friendly frameworks available out there (HTML5 Boilerplate, Gumby, Foundation, and Gridless to name a few) Twitter Bootstrap seems to be the king of the playground when it comes to usability, evidenced by the sheer number (and nature) of websites built on it.
Here are some awesome Bootstrap resources:
Features a bunch of free-to-use themes and skins for Twitter Bootstrap. While you will still need to build the structure and content of your Bootstrap site yourself, Bootswatch is great for people who want a quick, easy way to get something other than the generic “Bootstrap Look”.
This handy site is a full-featured editor that lets you build your own Bootstrap themes fairly easily. One of the best things about it is that, as you make changes to the stylesheet (which is clearly notated for easy editing), it gives you a live preview of what you’re doing.
Sadly, this one isn’t a free resource – but if you’re building a Bootstrap site for a client, and you don’t really have the time to skin the site yourself, this premium marketplace for skins and themes is a great place to start.
Short on inspiration? Need some ideas to get your creative fires burning? LoveBootstrap is a showcase of some of the best web and UI designs built on Twitter Bootstrap. You could spend hours on here, looking at all the great examples of design styles.
Another great site that lets you customize the look and feel of Twitter Bootstrap. Super easy to use, with a wealth of options to help you make your site stand out from the crowd. On top of that, it let’s you see a side-by-side comparison of changes you make, and preview the theme before you finalize it.