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It made creating a responsive front-end so easy that almost everyone adopted it at some point. Now if you look around the internet, you’ll notice that a lot of the websites look really similar. It feels like Bootstrap became the template for the internet and it’s understandable.

It could take a team of designers a year or two to make something comparable to Bootstrap and many companies don’t won’t to spend the time or resources on reinventing the wheel. You don’t have to worry about that anymore because there are so many great alternatives to Bootstrap. The best part is that some of them don’t even need jQuery! Here’s a few of the other CSS frameworks I’ve tinkered with.


This is my favorite at the moment. It doesn’t need jQuery, it has a good amount of pre-built components, and you can customize it quite a bit with mixins and variables. You’ll have to do a little more work with your forms because this is pure CSS so keep that in mind. At most, it’ll take you about ten minutes to figure out how this framework works. Plus it’s called Bulma. Any other DBZ nerds out there?


A lot of the clients I’ve worked with had projects with this framework. It gives your project more of an industrial feel. Most of the apps I’ve used it on handled things like single page scheduling or warehouse management. It’s a little tricky until you get used to it, but the documentation on it is pretty good. Similar to Bootstrap, you have to watch out for any jQuery issues.


If you need something to just give you a base mobile-first layout, this is perfect. CardinalCSS doesn’t load the framework down with a lot of pre-built design elements so it’s really up to you or your design team to bring the page to life. This is more like a skeleton for responsiveness. It takes out the complicated part of making a mobile-responsive grid without adding a bunch of styles you have to work around.


Right now, this is probably the strongest contender with Bootstrap. There are courses and certifications to make you an official Foundation developer. A lot of big companies, like Amazon and Mozilla, are already using it in production. It’s another framework that uses some kind of JavaScript to get certain elements to work, but it has plenty of documentation for you to peruse.

These are just a few of the alternatives to Bootstrap out there. They give you a bit more fine tuning than Bootstrap because they are more lightweight. Using a different framework will also give you a chance to make your website stand out in the sea of Bootstrap. Try one of these out and let me know what you think.

Do you know of some other Bootstrap alternatives? There are so many out there that it’s hard to decide which ones are the best.

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