The unstoppable spread of Bootstrap

Bootstrap, the free front-end toolkit for creating websites and web applications that contains HTML, JavaScript, and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components, is becoming increasingly popular across all areas of web design and development. Unstoppably popular, with its code being used now even in websites for large corporations and government outlets.

Bootstrap screenshot

Bootstrap started off as an internal project at Twitter to address the issues developers encountered by the use of too many different libraries leading to inconsistencies among the individual applications that made it extremely cumbersome to scale and maintain them. Twitter developer Mark Otto, responsible for the creation of Bootstrap together with Jacob Thornton, described the initial stages as follows:
... "a small group of Twitter employees set out to improve our team’s internal analytical and administrative tools. After some early meetings around this one product, we set out with a higher ambition to create a toolkit for anyone to use within Twitter, and beyond. Thus, we set out to build a system that would help folks like us build new projects on top of it, and Bootstrap was conceived."
Twitter Open-Sourced Bootstrap in August 2011, and by February 2012 it had already become the most popular GitHub development project, a distinction that holds until now.

Mark Otto also explained the benefits of using Bootstrap:
"At its core, Bootstrap is just CSS, but it's built with Less, a flexible pre-processor that offers much more power and flexibility than regular CSS. With Less, we gain a range of features like nested declarations, variables, mixins, operations, and color functions. Additionally, since Bootstrap is purely CSS when compiled via Less, we gain two important benefits:
First, Bootstrap remains very easy to implement; just drop it in your code and go. Compiling Less can be accomplished via Javascript, an unofficial Mac application, or via Node.js (read more about this at
Second, once complied, Bootstrap contains nothing but CSS, meaning there are no superfluous images, Flash, or Javascript. All that remains is simple and powerful CSS for your web development needs."

Bootstrap utilizes LESS CSS, is compiled via Node, and is managed through GitHub. Its output is compatible with all major desktop browsers as well as with tablet and smartphone browsers via responsive CSS. It comes straight out-of-the-box packed with really neat and useful features, such as a 12-column responsive grid, dozens of components, JavaScript plugins, typography, form controls, etc.

A web-based Customizer allows you to choose only the components you need to customize Bootstrap to your own requirements. Also worth checking is the Bootstrap Button Generator that can help you to easily create Bootstrap-based buttons.

The beauty of Bootstrap has also attracted developers and designers from the realm of Content Management Systems, and nowadays you can find tons of WordPress Bootstrap Themes, Drupal Bootstrap Themes, or Joomla! Bootstrap Templates. Joomla! has in fact fully adopted Bootstrap to bring about a much overdue overhaul of both its frontend design and administrator interface.

See below a selection of stylish Bootstrap Templates and Themes for different categories that are ready for customization. They include native Bootstrap functionality and a large amount of fully-optimized extensions developed specifically for every platform. Additionally each of these Bootstrap Templates and Themes comes with several responsive layout options that fit all popular screen resolutions.

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