If you’ve done any work in web development so far, then chances are very good that you’ve heard of Bootstrap.

Basically, Bootstrap is a popular CSS, HTML, and JS framework that is used for developing a fast and responsible mobile project on the web.

Bootstrap can be divided into three primary files: 1. Bootstrap.css, 2. Bootstrap.js, and 3. Glyphicons (fonts).  jQuery, a very popular JavaScript library, is also required in order for Bootstrap to function.

The primary reason behind Bootstrap’s high popularity is the fact that its templates are highly customizable. So long as you have some knowledge in regards to CSS and HTML, you will really be able to modify your template(s) in any way you desire. This can really change the entire look (and feel) of your website so that it’s completely unique.

There are also literally thousands of different Bootstrap templates available for you to choose from as well, some of which are designed to be more responsive or more secure than others.

But while Bootstrap is filled with a number of awesome features, it can also be a little complex, especially for beginners.

With that in mind, here are seven Bootstrap tactics that you need to know:

1 – Run A Plugin Run Through

Today, there are an extremely large number of scripts and plugins that are freely accessible.

This is certainly a positive thing since it allows for greater website enhancements and customizability, but on the flip side, it also means that website owners may enhance their websites more than they actually need to.

Remember, with every new plugin you add, the more resources it will need to run, and the slower your website will become as a result.

To make sure that your website runs as quickly and efficiently as possible with a bootstrap template, you will need to perform a plugin run-through, where you locate and then remove any scripts or functions that you are not using.

2 – Use A Framework

Is it absolutely necessary to use a framework? No, but they still have a number of important advantages so it’s at least important to consider using them.

Examples of how frameworks can help your website include utilizing a responsive design so your website can adapt better to different screen sizes (such as desktop and mobile), allowing cross-browser compatibility, and adding consistency to the design and code between developers and your website projects.

3 – Customize Your Theme

Eventually, you will need to customize your themes on your pages to make them look unique.

The best route to go about this will be to keep a copy on-hand of each of your files before you begin to customize them.  This will then allow you to open up a copy of each file in your code editor to begin customizing.

To actually customize the files, you’ll need at least some knowledge of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

As far as what the differences between these are, HTML refers to your page’s content, CSS is what your page looks like (i.e. columns, font, colors, etc.), while Javascript is your page’s interactivity (such as the hover effects).

4 – Know How (and When) To Make Your Page Unresponsive

Yes, there are times when you will want to make your page(s) unresponsive.

These could include when you need to generate an output for PDF or when you need to prepare the page for print.

Temporarily disabling responsiveness on your page is easy as well.

First, you’ll just need to omit <meta name=”viewport”…>, and then set a fixed width for the .container such as in this example: .container {width: 1000px !important ; }.

5 – Make Your Columns The Same Height

Making the columns the same exact height in your page is a problem that many people run into, especially when you have boxes with different content.

To solve this problem, you’ll just need to follow these steps:

  • Write .row-flex and then apply it into the parent row of your content boxes
  • This will make all columns in the .row-flex row have the same height
  • Now just set a height of 100% to each of the .content boxes

6 – Change The Ordering of Columns On Mobile Devices

One of the more useful features of Bootstrap is the fact that you can order your columns differently on desktops and mobile devices.

To this, you’ll just need to use the .col-(breakpoint)-push-(number) and the .col-(breakpoint)-pull-(number) classes in order to pull or push the columns out of their original places.

7 – Hiding Elements On A Mobile Device

Last but not least, if you’d like to hide elements on your mobile devices as well, you can also do this through using a .hidden-xs class.

If instead, you want to only show elements on a certain device, you’ll need to use the .visible-(breakpoint)-(display) classes.  The values for the class name will be inline-block, block, and inline.

Therefore, if you desire to display an element as a block on a desktop screen, you’ll just need to add the .visible-lg-block class.

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Sam Bocetta is a former naval defense analyst and current freelance journalist, specializing in writing about technology, cybercrime, and cryptography.

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