laptop computer with coffee graphic in background with text that says is bootstrap dead a working web developer speaks out

Is Bootstrap dead in 2021? Insights from a working web developer

Is Bootstrap dead in 2021? It’s a question on many frontend web developers’ minds.

And with hot new CSS frameworks popping up on the regular, Bootstrap may seem decreasingly relevant.

But there are a few important things to consider before putting the nail in Bootstrap’s coffin.

Hi! I’m RTC.
Aside from discussing if Bootstrap is 💀, I have a YouTube channel where I show you the wild world of web development.

I specialize in helping new developers get started in the industry. Come join me!

What is Bootstrap?

Essentially, Bootstrap is a CSS framework that lets you create interface components. In other words, with Bootstrap you can create nice-looking things like buttons, forms, layouts and navigation.

And they look pretty dang sharp:

Bootstrap framework example with a landing page illustrating the various components
Bootstrap looks good right out of the box.

In addition, Bootstrap’s responsive, meaning it looks good on most types of gadgets from desktops to iPhones.

Bootstrap also has a nice feature set right out of the box. This includes:

  • Easy setup
  • Mobile first approach
  • Customizable
  • Responsive
  • Consistent and Flexible
  • Quality documentation
  • Open source
  • Uses a grid system
  • Active community / support system
  • Good integration (plays nicely with other tech)

Is Bootstrap Dead? My Thoughts as a Web Developer

Simply stated, Bootstrap isn’t dead. This is for a few reasons:

Bootstrap 5 dropped in 2020.

This brought a fresh new face to Bootstrap. One of the most significant changes was dropping jQuery dependencies. However, there were quite a lot of other updates, too. This includes CSS custom properties, a utilities API, enhanced grid system, and more.

Bootstrap is great for beginners.

Like I noted above, it comes with a great feature set. Plus the learning curve is pretty gentle. For example, you can create sharp-looking webpages in a few minutes with their layouts and other components.

The community is active and the documentation is ample. This also makes it particularly attractive to code newbies.

Bootstrap is used in the real world.

In fact, it’s used a LOT in the real world…By lots of companies you’ve probably heard of.

Here are a few places using Bootstrap:

  • Twitter
  • Spotify
  • Robinhood
  • Lyft
  • Udemy
  • LinkedIn

And according to Stackshare, over 40,000 companies use Bootstrap.

Is Bootstrap Dead? What others say can be deceiving…

I’ve been working as a web developer since 2016.

It was around that time I started following prominent developers, product evangelists, and assorted tech influencers.

And I still do. It’s part of my job, after all.

For brevity, let’s call this group The Influencers.

How The Influencers‘ Affect Bootstraps Reputation

Influencers are great for bringing attention to certain technologies. Here are a few patterns I’ve noticed.

First, The Influencers are largely a frontend web development crew. You’ll rarely see The Influencers Tweet about Java, for example.

Secondly, and more significantly, The Influencers focus strictly on the sexy.

Pencil drawing of Don Quixote

“BOOTSTRAP SUCKS”

— People

And what’s sexy right now in the world of frontend web development?

React.

Tailwind CSS.

Anything released current year that has a dark mode.

And guess what’s NOT sexy?

Bootstrap. 🙃

Further, you will hardly ever hear one of The Influencers speak highly of a workhorse like PHP. Sure, it runs 80% of the web

But, like…it’s old and like…It’s not JavaScript. It’s outdated – next please! chant The Influencers.

We’re seeing a similar phenomenon with Bootstrap.

After all, there’s a good chance you stumbled upon this post because you heard somebody suggest Bootstrap is dead.

Or maybe they just can’t stop talking about Material-UI or Tailwind CSS. (Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy both of these too!)

However, chit-chat doesn’t make something so. Just because people dump on Bootstrap (or never mention it anymore) doesn’t mean it’s dead.

Case in point: Bootstrap is used by nearly 27% of websites.

This is in contrast to a technology like MongoDB – highly touted by many of The Influencers – yet commands only 5% of market share.

The stats don’t match the hype.

What is the future of Bootstrap?

Web development technologies change fast, so there aren’t any guarantees.

That said, with the evolution of Bootstrap, I think it’ll be around for quite a while. Will that be a few years? A few decades? I don’t know for certain.

But I do know that millions of websites and web apps use it. This includes 40,000 companies that use it.

From Twitter to Spotify, Bootstrap is their responsive frontend CSS framework of choice.

Is Bootstrap Dead? Final Thoughts

In summary, Bootstrap isn’t dead.

Millions of developers use it.

40,000+ companies use it.

It had a major facelift in 2020.

And it’s an excellent first framework for new frontend developers.

Despite the klatch of Influencers cheering the Next Big Thing, Bootstrap continues to dominate.


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  1. What is Bootstrap?

    Essentially, Bootstrap is a CSS framework that lets you create interface components. In other words, with Bootstrap you can create nice-looking things like buttons, forms, layouts, navigation and more.

  2. Is Bootstrap really dead?

    Some people may say Bootstrap is dead, but perhaps they haven't looked at the numbers: Bootstrap is used by over 40,000 companies and millions of developers. In addition, Bootstrap 5 was released in 2020, keeping this CSS framework as competitive as ever.

  3. What are some features of Bootstrap 5?

    Bootstrap 5 ships with some exciting new features while dropping some others. Perhaps the most significant change is the dropping of jQuery dependencies. Additions include CSS custom properties, a utilities API, enhanced grid system, and more.

  4. Who uses Bootstrap?

    According to Stackshare, Over 40,000 companies use Bootstrap. This includes Twitter, Spotify, Robinhood, Lyft, Udemy, LinkedIn and more.