Twitter Bootstrap. All you need to know.

Twitter Bootstrap is a mobile responsive framework for cutting edge web sites.  Here are the reasons why your next site should be on the amazing and formidable: Twitter Bootstrap.

Looks, style and substance.

“I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.”
Marilyn Monroe

Seasoned visual designers might say that Bootstrap sites are a “little tired” and contrived, however the average user and web site owner would probably disagree. The truth is that a web site doesn’t need to look brilliant, it needs to look good. In most cases, looking “kosher” will suffice. It can even be the preferred approach.

From my experience web site’s that suffer from “style vanity” end up hurting themselves. They usually falter on multiple browsers, have excruciating download times, lack strategic focus and ultimately struggle to eventuate. The style vs. substance argument will continue forever but Bootstrap conveniently balances the scales. Bootstrap sites “tick all the boxes” and look professional.

The Veratech web platform, built on bootstrap: www.veratech.co.nz

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These sharp looks are partly due to the simple infrastructure of Twitter Bootstrap. The Bootstrap grid style framework (currently on a 12 grid system) allows for simple design strategies. Designers can map out a basic plan to execute an online platform. The grid layout is undeniably easy. If you can play noughts and crosses, you can design the layout of a new Twitter Bootstrap site.

Bootstrap Scaffolding provided by: http://getbootstrap.com/2.3.2/

scaffold

“If you can play noughts and crosses, you can design the layout of a new Twitter Bootstrap site.”

Bootstrap also ships with CSS3 styling, built in Jquery, icon platforms like http://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/ Font Awesome. This creates a framework that allows a developer to build a very clear and impressive site. Networking also comes into play. You don’t have to be Roberto Cavalli to design a great site. If you have $20.00 in your account just visit a template provider and your home free.

Mobile Responsive Capabilities

Sausage Fingers and the folk in Korea town

korea

If Koreans can use sausages to swipe their smartphones in cold weather, developers can at least build sites to make it easy for them. You will be glad to know that Twitter Bootstrap is 100% Mobile Responsive. This means that you can customize the look of your site for different devices. A Bootstrap site will automatically re-size to push key information clearly to the end users on different platforms. Here is an example on our company site on mobile:

verasitemob

Bootstrap sites re-size to promote key info on tablets and smartphones 

This multi device format requires a little more planning by the owner and/or developer, however, it creates a very convenient system of pushing users in the right direction when they come to your site. It is a marketers dream as different or similar messages can be constantly promoted, no matter what device the user is on. In case you wondered why this matters check out these stats:

” More than half of New Zealander’s are now accessing the internet via their mobile phone” 
Statistics NZ

“A report by Nielsen found 45 per cent of the 1.8 million Kiwis who shop online researched their purchases on a smartphone or tablet”
NZ Herald

” 80% of Smartphone users have looked for local information and 88% have taken action” 
Google research data

 

Speed

“Because in a split second, it’s gone.”
Ayrton Senna

As a developer the most amazing part of working with Bootstrap is speed. The speed factor when building on Twitter Bootstrap occurs on multiple levels.

Veratech is currently building Twitter Bootstrap sites from $799 +GST. This is an insanely cheap web offer. The reason we can do this is because Veratech can churn one of these puppies out within 5 days. We really mean it. You can have a 5 – 7 page site, that looks professional, is 100% mobile responsive and built within a week. The nimble HTML, CSS Twitter Bootstrap framework is forgiving, immediate and pliable. This means lower prices for clients, a faster turn-around and more effective outcomes.

wrapstrapb

 A basic Bootstrap site draft from a recent Veratech Project. Bootstrap allows for faster build times and faster performance.

The second key factor concerning speed is Twitter Bootstrap’s load time. Since the framework has been professionally mapped out by the wizz kids at Twitter; Bootstrap behaves accordingly and presents your Web Site at pace. Add to this, the fact that the client has made the smart decision to avoid a CMS, and you have a lightning fast site that looks incredible for a reasonable price.

Lets be honest, CMS’s like Joomla and Worpress drag their rear ends along the gravel on a good day. This can be embarrassing. You’ve spent 2 to 4 grand on a slick new CMS site that takes an age to load. The old adage is true: Speed matters and users care.

Some savvy developers will argue that, with correct implementation and hosting credentials, WordPress and even Joomla sites can be very quick. I don’t care for this nonsensical dribble. As a development company we do not have time to investigate the mysteries of making Joomla or WordPress run faster. Why would we, when we can build a better, faster HTML/CSS site on Twitter Bootstrap right now with no hassle. More importantly Twitter Bootstrap sites promote work with real mark-up whilst avoiding CMS backends that require developers to click, then wait, then click….and so on.

Joomla, WordPress and Twitter Bootstrap = All together now?

CMS implementation:

All the CMS lovers out there can rest well knowing that Joomla 3 ships with Bootstrap. Veratech recently built a site that used this technology for Impact Research. In contrast, our own Company Web Site used Bootstrap in combination with a WordPress Blog. WordPress allows for bootstrap implementation/combination. So if your really keen on having a CMS on Bootstrap, it is possible.

impact

 Impact Research is a Bootstrap site built on Joomla3.0

Sadly the templates are far more expensive for CMS systems like WordPress and Joomla. Additionally, some Bootstrap features do not co-operate so willingly within the confines of an additional CMS framework. This means that if Veratech has a client who has their heart set on a Joomla enabled Bootstrap Web Site; more expenditure will be required and the CMS build time will be extended.

For the record: Veratech’s Take on CMS

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
John F. Kennedy

Twitter Bootstrap is not a CMS. This needs to be understood and celebrated. The widespread use of CMS systems is partially driven by managers who require a false sense of security. You may have heard this around the workplace “We just built the new site, it’s on Drupal/Joomla/Wordpress, have you heard of it? The new intern is learning how to use it.”.

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What approach really is the cheapest? Logos courtesy of Bootstrap, Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. 

In truth, most small to medium enterprise businesses struggle to use CMS systems. When and if they finally get past the login, they tend to break things, require additional training or end up adding content and styling that is detrimental to their own web site. All this time, money and fuss is poured into a CMS so organizations can avoid paying a developer $50 – $800 annually. If one were to calculate the money spent on training, fixing errors and the overall decrease in output and efficiency, the previously mentioned attempt at avoiding expenditure seems illogical.

Take our advice. If you do not require an E-commerce site or a blog, build an HTML/CSS Twitter Bootstrap site and get your developer to make any adjustments. Your stress levels will remain minimal and your web site will be better off. Just make sure the adjustment/content management fees are viable.

Hesitation’s opposing force is action:

With a new site built on Twitter Bootstrap your business will have a clean platform to build on it’s Google ranking. If this is combined with good design and the effective use of Google’s affiliated services, you will have a very formidable tool for online commerce and digital marketing.

Make the smart decision. Build a Twitter Bootstrap Site and get your Google Identity sorted. If you take this step today and develop it over a 6 – 12 month period your business will dramatically improve. It doesn’t cost a small fortune and the entire site build process can be executed by Veratech within 2 weeks.

Check out our latest offer at: Veratech’s Winter Warm Up. Also look out for our next post revealing the emerging market of Google Identity Services and how these basic online methods can draw customers and generate revenue with SPEED.

veraoffer

Jared Neems is the Business Development Manager Veratech Web Solutions.

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