Bootstrap vs. Foundation


Twitter Bootstrap vs. Zurb Foundation, Which Framework is Better?

When we developer and designer we usually always reach a crossroads of which CSS framework should we use? There are many out there to choose from, but two of the most commonly mentioned ones are Bootstrap and another is Foundation. Here we will be comparing the two CSS frameworks, Bootstrap vs Foundation.

Bootstrap 4 and Foundation 6 are the latest versions of the most widely used CSS frameworks out there. Foundation 6 is stable whereas Bootstrap 4 hasn’t been released yet.

1. Current version:

Bootstrap 4: alpha 2
Zurb Foundation 6: stable v6.2

2. CSS Preprocessor:

Both Foundation 6 and Bootstrap 4 are based on SASS. They both have a nice set of mixins, a separate settings sheet, reusable components, etc. Not much to say in this regard besides they are pretty top notch when it comes to SASS.

3. JavaScript:

Both Bootstrap 4 and Foundation 6 JavaScript libraries are written on ES6. I would like to highlight though that Bootstrap is a little bit ahead when it comes to JS for the fact that their components are simpler, less bloated, well tested and they provide a compiled version of each component separately. Foundation, on the other hand, provides a single JS file with every single compiled component in it, which can be a pain if you are only planning to use a couple of them.

4. Grid:

Foundation may have a better grid system when it comes to cleanliness. The fact that Foundation has no containers and relies heavily on rows is a plus, as you end up with a cleaner DOM.

Both Bootstrap and Foundation have support for responsive grids and flexible breakpoints. However, Foundation has support for responsive gutters, which are so easy to setup that seem like magic.

Collapsed gutters are also a thing in Foundation. You can either have or remove gutters in specific cases that don’t require them by simply adding a class. Other stuff like centered columns and block grids make Foundation the winner when it comes to grids.

In regards to backwards compatibility, both Foundation and Bootstrap use the same class convention as their previous versions. This makes migration as painless as possible.

Flexbox grids are also available on both Foundation and Bootstrap as a separate setting that you can enable/disable depending on your target browser support.

5. Browser Support and Performance:

Browser support and performance are both very good on Bootstrap and Foundation, with one exception: Foundation does not support Internet Explorer 8. If that doesn’t bother you, then that’s your call, but some designers may feel restricted by that lack of support.

That said, when it comes down to sheer performance between Bootstrap vs. Foundation, the differences aren’t all that great…or even that noticeable. Sure, there will be some minimal performance gaps, but these are largely based on the specific features (framework components, browser environments, etc.) that support designers, as opposed to issues surrounding the front-end frameworks themselves.

6. Community and Support:

If there’s one category that favors one framework over the other, it would have to be community, where Bootstrap clearly has the upper hand. Bootstrap has a huge following of designers and developers which means you’re more likely to get support if you run into issues.

In addition, there are a wealth of plugins and widgets that can be strapped onto the framework, which further extends Bootstrap’s functionality for more efficient web development.

Bootstrap vs. Foundation: Which Framework Wins?

When it’s all said and done, the question isn’t really that simple. As we’ve talked about, there are pros and cons to each front-end framework, and whether designers want to choose one over the other largely depends on their personal preference and comfort level.

If you enjoy having a large selection of themes, then Bootstrap is the way to go. No doubt about it. If you have a preference for rems over pixels, then maybe Foundation isn’t so bad after all. If you want to enjoy support for Internet Explorer 8, then better stick to Bootstrap. However, if designing for mobile first is important…well, Foundation puts an emphasis on that. Then again…if community support and more choice in the form of plugins and widgets are important, you can’t beat Bootstrap’s bigger following and larger selection.

At any rate, if you enjoy building stellar websites that live on the Internet, you can’t really go wrong with either front-end framework. So ask yourself what features of each are more useful to you. We hope we’ve helped make the decision for you a whole lot clearer!

About Vijay Dhanvai

A passionate blogger by heart and mind, I have been working in this field for 7 years now. A WordPress Professional, web developer and designer who intends to guide his readers about Web Design, WordPress, Blogging, Web Development, and more.

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