Introduction to Flexbox and Bootstrap
Need for responsive design is rapidly growing as everyone is looking for a device-friendly user interface. To achieve this responsive design, we either choose Flex or Bootstrap.
One of my favorite CSS concepts is Flexbox because its layout allows responsive elements within a container to be automatically arranged depending upon screen size of the device. This flex technique not only stays flexible to the item’s size but also stays flexible towards its contents. To put it in simple word, I will say Flexbox is normally checked for the tallest div in the container and sticks to its height. Also in flexbox, we put more class per elements which eventually increase the HTML page. All this result in a speed of retrieves the HTML page. Undoubtedly Flexbox is one of the standard ways of deploying. So it is a must for everyone who wants to be a frontend developer.
On the other hand, we have the world’s favorite UI library for Responsive Design called Bootstrap. It is a framework which uses floats to make the grid system. It is also CSS so the performance is very little, except the downloading file. It creates one class or maybe two per elements. While using Bootstrap, to avoid misaligned divs of different height, we must use clearfix after each row. Bootstrap is good for creating consistency across projects & teams. Also, the last version of Bootstrap i.e. Bootstrap 4 uses the flexbox model which makes it more powerful.
Head To Head Comparison Between Flexbox and Bootstrap (Infographics)
Below is the top 10 difference between Flexbox vs Bootstrap
Key Differences between Flexbox and Bootstrap
Both are popular choices in the market; let us discuss some of the major difference:
Bootstrap has a set of CSS used to design web pages with the support of responsive layouts using media queries which makes it different from FlexBox. In fact, Bootstrap 4 has support for FlexBox.
Unlike BootStrap, FlexBox has inbuilt in CSS3 and made for better positioning elements. As FlexBox is one dimensional, it makes creating difficult layouts easier.
If we want to make all the child elements in a single row of exact same width then we have to make flexbox by defining parent class as display flex. This way we can make operations on a row or to an individual element. Eventually, we eliminate the use of float.
In Bootstrap, as styles are already defined, the developers would not have to code from scratch. It not only reduces the CSS coding but also saves time. We can also customize the Bootstrap file if needed. The responsive behavior of Bootstrap is the best part of it. As everything is predefined, so we don’t need to write code separately for mobile devices of different size.
Most of the time we use Grid in our web, which can be made using floats in Bootstrap. However, flexbox does the opposite by staying flexible to the items’ size and contents; which is similar as using pixels vs em/rem, or like controlling your divs only using margins and padding and never setting a pre-defined size.
As Bootstrap uses floats, it needs clearfix after each row, otherwise, we will get misaligned divs of different height. Flexbox doesn’t use floats instead it checks for the tallest div in the container and sticks to its height.
Flexbox layout is most appropriate to the components of an application, and small-scale layouts, while the Bootstrap is intended for smaller or larger scale layouts.
Flexbox vs Bootstrap Comparison Table
Below is the topmost comparison between Flexbox vs Bootstrap
|The basis of comparison||
|Definition||Flex aims at providing a more efficient way to layout, align and distribute space among items in a container, even when their size is unknown and/or dynamic.||Bootstrap is a free and open-source front-end framework for designing websites and web applications.|
|Architecture||Flexbox architecture is a Component layout for front-end development.||Bootstrap’s architecture as a view-view-controller architecture.|
|Framework||Flexbox is an open source CSS framework||Bootstrap is a free and open-source front-end framework for designing websites and web applications.|
|Usage||Flexbox is used to lay a collection of items out in one direction or another.||Bootstrap for designing websites and web applications.|
|Flexible||Flexibility is a polyfill for Flexbox||Flexibility is a not quite polyfill for Bootstrap|
|Compatibility||Flexbox provides cross-browser compatibility.||Bootstrap also support all major & modern browsers.|
|Integration||Flex supports integration with different integration & tools||Bootstrap supports integration with different integration, tools & IDE|
|Community||Flexbox has a smaller community compared to Bootstrap||Bootstrap has a larger community & Twitter team.|
|License||Flexbox licensed under MIT||Bootstrap licensed under MIT & developed by Twitter.|
|Data Binding||Data binding in Flexbox not easily possible.||Data binding in Bootstrap is easily possible.|
If you’ve read the whole Flexbox vs Bootstrap article, the conclusion shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Because the truth is, there isn’t a better system – both flexbox vs Bootstrap are good at different things and should be used together, not as alternatives to one another.
Basically, Flexbox is not an alternative to Bootstrap. As a matter of fact, Bootstrap also uses flexbox for its layout in Bootstrap 4.
To resolve out cross-browser issues we have to go for Bootstrap by including normalize CSS, it also has some extra CSS for elements in it (buttons, panels, jumbotron, etc). There are three ways to handle “responsive” part of Bootstrap i.e by floating elements which was introduced in Bootstrap 3 or by using Flexbox which is been used in Bootstrap 4.
This has a been a guide to the top difference between Flexbox vs Bootstrap. Here we also discuss the key differences with infographics, and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –