We’ve said it before, responsive web design does not only have to be about viewing a large scale site conveniently on a small device. Responsive web design should also be about designing responsibly as well. With each HTTP Request we make while loading a web page, the harder the server has to work, and the longer the web page takes to load. Read More
Category Archives: Twitter Bootstrap
Okay, we admit it! Here at Untame we love Twitter Bootstrap. We often start a project thinking about how we can best leverage our favorite framework help us out. After all, by leveraging Bootstrap we can predictably create a more refined product for our clients while at the same time speeding up our workflow **web nirvana.
If you are about to embark on your next web project, it may serve you well to understand just why using Twitter Bootstrap is a great idea.
Bootstrap is Free!
Yep free, like free beer, only better (I think). Seemingly countless hours have gone into the creation of this incredible framework for the benefit of designers and developers around the world. Perhaps one of the most selfless actions it that a master craftsman contributes a work purely for the enjoyment and benefit of their peers. Sweet!
Used By The Best
At Untame, we love our work and we will be the first to tell you that we are proud of it. However, we are definitely not the only show in town and absolutely not the only group that has a certain love of all things Bootstrap. Take a look around any brand new web app or service that you consider well designed. More and more startups are using Bootstrap because of its flexibility and ease of use.
Simple Yet Powerful Grid System
Float based layouts can be a real drag to configure, plain and simple. When I first started in my design career, getting layouts correct along with each element within them likely cost me more in time than I ever earned. Sure, in the design world a keen knowledge of layout methods is essential. However, if there are bigger fish to fry, then it simply does not get much better or easier than the Bootstrap grid system.
Gone are the days of declaring a “first” or “last” class for elements at the beginning and end of their respective rows. Now, if you can simply place your elements into a row container and count to twelve, you are good to go!
Cutting Edge Responsive Design
Fluid or Fixed: Your Choice!
If you are designing a full web application with a full screen view and a intricate interface, it is likely that a fixed grid system is not what you are looking for at all. That’s okay, Twitter Bootstrap offers a fluid layout that is every bit as dynamic as their fixed layout. Still responsive, the fixed layout allows for the use of the very same layout techniques as the fixed. Better yet, you can even combine fixed with fluid any ol’ time you like. How do you like that for flexibility!
Incredible Starting Styles
Beautiful typography, awesome buttons and readable tables are just a few of the things that get overhauled with Bootstrap. A css reset this is not, though it does include the awesome normalize.css baked right in.
Forms That Don’t Suck!
Styling web forms can be a drag! One input or option list may look entirely different from one browser to another. However, Twitter Bootstrap includes styles for great things like inline forms, appended and prepended inputs. Need to add a dynamic dropdown menu on to a prepended section of a text input? (sounds scary) Well Bootstrap has you covered.
Made by the Pros (You are in good company)
Maybe you have heard of Twitter (small startup, I think it was just kickstarted). Well a few of the best engineers and designers at Twitter have put their weight behind the bootstrap. So, with little reservation I would suggust that Twitter Bootstrap will work for your project. Unless you are wanting to make a GeoCities clone… in that case I’ve got nothing for you.
Wide Open Customization
If you hate the Bootstrap grid, but really love the design of their buttons and icons, that’s okay! Head on over to the Twitter Bootstrap customize page and bake up a bootstrap of your very own.
Bootstrap was created using the LESS CSS preprocessing markup. Less makes it super easy to alter items sitewide using a few variables here and there. You may not find the LESS enabled version of Bootstrap on their home page, but you can grab it directly from the main github account.
Developer Friendly Style
I love my back-end developer buddies. But from time to time my friends find themselves so entrenched within the back end code that the idea of having to create a front end layout just translates to frustration. No more! With Bootstrap, a dev can create an entire layout using only HTML and a few classes. Yep, never once touching a CSS file. So, if you have an awesome new app in mind, and don’t want to take the time to care about inset box shadows or border radius, Bootstrap is worth a look.
Baked In jQuery Greatness
How many times have you searched the net looking for the top 25 greatest lightbox and gallery plugins of the month? I know I have. This framework offers functional, vetted jQuery plugins that serve to make like a little easier.
- Modal Boxes
- Scrollspy (very cool)
- Collapse (or accordians)
- Carousel (Sliders)
Bootstrap Is Modular
With Bootstrap it is absolutely not all or nothing. There have been times that I have chosen to use just a few items like the Navbar and a few jQuery plugins. Other times I opt to use just about everything. One of the coolest parts of Bootstrap is that each individual part can survive on its own. However, if one part simply requires another, the dynamic download is smart enough to know that and include the proper files.
What makes systems like this so great? I firmly believe that it is often the communities that grow around them. Twitter Bootstrap is growing all of the time and a lot of that is driven by community feedback.
This is the kind of thing that just excites me about the future of web development. Imagine where WordPress or Drupal would be without their communities. How cool is it that a front end development kit is receiving a similar type of community contribution?
Not a One Trick Pony
If you can think it up, in all likelihood Bootstrap could be an aid in getting there. If you are creating a new blog theme or the next Spotify (they use Bootstrap too) there is a component of this framework that may very well solve a problem that seems tough.
Twitter Bootstrap is a cutting-edge front end framework designed to make the lives of developers and designers a little easier, as it provides a semantic and responsive starting point for real world projects. Today we are going to take a bit of time to focus on a very real world project, the always important contact page. Contact pages should be simple and easy for a visitor to understand. Therefore, we make use of good visual hierarchy practices to add both balance and flow to the page.
- Check Out The Whole Series!
- Twitter Bootstrap Part 1: What is Bootstrap Anyway?
- Twitter Bootstrap Part 2: Design a Responsive Homepage
- Twitter Bootstrap Part 3: Design a Responsive Contact Page
Let’s Get Started
Let’s take a look at what we will be building today.
The idea is rather simple. We begin using the Bootstrap Hero Unit to anchor the page and convey our initial message and purpose of the page. Next, we split the page into two sections, offering a Bootstrap powered contact form in the left hand side, while we offer our embedded google map on the right hand side.
Bing maps work just as well, if preferred. Simply use the same technique as featured in the video.
Our “Contact Us” page is filled with bootstrap functionality:
- Hero Unit:
- A lightweight, flexible component to showcase key content on your site. It works well on marketing and content-heavy sites.
- Bootstrap Forms:
- Individual form controls receive styling, but without any required base class on the < form > or large changes in markup. This results in stacked, left-aligned labels on top of form controls. Bootstrap doesn’t supply form functionality as much as it nearly perfects the User Experience or UX. Valuable hover states and built in validation are a huge help when coding a site.
- Bootstrap icons:
- 140 icons in sprite form, available in dark gray (default) and white, provided by Glyphicons. If you need a bit more functionality you could also use the incredible Icon Fonts provided by Font Awesome
- Control padding and rounded corners with two optional modifier classes (“well-large and well-small”).
- Bootstrap Buttons:
- Button styles can be applied to anything with the .btn class applied. However, typically you’ll want to apply these to only “a” and “<button>” elements for best rendering
Thanks for checking out our tutorial on how to get the most out of Bootstrap for your website. We have some exciting Bootstrap-related projects coming up here at Untame so stay tuned for future updates!
Responsive design is changing how we view the web, literally! Whether you are getting started with responsive design or are a seasoned responsive pro we have a few tips that just might help with your next mobile project.
Choose A Great Framework
When beginning a responsive design, it is important to start with the selection of a solid foundation. Since the framework will inherently inform many design elements, you will want to carefully consider your needs. Will you choose a bare bones framework like Skeleton? Or does the scope of the project that you are working on require something with a bit more meat to it like Twitter Bootstrap or Zurb Foundation?
If you would like to know more about Bootstrap and Skeleton we have covered them several times in the past.
- Twitter Bootstrap Part 1: What is Bootstrap Anyway?
- Twitter Bootstrap Part 2: Design a Responsive Homepage
- Twitter Bootstrap Part 3: How to Load Sites Faster With BootstrapCDN
- An Introduction to Responsive Design with the Skeleton CSS Boilerplate
Minify Your Scripts & Stylesheets
Every website a user visits is downloaded in some form to their local computer. So, if you were downloading a large amount of files from a site, wouldn’t it be preferable if the content providers were to place all of those files into a single zip file? Minification essentially does the same thing, cutting out everything except for what is absolutely necessary. So be kind! Minify!
Squish Your Images
Original size: 2.0mb
New size: 161kb … Which would you rather download on your phone?
Consider a Preprocessor
We have talked about CSS preprocessors in the past, and if you have not tried them yet, then please do yourself a favor and give a preprocessor a shot today! Once you begin to preprocess styles, not only will you have access to amazing mixins and in-stylesheet calculations but also automatic organizing and minification of your stylesheets.
Want to get started working with a preprocessor? It doesn’t matter if you use a Windows PC or a Mac, here are some helpful tools to get you started.
Develop For Mobile First
Perhaps you have caught on to the general theme of this responsive design roundup. So much of what constitutes responsive design can really be summed up in responsible design. Bob Dylan said that “the times, they are a’changing” and he was right! Mobile ready websites are no longer a luxury. If a brand wants to engage with its customers or if a restaurant wants to attract new clients on their night out, a consumer better be able to engage them from his or her phone!
Mobile-first design would dictate that the design of your site no longer has much to do with the layout of your site. Mobile-first design would suggest that a web designer must look to communicate a brand image through the use of color, graphics, fonts and design elements first. So, don’t think of the phone or tablet as a hindrance to your artistic brilliance. Start designing on the phone first, then with every iteration simply enjoy the extra canvas that larger screens allow for.
Does your site look great on the desktop, and pretty rad on your iPhone? Congratulations! However, I suggest that designers and developers take a look at the other screen sizes just in case. Not only can new electronics be cool, but they are also useful for testing! So go for it, grab that Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 that you have been eyeing.
Ensure Touch Friendliness
If you are using an awesome jQuery slider within your responsive design, it may be a good idea to double check that it is touch friendly. After all, having to mash around for little nav points on a slideshow is never fun. Engage your customers by integrating touch friendly elements.
Use A CDN (For Free)
Content delivery networks help to serve up files to your viewers in a responsive way that is likely closer to them than any single server company that you may host with. What’s better? Often, a good CDN will take care of image optimization and CSS/JS minification automatically for you.
Learn more about why we use CDNs by checking out these posts:
Use FitVids or FitText If Applicable
If you also serve up a bunch of videos on your site then maybe video size has become a problem. It can be hard to deal with video on responsive sites, especially since exact device widths can be unpredictable. We can fix that! The very kind folks over at Paravel and CSS-Tricks.com have created a few simple and lightweight scripts that will take care of large videos or even giant text for any screen that you can think of!
Responsive design is really cool! There are thousands of designers and developers that are learning how to morph their workflow to compensate for all of the new requirements that should be taken into consideration. So, take a look around! Check out cool sites like Dribble.com or Codepen.io and see how other pros are doing it! It is certainly cool to be inspired by the work of others and find ways to contribute as well.
Here at Untame, we focus our design and development strategies around a holistic approach to the web, across any web-ready device. After all, web usage on phones and tablets is growing more every day; that’s why a highly responsive internet is so important. We want to deliver great web experiences to as wide a swath of visitors, no matter how they access the web.
Featured below are just a few incredible resources that may just help web designers or developers solve a few tricky responsive design problems.
FitText makes font-sizes flexible. Use this plugin on your fluid or responsive layout to achieve scalable headlines that fill the width of a parent element. FitText provides a responsive solution to text size. No more fussing with 52px headlines on the iPhone version of a website, pretty sweet!
Perhaps the single most simple solution to developing a responsive website or project. Skeleton is a small collection of CSS files that can help you rapidly develop sites that look beautiful at any size, be it a 17″ laptop screen or an iPhone.
We’ve professed our love for Bootstrap more than a few times on the site. However, did you know that Twitter Bootstrap does not only include the ability to design a fixed width responsive site. Bootstrap also includes a Fluid grid layout designed to fit any screen at all.
The 1140 grid fits perfectly into a 1280 monitor. On smaller monitors it becomes fluid and adapts to the width of the browser.
Beyond a certain point it uses media queries to serve up a mobile version, which essentially stacks all the columns on top of each other so the flow of information still makes sense.
Golden Grid System (GGS) splits the screen into 18 even columns. The leftmost and rightmost columns are used as the outer margins of the grid, which leaves 16 columns for use in design. If you require a folding grid system. Golden is a great place to get started.
Now 16 columns sounds a bit much for anything other than huge widescreen monitors. This is where the folding, inspired by the DIN paper system and Unigrid, comes in. The 16 columns can be combined, or folded, into 8 columns for tablet-sized screens, and into 4 columns for mobile-sized ones. This way GGS can easily cover any screen sizes from 240 up to 2560 pixels.
FlexSlider is an awesome, fully responsive jQuery slider plugin that is being cared for by the WooThemes crew. FlexSlider is easy to use. Even better, FlexSlider provides or hardware accelerated touch feedback where available.
The go-to slider for web developers and designers around the world is now fully responsive. It very simply just does not get any more simple than Nivo.
Often responsive design simply does not mean exacting PhotoShop design placement. Styletiles provides a method in which a designers can communicate the “atmosphere” of a design.
If you are a LESS or SASS user, then you might want to take a long look at the Semantic Grid System. Tired of using unsightly layout classes throughout html markup? Semantic provides for pre-processed methods in which to apply relevant styles to semantic elements.
Being responsible about responsive design can mean cutting down on download times at every corner. A great way to cut down on HTTP requests is to place commonly used images within a sprite image. Spritepad makes it easy to create a sprite and even helps provide the relevant CSS code to render your sprite correctly.
The Filament Group is at it again, delivering on a quick and simple method in which to query the relevant pixel density of a device and serve up a perfect image.
When your users load a page, retina.js checks each image on the page to see if there is a high-resolution version of that image on your server. If a high-resolution variant exists, the script will swap in that image in-place.
TinyNav.js is a tiny jQuery plugin (362 bytes minified and gzipped) that converts <ul> and <ol> navigations to a select dropdowns for small screen. It also automatically selects the current page and adds selected=”selected” for that item.
As you can see, the responsive web is growing every day. Choosing the correct tools can make a web crafter’s job a whole lot easier. Take a look at a few of the resources above and let us know what your favorites are in the comments below.
Here at Untame we have a special place in our hearts that is only filled by one thing – responsive design and smart design (okay, okay: two things). Twitter Bootstrap is a flexible front end framework that provides developers and designers an incredible set of tools that they can wield in as large or as small a capacity as needed. In any number of uses, there are tons of great sites that benefit from the Twitter Bootstrap framework and we want to highlight just a few!
The Pink League
Just can’t get enough of Twitter Bootstrap on Untame? Check out a few of our recent posts.
- Twitter Bootstrap Part 1: What is Bootstrap Anyway?
- Twitter Bootstrap Part 2: Design a Responsive Homepage
- Twitter Bootstrap: How to Load Sites Faster With BootstrapCDN
- Twitter Bootstrap: Build A Stunning Two Column Blog
- Untame Releases Free Responsive WordPress and BuddyPress Theme Based on Twitter Boostrap
Untame is pleased to announce the release of Luca’s Theme, a free responsive theme for WordPress and BuddyPress.
Luca Brasi is the newest addition to our family. He is a 15-week-old Italian Greyhound that we adopted from a family who couldn’t care for him anymore. Italian Greyhounds are just like regular Greyhounds, only much smaller. They usually grow to be no more than 15 pounds but can still run as fast as 30 miles per hour!
Luca is a fearless and friendly puppy who likes everybody and loves sleeping in laps, playing fetch and wrestling his stuffed bear. Unfortunately, he doesn’t yet know his limitations and on the Saturday before Labor Day, he jumped onto the sofa and leaped off as high as he could. When he fell, he snapped his front leg and started screaming and rolling around.
Sarah and I scooped him up and drove to the pet hospital, one of only two places open on the holiday weekend. We soon learned that he had broken his leg in two places and would require surgery to install a plate in his leg to allow it to heal properly.
When we learned how expensive it would be to give this little guy a chance at growing up healthy and strong, we were a bit shocked but determined to try to raise the necessary funds by releasing Luca’s Theme as a free product.
Download it and use it or modify it however you like. Some of the theme features include:
- Responsive theme for WordPress and BuddyPress
- Built-in Custom Post Type Nivo Slider
- Custom Author Byline Implementation
- Modern CSS3 Style Techniques
- Custom Homepage Template
- Custom Full Width Template
- Left Sidebar Template (Your sidebar, your choice!)
- Custom 404 Page Including Popular Posts
- Future Updates and Features
- It’s absolutely free!!!!
We truly hope you enjoy this theme and if you decide to download and use it, please consider donating to Luca’s Fund. Our goal is the $3,000 that his initial treatment and surgery required. If we should raise anything in addition to this goal, we will donate the remaining proceeds to Hazeljane’s Blessings, our local Italian Greyhound rescue group..
For a live demo of the theme, to read more about Luca, to download or to donate, please visit luca.untame.net and be sure to share it with your friends as well. Thanks in advance for any help you can give Luca! We just want him to get healthy so that he can get back to being a happy, active puppy.
Hi there, and welcome to the latest in our series of posts covering Twitter Bootstrap. So far we have given a proper introduction to the framework, shown you how to create a responsive homepage and made that even faster with BootstrapCDN.
Today, we will expand on the idea of building pages with Bootstrap that you can use within your own projects. The Bootstrap framework provides for a giant amount of productivity to be completed within a relativly short period of time. Today’s tutorial will cover nested columns in more depth, and provide you with a great beginning point for a 100% responsive blog style layout!
One of the core concepts to understand when laying out a page using Bootstrap is the idea of nesting divs using “rows.” Essentially, we are trying to declare an outer container wherein we can safely nest our inner divs. In this case, we are doing it with posts and widgets but you could use this technique for just about anything.
Nesting divs within containers is a very easy concept, yet it’s also easy to overlook. Just remember; when beginning a new area that will contain subsequent divs, you will need to use a row to ensure proper alignment. The use of rows provides for a rather brilliant alternative to the standard practice of using “Alpha” and “Omega” classes when designing within a grid.
Building incredible layouts with Twitter Bootstrap is easy and efficient. Once you have mastered a few of the simple techniques provided by the Bootstrap framework, just about any layout is within reach. As you can see, it only took about eight minutes to create a fully functional markup of a great looking blog page. If you would like to take a gander at the code or demo just check the links above.
Hello and welcome again to our ongoing series focusing on Twitter Bootstrap. By now we have covered in detail what Bootstrap is as well as how to design a unique and responsive homepage using the front end framework.
Today, let’s take some time to talk about a great new way to access bootstrap for any of your projects. Content Delivery Networks play an important role for the global web. Instead of downloading website files from a single hosted location, a CDN allows for users to quickly access site files from a large distributed system of servers deployed across multiple data centers around the world. This type of distribution leads provides for easier access to common files, increased security for your site as well as speed.
Twitter Bootstrap is already a great front end framework and it is increasing in popularity among web developers and designers. So it starts to make sense that we begin treating bootstrap like some of its CDN hosted bretheren like jQuery, jQuery UI, Dojo and more. So the very cool people at NetDNA decided to do us all a favor and provide a Twitter BootstrapCDN platform.
To get going, simply link up your CSS files in the same way you normally would in the hea of your document like this.
It is a good idea to link up a local stylesheet after the BootstrapCDN link in order to provide a semantic method of modifying incoming bootstrap styles.
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://netdna.bootstrapcdn.com/twitter-bootstrap/2.0.4/css/bootstrap-combined.min.css" />
Now that we have successfully linked the CDN files to our head and foot areas of a webpage. Let’s discuss a bit more about why it is a good idea to obtain common files from a Content Delivery Network like NetDNA or Cloudflare.
The advantage of using files hosted on a CDN include:
- It increases the parallelism available.
(Most browsers will only download 3 or 4 files at a time from any given site.)
- It increases the chance that there will be a cache-hit.
(As more sites follow this practice, more users already have the file ready.)
- It ensures that the payload will be as small as possible.
(CDN providers can pre-compress the file in a wide array of formats (like GZIP or DEFLATE). This makes the time-to-download very small, because it is super compressed and it isn’t compressed on the fly.)
- It reduces the amount of bandwidth used by your server.
(CDN providers are basically offering free bandwidth.)
- It ensures that the user will get a geographically close response.
(CDN providers have servers all over the world, further decreasing the latency.)
- (Optional) They will automatically keep your scripts up to date.
(If you like to “fly by the seat of your pants,” you can always use the latest version of any script that they offer. These could fix security holes, but generally just break your stuff.)
Credit: John Gietzan
Start getting that extra little performance boost by using the CDN versions of Bootstrap and other common files.