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Bootstrap vs. React.JS

September 14th, 2023
Bootstrap vs. React.JS.


React, and Bootstrap are two popular frameworks for building web apps. The difference is that while React is a library you can use to create large-scale web applications, Bootstrap is a collection of small components and tools that help you design websites faster. 

These two frameworks play complementary roles in front-end development, so it's common to see them used together. In this article, we'll look at how they compare, what makes them unique, and how they can be combined seamlessly to help you save time and effort when building websites or apps. We also help with the decision process to hire remote developer for either React.js or Bootstrap.

What is the Front-End Development Framework?

What is the Front-End Development Framework.

A front-end development framework is a collection of tools and resources that help you build web applications. It's a toolkit that allows developers to create websites and web apps.

Some popular front-end frameworks are React, Angular, Vue.JS, Ember.JS, Swelte, Bootstrap, Material UI and Tailwind CSS. Here is more information about React and Bootstrap.

  • React: Developed and maintained by Facebook, React is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces. It's known for its component-based architecture and the ability to create dynamic and reusable UI components.

  • Bootstrap: Bootstrap is a popular CSS framework offering pre-designed UI components and a responsive grid system. It's widely used for quickly creating mobile-first and responsive web applications.

Introduction to React & Bootstrap

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Facebook, Netflix and many more companies use it. React Native is the framework that allows you to build native apps. The idea behind this project was to create a JavaScript library with minimal API, which could replace MVC frameworks such as Backbone or AngularJS. The codebase is smaller due to its stateless nature. With this approach, there is no need for storing data inside objects since all information resides on the DOM element level. This makes debugging more accessible, too.

Bootstrap is a front-end framework for faster and easier web development. It contains HTML and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components, and optional JavaScript extensions. Bootstrap also offers some JavaScript plugins such as modal windows or tooltips. Bootstrap has become very popular in recent years because it allows developers to create responsive web pages quickly.

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Bootstrap vs. React.js

Bootstrap vs. React.js.
  • Bootstrap and React are two very different products. Bootstrap is a front-end framework, while React is a JavaScript library. That said, they are two distinct tools used in web development, but they serve different purposes and are often used in conjunction to build modern web applications. Here's a comparison between them:

  • Bootstrap is primarily a front-end framework that provides pre-designed CSS styles, responsive layout components, and UI elements like buttons, forms, and navigation bars. It's primarily focused on a web page's visual presentation and layout.

  • React.js is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It focuses on creating dynamic and interactive web applications by managing the application's view layer.

  • Bootstrap is excellent for quickly creating prototypes or getting an essential structure for your web pages up and running. It offers a set of predefined styles and components, making it easy to create visually appealing and responsive designs.

  • React promotes a component-based architecture where you break down your UI into small, reusable components. These components can have their state and lifecycle methods, making it easy to manage complex UIs efficiently.

  • Bootstrap relies on HTML and CSS for styling and layout. You include Bootstrap's CSS classes in your HTML templates to style elements. While it includes some JavaScript for interactive components, it primarily focuses on front-end styling.

  • Bootstrap enforces a consistent design language across your application, which can be advantageous for projects that require a standardized look and feel without investing heavily in custom design.

  • React can work with various data sources and back-end technologies. It efficiently manages data flow and provides tools for fetching, rendering, and updating data, making it suitable for data-driven applications.

  • Bootstrap is relatively easy to learn and use, making it accessible to developers who want to enhance the visual aspects of their websites without delving into complex JavaScript development.

  • React has a vast ecosystem of libraries, tools, and extensions (e.g., Redux for state management, React Router for routing, and Material-UI for UI components) that can be integrated into your project to enhance functionality.

  • React is often used to build single-page applications (SPAs) where the entire application runs in the browser. It allows for fast, seamless user experiences with real-time updates.

  • React is excellent for creating rich and interactive user interfaces. It enables developers to build complex applications with advanced client-side routing, state management, and interactivity.

Common Applications

React.js is used in web apps and mobile apps and is ideal for cross-platform apps, allowing you to create a single codebase that works across iOS, Android and Windows devices with minimal effort. It allows you to build native iOS and Android apps using JavaScript instead of Objective C or Java, respectively.

Bootstrap is used for web development, mobile app development, desktop app development and hybrid app development. It allows you to build responsive websites faster than ever before. 

Some of the common applications of Bootstrap include: 

common application of bootstrap.
  • Responsive Web Design

  • Website Prototyping

  • Front-End Development

  • Web Application Development

  • Content Management Systems (CMS)

  • E-commerce Websites

  • Dashboards and Admin Panels

  • Landing Pages

  • Portfolio Websites

  • Blogs and News Websites

  • Educational Websites

  • Web Apps Prototyping

Some of the common applications of React.js include: 

common applications of React.js.
  • Single-Page Applications (SPAs)

  • User Interfaces for Web Applications

  • Dynamic Web Pages

  • Data-Driven Applications

  • Content Management Systems (CMS)

  • E-commerce Websites

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

  • Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

  • Real-Time Dashboards

  • Interactive Forms

  • Web Games

  • Educational Platforms

  • Portfolio Websites

  • Web-based Tools and Utilities

  • Social Networking Sites

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Features of React & Bootstrap


Features of React.js.
  • Component-Based Architecture: React encourages the creation of reusable UI components. Components are self-contained, modular pieces of the user interface that can be composed to build complex UIs. This promotes code reusability and maintainability.

  • Virtual DOM: React uses a virtual representation of the DOM (Document Object Model) called the Virtual DOM. When there are changes to the data or state, React updates the Virtual DOM instead of directly manipulating the actual DOM. This results in efficient updates and minimizes unnecessary re-renders.

  • Unidirectional Data Flow: React follows a unidirectional data flow known as one-way data binding. Data flows from parent components to child components via props (properties). Child components can notify parent components of events through callbacks.

  • JSX (JavaScript XML): JSX is a syntax extension for JavaScript that allows developers to write HTML-like code within JavaScript. JSX is used in React to define the structure of UI components. It's compiled into JavaScript by tools like Babel.

  • Declarative Rendering: React promotes a declarative approach to UI development. Developers describe what the UI should look like based on the current state, and React updates the DOM to match that description. This makes code more predictable and easier to reason about.

  • Component Lifecycle: React components have lifecycle methods that allow developers to hook into various stages of a component's existence, such as mounting, updating, and unmounting. This is useful for managing side effects, data fetching, and optimizing performance.

  • State Management: React allows components to manage their internal state using the state hook (or this. state in class components). State management libraries like Redux and Mobx are often used for managing global application states.

  • Conditional Rendering: React provides conditional rendering techniques to display different content based on conditions or user interactions. 

  • Props: Props (short for properties) pass data from parent to child components. Props are immutable and provide a way to customize and configure child components.

  • Event Handling: React allows you to handle user interactions (e.g., clicks, input changes) through event handlers. Event handling is done using standard JavaScript event syntax.

  • Keyed Lists: When rendering lists of elements, React requires that each item has a unique "key" prop. This helps React efficiently update the list and identify which elements have changed.

  • Context API: React provides the Context API for managing and sharing state or data across components without prop drilling (passing props through intermediate components). It's often used for global state management.

  • Hooks: React introduced hooks, such as useState, useEffect, and useContext, which allow functional components to manage state and side effects. Hooks make it easier to write and manage complex logic in functional components.

  • Server-Side Rendering (SSR): React can be used for server-side rendering, where the initial rendering of the application is done on the server. This improves performance and SEO, as the initial HTML is already populated with content.

  • React Router: React Router is a popular library for handling client-side routing in React applications. It allows you to create navigation and define routes for different views within a single-page application.

  • Testing: React applications are highly testable. React provides tools like Jest and React Testing Library for writing unit and integration tests to ensure the reliability of your components.


Features of Bootstrap.
  • Responsive Grid System: Bootstrap includes a responsive grid system based on a 12-column layout. This grid system makes it easy to create responsive designs that adapt to different screen sizes and devices, such as desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.

  • Pre-Designed CSS Styles: Bootstrap offers a comprehensive set of CSS classes for styling various HTML elements. These classes provide consistent and visually appealing typography, buttons, forms, alerts, and more styling.

  • UI Components: Bootstrap includes many UI components and widgets, such as navigation bars, dropdown menus, modals, carousels, and tooltips. These components are designed to be responsive and can be easily customized to fit your application's needs.

  • Responsive Images: Bootstrap provides classes for making images responsive, ensuring they scale correctly on different screen sizes. This helps maintain image quality and layout consistency.

  • Typography: Bootstrap includes typography styles that make defining headings, paragraphs, and other text elements easy. It also offers responsive font sizing and spacing classes for consistent device typography.

  • Forms and Form Controls: Bootstrap simplifies the creation of forms with predefined styles for form controls like inputs, checkboxes, radio buttons, and selects. It also includes form validation styles and classes.

  • Button Styles: Bootstrap offers a variety of button styles, including primary, secondary, success, danger, and more. Buttons can be customized with different sizes and shapes to fit your design.

  • Navigation Components: Bootstrap provides navigation components like navbars, tabs, and pagination. These components help in building user-friendly navigation menus and content organization.

  • Modal Dialogs: Modals in Bootstrap allow you to display content, messages, or forms in a popup dialogue. They are highly customizable and can be triggered by various user interactions.

  • Carousel: The Bootstrap component enables you to create image sliders and carousels with navigation controls, autoplay, and indicators. It's commonly used for showcasing images or featured content.

  • Tooltips and Popovers: Bootstrap includes tooltips and popovers that provide additional information or context when users hover over or interact with elements. These are useful for enhancing user experience.

  • Responsive Tables: Bootstrap offers classes for making HTML tables responsive. Tables automatically stack on smaller screens to ensure readability and accessibility.

  • Utility Classes: Bootstrap provides a range of utility classes for everyday tasks like spacing, alignment, and display utilities. These classes help streamline CSS development and layout adjustments.

  • Customizable Themes: Bootstrap can be customized by overriding default styles or using the Bootstrap Theming system to create custom themes. This lets you match the framework's look and feel to your project's branding.

  • Accessibility Features: Bootstrap is designed with accessibility in mind, ensuring that your web applications are usable by individuals with disabilities. It includes ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attributes and practices.

  • Community and Documentation: Bootstrap has a large and active community of developers, along with extensive documentation and resources, including examples, templates, and third-party plugins.

  • Integration and Compatibility: Bootstrap can be easily integrated with other front-end libraries and frameworks, such as jQuery, React, and Angular, making it versatile for different project requirements

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Which is Best For My Business?

which is best Bootstrap or React.js.

Bootstrap is an excellent option for beginners. React is an excellent option for experienced developers. Bootstrap and React are both great options, but they're not the only ones! You can use any front-end framework; it's up to you.

Bootstrap is ideal if you wish to develop a lightweight, responsive website. It is also easy to add features using the various built-in components. It is easy to customize as well, and many companies use it, like Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix.

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It's fast, efficient, easy to learn and the ideal platform to build creative and innovative user interfaces. It is ideal for faster rendering and improved performance, particularly in applications with frequent UI updates. This is possible because React's Virtual DOM efficiently updates the actual DOM by minimizing direct manipulations. 

React can be used to build native mobile applications through React Native. This allows code sharing between web and mobile applications, reducing development time and maintenance overhead. The level of complexity is high; hence it is more challenging to develop top-notch apps. It also means it is essential that one sticks to the best development practices. 

Here are a few interesting statistics and facts to help you decide: 

  • React.js is the most popular framework among front-end developers. 

  • React has a larger community of contributors than any other JavaScript library or framework.

  • React is used by more developers than Bootstrap across Europe and North America, but not Asia or South America. 

  • React is used by 40.58% of developers as of 2023.

Alternatively, consider using React and Bootstrap together to make your next project stand out from the crowd. They both use JavaScript as their primary language.

The Verdict

This article provides detailed information about React and Bootstrap and their pros and cons. Both are excellent front-end development frameworks, but they have different uses. If you're looking for something easy to learn, Bootstrap may be a better option for you as it doesn't require any coding knowledge! 

On the other hand, if you want something more powerful, React could be perfect since it allows developers to create anything from games to web apps without any HTML knowledge. 

However, at the end of the day, React and Bootstrap are both great frameworks for building web apps. React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces, while Bootstrap is a CSS framework for making websites look good.

If you're looking to create a new application from scratch, it's worth considering whether or not you should use React or Bootstrap and how they can work together to optimize your project's performance.

React doesn't offer any built-in styling options out of the box; you'll need another tool like Materialize CSS if you want something other than its default look and feel, and some users have reported performance issues when working with large applications containing lots of data.


Can I use Bootstrap and React.js together in the same project?

Yes, you can use Bootstrap and React.js together in a project. Many developers choose to use Bootstrap for styling and layout while using React.js for building the interactive and dynamic parts of their web application. They are complementary technologies that can work well together.

Does React.js have its own styling system, or do I need Bootstrap for styling?

React.js doesn't have its own built-in styling system. While you can write custom CSS for React components, many developers prefer to use CSS-in-JS libraries like styled-components or CSS modules. Alternatively, you can use Bootstrap or other CSS frameworks for styling when using React.js.

Which one is better for performance, Bootstrap, or React.js?

Performance considerations depend on how each technology is used and optimized within a project. React.js, with its virtual DOM and efficient rendering, can provide good performance for dynamic and data-driven applications. Bootstrap, being a CSS framework, focuses on styling and layout, and its impact on performance is generally related to the size of CSS files and the number of styles used.

Which one is easier to learn for beginners, Bootstrap, or React.js?

Bootstrap is generally considered easier for beginners because it primarily involves adding CSS classes to HTML elements to style them. React.js, with its component-based architecture and JSX syntax, has a steeper learning curve, but it offers more power and flexibility for building complex applications once you become familiar with its concepts.

Are there alternatives to Bootstrap and React.js for web development?

Yes, there are many alternatives to Bootstrap for styling and layout, including Foundation, Bulma, and Materialize. For JavaScript-based libraries/frameworks similar to React.js, you can explore Vue.js, Angular, Svelte, and others, depending on your project's needs and your team's preferences.

Which one is more suitable for building mobile applications, Bootstrap, or React Native (React.js for mobile)?

For building native mobile applications, React Native is the preferred choice. It allows you to use React.js principles to create native iOS and Android apps, sharing a significant portion of your codebase between platforms. Bootstrap, on the other hand, is primarily designed for web development.


Shivang P.

Full Stack Developer

I am Web Designer at Acquaint Softtech and have 6 years of experience. My proficiency in CSS & JavaScript allows me to design highly creative & innovative website designs. Besides this, I also have good knowledge and skills in various other technologies like WordPress, PHP, MySQL, Oracle, and more.

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