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Bootstrap vs Tailwind: Which CSS framework is best suited to your web development needs?

bootstrap tailwind

Bootstrap and Tailwind are two of the main CSS frameworks used by we development professionals to create appealing and well designed websites. But which among these two frameworks are best for your next web development project?

In this article, we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of Bootstrap and Tailwind and help you choose the most suitable CSS framework for your web development needs.



Bootstrap is an open source framework for the design of web responsive and mobile first website, originally developed by Twitter. It contains design templates based on CSS and optionally JavaScript, such as typography, layout and various other components. One advantage is that one can create a beautiful website with little code and in little time.

With little effort and without CSS, it is possible to determine the visual presentation of a website. You add html elements to the index point html file, but instead of indicating styles with CSS, you use the default Bootstrap classes. There are classes for typography, layout, form fields and various components such as buttons, drop-down lists. There are also so-called helper classes for customising website elements and adapting them to your own needs.


When does it make sense using Bootstrap and which are its advantages and disadvantages?

If a website needs an individual design that differs strongly from Bootstrap, it's better to write CSS code yourself. Otherwise, you'll regularly clash with Bootstrap's CSS rules. Furthermore, Bootstrap makes little sense if you still don't know CSS and want to learn it. Bootstrap is always interesting if you don't want to focus on CSS, yet a basic design is still to importance, for example if you want to creat a blog and the focus is on texts, aka content.

Another example is that in which you work on a backend app and the frontend is of secondary importance. The advantage is that you don't need to write CSS code, or just little, and therefore you can save a lot of time. To build extended layouts with Bootstrap you don't need to be a CSS expert. Furthermore, it's not necessary thinking of class names.

The disadvantage, however, is that you have less control over the visual presentation and Bootstrap websites can very quickly resemble each other. Also, the numerous classes can make html code confusing and lead to duplicate code being written, as the same elements have to be repeated several times.


Tailwind CSS

Tailwind is an open source CSS framework for a web responsive and mobile first conception. Unlike Bootstrap, Tailwind does not provide design templates for specific components, such as buttons or form fields. Instead, the framework only focuses on classes that reflect certain CSS declarations and must be combined.


When does it make sense to use Tailwind and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Tailwind lend itself well for the creation of custom designs that don't require the writing of personalised CSS starting from zero and offers several advantages. For example, it's not necessary anymore thinking of class names and there's no CSS file that becomes longer and therefore increasingly confused.

With Tailwind it is possible to define the visual representation directly in the html element. This also has the advantage of being able to make changes in a targeted manner and not having to search for the appropriate points in a CSS file that is usually longer than 1000 lines. If you are wondering about the advantages of Tailwind classes over the Style attribute, on the one hand you have to type fewer characters and on the other hand Tailwind offers more functionality. It is also very easy to implement the dark mode with Tailwind.

Turning to the disadvantages, since Tailwind does not provide classes for specific components such as buttons or form fields, a basic knowledge of CSS is required to understand Tailwind's classes. Although the framework is very flexible and offers great control thanks to the numerous classes, it does not cover all the functions offered by CSS. It also happens that with similar elements, e.g. a list, classes must always be repeated. In this case, however, Tailwind offers several solutions.



Bootstrap vs Tailwind

Despite being both CSS frameworks that are used to create responsive and professional UIs, Bootstrap and Tailwind have different design approaches

As we've seen, Bootstrap is a full framework offering a set of predefined components (buttons, forms, tables and navigation) with a coherent and well tested style. This makes Bootstrap an ideal solution for projects in which you want to rapidly create a user interface without too many customisations. However, if you want to creat a custom design, this could require the writing of many custom CSS rules to overwrite Bootstrap's predefined style. 

Tailwind, on the other hand, provides a set of CSS classes that can be flexibly combined to create a personalised design without the need to write custom CSS from zero. The Tailwind classes make it possible to customise the design rapidly and flexibly, without having to learn a predefined style. However, their use is not immediate and could require a certain initial learning to familiarise with the available options. 

Finally, while Bootstrap was released for the first time in 2011 and has a fantastic support community, the first Tailwind release was in 2021 and is therefore newer but growing rapidly. Also, Bootstrap uses jQuery to provide interactive features such as tabbed navigation and modals, while Tailwind has no third-party dependencies, making it lightweight and easy to use. Bootstrap is a good option if you want a complete framework with a default style, while Tailwind is an ideal choice for flexible customisation and ease of maintenance.



In conclusion, as you may have already guessed, choosing between Bootstrap and Tailwind depends on your specific web development needs. Both frameworks have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice will depend on your personal preferences and the type of project you are developing.To conclude, as you might have

Which framework inspires you the most? Are you familiar with other frameworks? Let us know in the comments!