TailWind CSS vs. Bootstrap: Which CSS Framework is Better?

Tailwind CSS vs Bootstrap

In the ever-changing world of web development, the battle for domination continues between two leading contenders: Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap. Each provides a distinct set of features and benefits, helping and appealing to developers worldwide. 

However, based on the figures, Tailwind CSS has grown rapidly in popularity, with more than 40% of developers indicating a preference for its utility-first methodology and adjustable flexibility. In the meantime, Bootstrap—once the clear winner—continues to be a strong contender thanks to its devoted user base and extensive integration.

Tailwind and Bootstrap are frequently mentioned in CSS discussions throughout developer groups. Developers want to know what the similarities and distinctions are, and which is better. 

If you are one among them, then follow us as we explore everything about these platforms and which one is better for your customized business needs. Let’s dig down & get started.

Why are CSS Frameworks Needed?

CSS is utilized by 96.2% of all websites online. However, developing CSS for a new website or app from the start can feel like reinventing the wheel. Programmers are supposed to make people’s lives easier, thus they shouldn’t do the same things every day, right?

If you prefer to utilize vanilla CSS in every project, you will spend a significant amount of time rewriting the same things in CSS. So, people faced this difficulty and chose to devise some simple solutions. So they’re switching to CSS frameworks. 

CSS frameworks such as Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap can help you code your designs far more quickly. And here, time equals money. If you can create time equals money. It’s worth it if you can produce the same design with acceptable performance in around 70% less time. Isn’t it? 

What is Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is one of the oldest CSS web development frameworks currently in use; it was established and open-sourced by Twitter in 2011. Its main purpose is to guarantee that web applications are adaptable and suitable for mobile devices. 

It is a more mature and well-established framework with a ton of pre-made parts and thorough documentation. It offers JavaScript plugins, a responsive grid framework, and an extensive collection of pre-designed user interface elements. 

Developers may create visually beautiful and responsive websites more quickly with Bootstrap. With its mobile-first strategy, Bootstrap makes sure that websites display beautifully across a range of devices. Compared to certain other frameworks, Bootstrap can have a steeper learning curve despite its abundance of capabilities.

Bootstrap is available for download as built CSS and JavaScript, as well as source code, or it can be bundled with package managers like NPM, Yarn, and RubyGems. It can also be used through a CDN.

Bootstrap

Bootstrap, a front-end framework, offers several benefits that make it a preferred choice for web development. 

Here are some key advantages of using Bootstrap:

  • Rapid Development: Bootstrap facilitates rapid development by providing a set of pre-designed, ready-to-use components and styles. It allows developers to quickly prototype and build responsive websites without starting from scratch.
  • Responsive Design: Bootstrap is built with a mobile-first approach, ensuring that websites and applications look good and function well on various screen sizes and devices. The responsive grid system makes it easy to create layouts that adapt to different screen resolutions.
  • Community and Documentation: Bootstrap is a popular and old development framework with a large and active community of developers, which means extensive documentation, tutorials, and resources are available. This community support can be valuable for troubleshooting, finding solutions, and staying updated on best practices.
  • Extensive Component Library: Bootstrap includes a wide range of UI components, such as navigation bars, modals, forms, and carousels. This component library allows developers to easily integrate common elements into their projects, saving time and effort in coding.
  • Grid system approach: A grid system is an essential component of web design, providing a structured foundation for content. It consists of a sequence of columns and rows that contribute to a balanced and responsive design. The grid system is critical for design consistency, ensuring that information is properly aligned across devices and screen sizes. 

When To Use Bootstrap? 

  • Rapid prototyping: Bootstrap is known for its ease of use and quick prototyping capabilities. If you need to complete a project quickly and want a consistent, responsive design, Bootstrap is a good choice.
  • Predefined components: Bootstrap comes with a set of pre-designed components that you can easily integrate into your project. If you prefer having a library of components to work with, Bootstrap provides a wide range of UI elements.
  • Ease of learning: Bootstrap has a well-documented and beginner-friendly API. If you’re new to front-end development or want a framework that is easy to learn, Bootstrap might be a better starting point for you to get started.
  • Consistent design language: If you want a project to follow a consistent design language without investing too much time in customization, Bootstrap provides a cohesive and polished look.

What is Tailwind CSS?  

Tailwind CSS is another popular and highly adaptable CSS framework for creating modern and responsive user experiences. It was founded by Wathan and Steve Schoger founded Tailwind CSS in the year 2017. 

Unlike standard frameworks that have pre-defined classes, Tailwind CSS takes a utility-first approach, offering a large collection of small utility classes that can be combined to create customized styles.  

Unlike Bootstrap, Tailwind CSS does not provide pre-built components that can be used with a single click. They instead provide essential tools like CSS classes to help us create designs as quickly as possible. Another advantage of Tailwind CSS is that it monitors what you write and deletes anything you don’t need. 

Finally, the Tailwind team has prepared prebuilt components and pages for you to use. Most of them are paid, but they offer completely customized, ready-to-use elements at reasonable pricing. 

Benefits of using Tailwind CSS

Compared to using a conventional UI kit, there are numerous advantages to employing Tailwind CSS. 

Let’s review a few of the most significant advantages.

  1. Higher performance: Tailwind CSS produces a reduced CSS file size. With Tailwind CSS utility classes, you can effortlessly generate and apply reusable styles without developing new ones or any CSS at all. The use of reusable components reduces dependency and load, resulting in faster loading and performance. 
  2. Highly flexible and adaptable: Tailwind CSS is also a very configurable and adaptable framework. Although it has a default setting that can be readily overridden. The configuration file enables simple changes to color palettes, styling, spacing, themes, and so forth.
  3. Save time & effort: You can save time and effort by using Tailwind CSS to name your classes. The availability of common utility patterns addresses a wide range of issues, including class specification, organization, and cascading, among others. Utility classes make it easy to develop bespoke components.
  4. Increased Efficiency: Rather than defining styles in a separate CSS file, Tailwind allows programmers to incorporate styling directly into HTML. This strategy reduces development time while also encouraging design consistency.
  5. Utility-First Approach: Unlike Bootstrap, TailwindCSS prioritizes utility. This provides you with a wider range of low-level utility classes, allowing programmers to create distinctive designs without depending on pre-built elements.

When to Use Tailwind? 

Here are some circumstances to consider while selecting Tailwind CSS for your business: 

  • Agile Development: If you value adaptability and rapid development in your organization, you should use Tailwind. Its utility-first approach streamlines the coding process, enabling your team to continuously improve and deliver more quickly. 
  • Brand Consistency: Tailwind helps you establish a strong and consistent brand identity. You can precisely design your UI to perfectly fit your brand’s colors and styles. 
  • Mobile Responsiveness: If you want built-in responsive design tools, Tailwind is the way to go. It ensures that your website or application looks great and works effortlessly across multiple devices. 
  • Design Flexibility: If you want the flexibility to design without being tied to a specific visual style, Tailwind provides a more minimalistic foundation that you can build upon as needed.

How are Tailwind & Bootstrap Similar? 

Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap, despite having different frameworks and philosophies, share several similarities in their approach to front-end development.

Both frameworks abstract the actual CSS away from your workflow, so you don’t have to worry about writing a lot of CSS directly and can instead focus on developing your user experience. This is achievable because you simply need to include the various class names in your HTML code, and the frameworks will take care of the real CSS behind the scenes. 

While some claim that implementing a lot of classes in your HTML markup results in a busy-looking markup, it’s safe to say that these frameworks can streamline and speed up the process of designing UIs.

Although they have been around for an enormous amount of time they are used for the development of both small-scale and big enterprises, indicating their flexibility to cater to diverse businesses. On top of it, Tailwind and Bootstrap have extensive community support and documentation available as well. 

Why compare Tailwind vs. Bootstrap?

As previously stated, Bootstrap has been around for a long time, during which time the web and web development have developed, with new technology and ways of working becoming widespread. 

However, just because something has been there for a long time doesn’t mean it’s the ideal tool for the task. To determine which tool is ideal for our situation, we must continue to compare it against newer ones.

But, why Tailwind CSS? Tailwind CSS has rapidly built up a sizable fanbase and is gaining traction. It has rapidly become one of the most widely used Web development frameworks for contemporary. This makes it an ideal candidate to compare to Bootstrap.

So, is the new kid on the block the greatest, or is the tried-and-true way still superior? Let’s dig down & get to the details right away! 

Tailwind CSS vs. Bootstrap: The Differences between front-end frameworks explained!

FeatureTailwind CSSBootstrap
Approach 
Tailwind CSS follows a utility-first approach, allowing developers to apply small utility classes directly in HTML for a modular and customizable styling process.Bootstrap is a component-based framework that includes predefined components with pre-styled elements. It also incorporates utility classes for quick styling.
Setup Tailwind CSS requires Node.js and npm for setup, and developers use a configuration file for customization.Bootstrap can be set up using npm, but it also works with a simple CDN link, offering flexibility in how it is incorporated into projects.
CustomizationTailwind CSS is highly customizable, enabling fine-grained control over styles. Developers can tailor styles precisely to their needs, making them suitable for projects requiring a unique design.Bootstrap is customizable, but achieving highly unique designs may require more effort as developers work within the framework’s predefined components.
Learning CurveTailwind CSS has a steeper learning curve due to the utility-first approach, where developers need to get accustomed to using utility classes directly in HTML.Bootstrap is generally considered more beginner-friendly, with straightforward class names and a component-based structure that is easier for beginners to understand.
Popularity As of 2023, Tailwind CSS has seen a significant surge in popularity and adoption among developers worldwide.Bootstrap, while still a widely used framework, has experienced a relatively slower growth rate compared to Tailwind CSS.
File SizeTailwind CSS can result in a larger CSS file size, especially if unused utility classes are not purged.Bootstrap’s file size may be larger, but optimization options are available to help manage and reduce the overall size.
HTML MarkupTailwind CSS involves adding multiple utility classes directly in HTML markup, providing clarity about applied styles.Bootstrap typically involves using predefined class names in HTML markup, offering a cleaner and more semantic structure.
Visual ThemeTailwind CSS requires manual theming and styling for a consistent visual theme. Developers use configuration files to customize themes precisely.Bootstrap provides a more consistent visual theme out of the box, offering pre-designed themes and templates for convenience.
Community SupportTailwind CSS has a growing community with active support, gaining popularity among developers.Bootstrap has a well-established community with extensive documentation and resources, providing robust support for developers.
FlexibilityTailwind CSS is highly flexible, making it suitable for projects with diverse design requirements.Bootstrap is flexible and ideal for projects that require quick prototyping, consistent styling, and a wide range of pre-designed components.
Responsive DesignTailwind CSS supports responsive design through utility classes and responsive breakpoints.Bootstrap has a built-in responsive grid system, making it easy to create layouts that adapt to various screen sizes.
Use CasesTailwind CSS is suitable for projects that prioritize customization and flexibility, allowing for a unique and tailored design.Bootstrap is ideal for projects that require quick prototyping, consistent styling, and a wide range of pre-designed components, providing a convenient and efficient development process.

Which Top Companies Are Using Tailwind & Bootstrap? 

Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap have been embraced by several firms, showcasing their widespread adoption and relevance in the online development community. 

Tailwind is used by organizations like TED, Buzzfeed, Stripe, Medium, and GitHub CoPilot due to its rich customization and theming capabilities. This highlights the framework’s ability to generate unique designs and components while retaining a streamlined development approach.

Mastercard, Spotify, LinkedIn, Twitter, Lyft, Snapchat, Udemy, Upwork, and Duolingo all utilize Bootstrap’s built-in elements and responsive grid framework. This demonstrates the framework’s ability to enable quick web development while ensuring a uniform design language across projects.

What About Vanilla CSS? Is it worth Considering in 2024? 

Although CSS frameworks are becoming more popular, this does not mean that they should be the only tool that we utilize. CSS vanilla also remains a fantastic alternative for creating visually appealing web pages and user interfaces.

While utilizing a CSS framework might result in increased productivity, faster workflows, and a more uniform design language, Vanilla CSS has its own set of benefits that are worth exploring.

Here are some reasons why Vanilla CSS is valuable:

  • It provides full control over styles and customizations.
  • It enables a better grasp of how CSS works.
  • It has the potential to boost performance in some circumstances.

However, all Tailwind, Bootstrap, and other CSS frameworks abstract CSS authoring away from the developer, allowing for a more efficient approach to creating the same fantastic websites and user interfaces. 

Finally, the decision between employing a CSS framework and vanilla CSS is based on the project’s specific requirements, the development team’s competence, and the required amount of customization and control. Balancing the benefits of both approaches will enable the creation of remarkable websites and user interfaces with long-term impact.

Conclusion: Which One to Choose?

The issue of developing with Tailwind or Bootstrap is extensive, and determining which is best should begin with research. Learning more about each strategy and how to apply them can help you determine which is ideal for your needs. There are numerous methods for conducting research, which you can apply to small projects, watch videos, and engage with the community.   

Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap are both powerful tools in their own way. The choice between them is mostly determined by your project’s requirements and personal interests. 

If you are not a designer and simply want to get things done quickly, Bootstrap may be the best option for you. However, if you want complete control over your unique designs, Tailwind CSS may be a better fit for you.

If you are looking for professional assistance on such front-end design concerns, feel free to reach out to us. Our front-end design team will consider your business requirements and offer assistance in choosing the right framework and web development as well.

FAQS: Tailwind CSS vs. Bootstrap 

1. What are the cons of Bootstrap? 

Here are some of the disadvantages of using Bootstrap: 
Large Bundle Size: Bootstrap’s CSS and JS bundles are fairly large. This can have an impact on the speed and performance of your website, particularly on slower networks.
Limited Customization: While Bootstrap’s built-in elements make it easy to use, they also limit the amount of customization you can do. If you rely too heavily on built-in styles, your website could end up appearing like many others.
Learning Curve: While Bootstrap is known for its ease of use, beginners may still face a steep learning curve, especially when it comes to understanding the framework’s grid system and customization options. 
Dependency on jQuery: Bootstrap’s JavaScript components traditionally depended on jQuery. Although Bootstrap 5 introduced a version with native JavaScript support, older projects or those relying on third-party plugins may still have dependencies on jQuery.

2. How do Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap vary in terms of customization?

Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap utilize distinct approaches. Tailwind CSS provides granular control via utility classes, enabling you to precisely style items. Bootstrap, on the other hand, includes a set of pre-designed elements, making customization easier but less specific than Tailwind CSS. The decision between them is whether you like the freedom to create custom styles or Bootstrap’s organized approach.

3. Is Tailwind CSS better than Bootstrap?

Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap are both excellent project alternatives, thus this is a matter of personal preference rather than objective criteria. That being said, Tailwind may be new in the game, but it is rapidly gaining popularity, thus despite its late release, it has a lot of support from the developer community. 
Tailwind CSS’s utility-first approach allows for more customization options, whereas Bootstrap produces faster builds by utilizing pre-made components. 
So, the only people who can determine which technique is best for your needs are you and your development team.

4. What are the cons of using Tailwind? 

Here are some of the cons of using Tailwind: 
Steeper Learning Curve: Tailwind CSS is frequently perceived as being difficult to learn, particularly for beginners. This is primarily owing to its utility-first approach, which stands out from more typical CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap.
Verbose HTML: Because styles are applied directly in HTML, your markup may become cluttered and difficult to understand.
Not Ideal for Small Projects: Tailwind may not be the best fit for smaller projects or those with less emphasis on utility-first styling, using a more traditional CSS approach or a different framework might be more efficient.
Limited Theming Out of the Box: While Tailwind is customizable, it may not provide as much theming out of the box as some other frameworks. 

5. Should I learn Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap?

Learning both Tailwind CSS and Bootstrap gives you a more diverse skill set because the two tools approach styling differently. Understanding each framework’s ideas, such as utility classes versus components, enables developers to select the best solution for their project requirements. 

author
Nisarg Pandya
Project Manager

Experienced Project Manager and Scrum Master at KrishaWeb, delivers expertise in Scrum methodologies, Laravel, React.js, UX design, and project management, ensuring efficient project delivery and agile implementation.

author

Recent Articles

Browse some of our latest articles...

Prev
Next