The Bootstrap Framework Controversy … Should You Use It or Not?

Released back in 2011, Twitter’s Bootstrap framework is one of the most popular – if not the most popular – front-end website development framework out there, at least in 2015.

And not without a reason. Bootstrap provides a really easy to grasp way of crafting your site designs and thus allows you to create great looking and mobile-optimized builds in hours, instead of days.

Bootstrap should you use this framework

That being said, there’s a lot of conflicting opinions around Bootstrap with almost equal number of people on both sides of the barricade. Some experienced developers (like the guys over at ThemeShaper, for example) have addressed various issues with the framework and pointed out why it might not be the perfect web development solution after all.

So today, let’s look into some of the framework’s known traits, both in terms of the positives as well as the negatives. However, I’ll try not to sway your opinion in any direction by telling you what I consider the right solution here – in terms of using Bootstrap or not – but instead, I just want to provide enough insight for you to be able to make your own decision.

HTML5 frameworks for mobile web applications

We are starting the series of tutorials and short reviews about popular HTML5 mobile frameworks. In this post, we are discussing why would developers use existing mobile web framework instead of building one from the ground up.  And we are creating simple, mobile web application with Framework7. In the second tutorial part we use Parse.com cloud service to integrate user login. The third part is about wrapping Framework7 application into PgoneGap.

Mobile web applications allow us to quickly design and develop prototypes, reuse already written code across multiple mobile platforms and in many cases match look & feel for customers using wide range of devices with different operating systems.

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

I haven’t had the best relationship with the issue of site speed over the years, if I’m honest. I mean, even though I knew that it’s obviously important, I wasn’t doing much testing to find out how fast my site was for its actual audiences.

After all, the site loaded just fine for me (when doing administrative tasks, publishing content and so on), so it’s probably the same for my audience too, right?

Well, not quite. As it turned out, the average visitor had to wait around eight seconds (that’s 8) for my site to load. I was quite shocked to see that number, and that’s probably why I remember it so clearly.

Hello with Bootstrap and Responsive design

Happy new year to all HTMLCenter readers!

HTMLCenter blog meets this year with completely refreshed look & feel and new monthly Newsletter (we will give our best to make ‘monthly’ – regular). In addition to this we have made few other minor changes to overall blog structure.

How and why we did it all?

Site look & feel redesign project was sitting on my to-do list for a while, but somehow it managed skip down in priority order each month.

HTMLCenter runs on WordPress (very good CMS indeed), and the old custom theme we had was becoming much outdated.

Old WordPress theme was build with desktop Internet browser in mind and didn’t look good on mobile device browsers at all. Increasing number of HTMLCenter readers arriving via smart devices was a constant reminder that we had to find the time and do blog redesign.

PhoneGap plugins for mobile application projects

PhoneGap is hybrid HTML5 mobile application framework which has nicely growing user community.

Here on HTMLCenter we have published several tutorials about designing and developing Cordova / PhoneGap based HTML5 mobile applications.
One of the main strengths of PhoneGap undoubtedly is the native plugin functionality. It allows developers to hook the native mobile OS components with HTML5 and JavaScript code. This way you can use JavaScript methods across the app to access functionality provided by native code.

In fact, any other developers using PhoneGap framework can just import your plugin and use the functionality in their own apps. Developer community has created many such plugins. And Cordova contributors have developed plugin manager called plugman in order to make installation of plugins simple.

There are several plugin repositories which collect and archive PhoneGap framework plugins.

While working with iOS and Android applications I have used several PhoneGap plugins and want to share some of them which helped me a lot in mobile app projects. Did I miss any good ones?

What BaaS to choose for HTML5 application

The term backend as a service or BaaS is currently mentioned a lot among mobile application developers.

Multiple storage options exists for HTML5 applications, like the local storage or filesystem. But these will only allow application to store data locally, on the mobile device.

If your mobile app has to store data outside the device, in order to sync across different platforms for example, application creators have to make a decision on how this will be achieved.

One option is to build a simple backend service which could handle requests from mobile application running on multiple mobile clients and provide data storage functionality.

This usually sounds easier then it is to implement, because while building such backend service you have to take many factors into account. Authorisation and authentication, performance and operations support among many others.

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