Foundation and Bootstrap.

The two titans of the front-end framework.

Each with a host of avid supporters who boast the benefits of their respective choices with a stern reluctance to waiver in uncertainty.

Those who wave the Bootstrap flag, do so in the comfort of the largest support community of any front-end framework.

Meanwhile… the leagues of Foundation supporters proudly mould their unique customisations with less resistance.

But… as a newbie in the world of front-end frameworks. Which one should you choose?

This question has been bandied around the internet for sometime now.

Each framework has their pro’s and con’s – each developer has their preference.

To give you an idea of which framework may be best for you. Lets take a look at some of the most common arguments for each.

Foundation Vs Bootstrap

Similarities

  • Both started in 2005 as internal style-guides
  • Both are now open-source
  • Both have mobile-first responsive grids
  • Both come with a collection of pre-built HTML and CSS components
  • Both include a host of Javascript plugins
  • Both are well established with large support networks
  • Both are used by very credible well-known brands

Differences

  • Bootstrap has a larger support network. Bootstrap has over 176,000 tags on stackoverflow.com alone while foundation has just over 59,000 at the time of writing.
  • Foundation offers tutorials and classes. If you’re a larger team then you might benefit from premium support or training your team with Foundations tutorials
  • Bootstrap has 3rd party themes that you can use. Because of the larger user base people have started to develop themes that you can use with Bootstrap. We’ve actually built some free HTML website templates that you can have a play with. You can download them here.
  • Its easier to customise the appearance of Foundation. Foundation is less superfluous – the aesthetic is quite simple so you don’t have to over ride as many styles
  • With Bootstrap you can use either Less or Sass. Bootstrap comes with either Less or Sass files. You can choose which ones you download.
  • Foundation has some additional Javascript plugins. Foundation has a larger collection of Javascript components including form validation and right to left support.

Conclusion

Each developer has his or her preference and I think that largely comes down to which one did you learn first and which one have you used most often. When starting out either one will do. People tend to prefer Bootstrap for quick builds and prototypes but as it has a pretty generic look and feel those who want an extra level of customisation will choose Foundation. This is just because Bootstrap can be more time consuming to customise as they do a lot out of the box for you. Foundation comes with a default styling thats easy to over-ride. Both are HTML and CSS frameworks so if you’re comfortable with HTML and CSS it’ll be a pinch for you to learn either.

Let us know in the comments below which one you prefer or if you disagree with any of our points above.

Don’t forget to check out our free HTML website templates. They’ll help you to build unique looking websites much faster as they’re built on top of Bootstrap. They’re perfect for when you need to build a website fast.

About the author

Jack O’Donoghue is a web designer and the creator of Blockety HTML website templates. He’s designed styleguides and websites for well known brands including HSBC, Vodafone, Samsung, IBM and Aviva.

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