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I am working at a medium sized internet company, and I was handed the task of implementing the framework for our sites rebranding.

It's quite an old (and ugly) site, and we want to update its look and feel (UI/UX) as fast as possible, but also with a good foundation for the future.

I started to check out Zurb's Foundation and Twitter's Bootstrap, and I was impressed with the features they hold (like responsiveness).

My only reservations were that we have designers made a design that will be impossible to create without massive customization, and the fact that we have some important (and ancient) HTML and JS that will be prohibitively difficult to remake with a ready made framework. So I was wondering if I should make a basic lean framework myself, that over time we can add features to, without starting to override designs and code structures that were made for similar, but different things.

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When you use Bootstrap you can use parts of the framework - such as responsive grid without using rest of it. It also allows you to do quite significant customization with less/scss variables. You can then merge it with your own custom parts.

Great thing about framework is that it's tested, robust, and in case of bootstrap, very comprehensive. It will take you weeks or even months to get your code to the same robustness level.

My suggestion- get bootstrap, pick parts you want (you can use their customization page or compile from source) and add only the things that bootstrap doesn't already have.

  • Totally agree. Did that several times, saved so much time. – scriptin Feb 25 '15 at 9:55
  • What about ie8 support? We have a lot of traffic from corporate clients with older browsers – Tomer Amir Feb 26 '15 at 23:57
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Spending a lot of time on yet another framework to perform CSS polyfills, implement a grid system, and handle basic responsive design is a major productivity drag. And – no offense – it's very tough to get this stuff right across browsers. So starting with a well-tested, hardened CSS boilerplate is how I would go.

That said, Bootstrap isn't the only cowboy in town these days. In my opinion Bootstrap's style is very opinionated; that is, it's difficult to make your site not appear as its using Bootstrap under the covers. Kind of like when you visit a mobile page generated with jQuery Mobile.

In this case I think Skeleton is a better choice. It will give you some CSS resets, a grid system, and basic responsive design without influencing your site's appearance.

  • .What about ie8 support? We have a lot of traffic from corporate clients with older browsers – Tomer Amir Feb 26 '15 at 23:56
  • IE8 doesn't support media queries, but you can load up a polyfill library before Skeleton and things will work just fine. See: github.com/dhg/Skeleton/issues/74 – Christian Willman Feb 27 '15 at 21:15

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