We are about to start an AngularJS project. In fact, the CMS will be AEM (Adobe Experience Manager). I'm now looking into the CSS/layout framework, and whether its worth using something like Bootstrap, when the design team/client has already decided what it will look like.

From what I understand, Bootstrap is very useful, and yes you can make beautiful production ready sites with bootstrap, but I feel Bootstrap can constrict the design, and often Bootstrap leads/tells you how it needs to look, which could cause problems with our design team.

More detail:

An example is the grid system. It gets generalised into a 12 column grid, and the content is responsive to that. You can't specify to the cm how you want that column or content to look. Perfect in most cases, too much restriction would make it NOT responsive, and more 'adaptive' to mobile, as your being very specific.

But my question is when you have a design team that has already created wireframes and specified how it should all look, should you still use something like Bootstrap. (Or any others like Foundation, Skeleton, Pure, Concise...)

Is it better to just not use them at all, or is there still very much a need for them.

What about just a layouting framework which is not responsive? I mean, the requirement is for it to work on a tablet, but still, there will be different sized tablets, so responsive still needs to be considered, and what if there is a future need for it to work on mobile, its better to consider that upfront and code in just in case.

I realise my question might not be too clear, but its a hard one to explain without the above fluff. And it better not be closed due to opinionated, as im not asking for a comparison of frameworks, more rather, is a framework the right way to go in this instance. I'll happily re-word if it needs it though.

However, if there is something I missed, something like a middle ground between fully custom CSS and using something like Bootstrap, please mention.

  • 2
    remember that most stuff in bootstrap can be customized by overriding variables and building css from less youself. This also includes the no of columns in the grid.
    – Pete
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


One still may able to use Bootstrap with pre-existing designs, but more customization will be needed.

Bootstrap is used because one can get a responsive web site up very quickly with minimal additional work. This means less cost and time spent on making your web site responsive.

If designs are done up front, the value of using a framework like Bootstrap may be diminished as one will have to spend more time customizing the CSS and making the Bootstrap framework conform to your design. One can make a web site responsive without Bootstrap, its just more time and effort. Bootstrap can also be customized as well with custom CSS code but leveraging what comes out of the box will be diminished.

Look at the current design and see how well it fits into the Bootstrap framework. If there are issues, try and get your stakeholders to buy down on some of the designs so more of the framework can be utilized. If they are unwilling to yield to any changes, simply tell them it will take more time, money, and effort as more customization is required.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.