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Bootstrap & E-commerce Design

Bootstrap & E-commerce Design

Brandon Sheppard
Brandon Sheppard
Here at Neto we use Twitter Bootstrap as the base for all of our e-commerce website template design. There are many reasons we've chosen Bootstrap as our primary framework. Bootstrap is the worlds most popular HTML5 framework. It comes with a number of components, like a carousel, accordion, icons and a solid grid system. 
Bootstrap really speeds up the coding process of our websites. We no longer need to find or create custom plug-ins for basic features like carousels or fixed navigation and we can very easily style great looking buttons with the default Bootstrap buttons as a reference point. A huge benefit to Bootstrap is the small learning curve that it comes with. As a growing company, when we hire new designers it is easy for them to get straight into production, even if they don't already have experience with Bootstrap but especially if they do. As the newest member of the Neto design team, it was easy to apply my experience with the Bootstrap framework from my first day and I was immediately able to start working on client sites. This gave me extra time and effort to focus on learning the internal Neto tag system and get familiar with the Neto software.
Bootstrap is almost perfect for any e-commerce website, and we've had to do very little to adapt it to our needs. Though admittedly, we have had to make some changes. For example, the 12 column grid system that comes pre-packaged with Bootstrap isn't ideal for the typical e-commerce layouts our clients need. That's why we've opted to instead use a 24 column grid. At first we used, but have recently reverted to the default Bootstrap grid, customised to fit 24 columns. This further reduces the learning curve for new hires and external designers. 
We are committed to keeping up to date. We believe our base template is cutting edge, with years of e-commerce design experience put into making a great user, conversion and SEO friendly design. We want to keep it that way, so Bootstraps' quick development process suits us great and we've made it a habit to update to the newest version quickly, often on the day it comes out. This is great too, as we use Bootstrap for our carousels, accordions, pop-overs and tooltips. This means we no longer have to keep up to date with tens of plugins, just Bootstrap and a few others we utilise. For these same reasons, we have committed to the future and are always looking for ways we can improve and simplify our own framework.
We have got a lot planned for the future. Bootstrap has great support for responsive, device and future friendly design. This is why we are looking at bringing our mobile template over to Bootstrap. It will mean clients with mobile sites will have even better customisation options and it will be easier to keep our mobile template up-to-date. We also intend on utilising Bootstraps' responsive features to scale our websites up, so that users with bigger screens can enjoy a more beautiful experience, with thicker gutters and columns.
Stay tuned for more design-related blogs and news on these upcoming features.

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