AdminLTE vs Pure Bootstrap for a new web project?
I'm primarily a freelance backend dev and for the first time venturing on full-stack development of a non-trivial web app on my own, hence I needed some guidance.
I've got all the backend stuff in php/mysql covered, I just want to know what's the best way to create a dashboard (with left sidebar) considering various aspects like long-term code maintenance and support, robustness, etc. Looks don't matter that much as it's a CRUD app but obviously, better is more appreciated.
Based on my research until now, AdminLTE seems to be the most popular way of doing it among most devs although a few others like material and coreui also seem to have some street cred.
But another approach I'm considering apart from AdminLTE is to just use pure bootstrap and fiddle up my own sidebar using something like this. That way, I won't be tied to just one Bootstrap version which is used by AdminLTE (v4.6) and troubleshooting will be much easier through google search and StackOverflow. What do you guys think is the right approach?
Personally my favorite approach right now is going with unstyled components (if you require them) and styling them with tailwind css.
Tailwind I just find easier to build on top of than bootstrap.
But with Bootstrap, you get all the basic components and features baked right into it, such as a layout grid with responsive classes, navbar, badges and pills, modal dialogs, better styling for tables, forms, inputs, selects, etc. To reinvent all of this on your own, you have to be a master front-end designer even with the help of something like Tailwind?
Style is relative, but one thing is for sure; weather you leave your elements unstyled or if you use Bootstrap alone, you’re opting for defaults and those are always tired designs.
Another way to look at "tired" is "familiar" and familiar means easy to use. There's a reason a great deal of the web looks pretty similar and it's usability.
Hard disagree, for the specific reason that Bootstrap has a lot of high-quality and affordable themes that make it look good out of the box, and it’s explicitly meant to be easy to customize stylistically. It would take dozens of hours to vet custom components made in Tailwind across all combos of browser and device to look for deviations, whereas Bootstrap papers over a lot of common rough edges and saves a lot of energy poring over CanIUse.
Why reinvent the wheel, frame, driveshaft, and more when you’ve already got a hackable kit car right at hand?
I mean, that's exactly what Bootstrap does. It's essentially just an alternate set of defaults.
Might be the case that I just suck at front end, but I find it several orders of magnitude easier to have an arsenal of known-good utility classes to mix and match, then marginally tweak where necessary, compared to manually building it all from scratch or homegrown classes every time (not that Tailwind strictly necessitates doing that).
In short, the value I get is in the building-block abstractions, not so much the default styling.
WindiCSS is built on Tailwind but has much better tooling and control imo, but yes agreed that either is far better than Bootstrap.