5 Bootstrap UI Kits for Customizing Your Designs

You are building a new website with Bootstrap. The default theme is not fancy enough for your project. Should you create your own custom theme from scratch? What if, you don’t have time to create a new theme and you still want something custom? You can download a Bootstrap UI kit to help you get started.

5 Bootstrap UI Kits for Customizing Your Design

What is a UI kit?

A UI Kit contains styles and components that you use as a starting point to build an attractive and consistent user interface. With a Bootstrap UI Kit, you can customize a Bootstrap website to fit a specific design without starting from scratch.

Here are 5 different Bootstrap UI kits for you next project to consider. They use popular design styles like material, flat and more. You can use these UI kits for building a simple website or a custom web application.

1. Material Kit

Want to use material design in your Bootstrap project? You can use Material Design for Bootstrap to develop a responsive, mobile-first projects. With this kit, you can use HTML, CSS and JS to build prototypes quickly. If you like the free version, you can also purchase pro versions. With the pro versions, you get more components and can build dashboard apps with material design.

Bootstrap Material Design UI Kit

2. Paper Kit

Paper Kit is a free Bootstrap UI kit. This kit from Creative Tim allows you to create something different. Paper Kit was inspired by paper and drawings. It uses pale colors, includes sample pages and beautiful typography. You also can customize this kit to make it your own.

Bootstrap Paper Kit

3. Flat UI Kit

Want to use flat design in your Bootstrap project? You can use Flat UI to create a website with flat design. Flat UI provides flat design on buttons, drop downs, navigation, icons, colors and more. You get samples that you can use to customize your own design.

Bootstrap Flat UI Kit

4. Wrap Kit

WrapKit Lite is a Bootstrap 4 UI Kit. It includes Google Web Fonts, Sticky Headers, CSS Animations and more. WrapKit Lite is easy to customize and build your own website quickly.

Bootstrap WrapKit Lite

5. Bootstrap UI

Are you building a web application? Bootstrap UI provides you with components to build a beautiful web application. It includes typography, Bootstrap Grid, stick footer, tabbed navigation, list groups and standard Bootstrap navigation.

Bootstrap UI Demo

With these Bootstrap UI Kits, you can quickly customize your Bootstrap project without starting from scratch. When you need to use material, flat or a different design type, UI kits can help you get started.

What are your favorite UI Kits?

TOP 5 Reasons for Switching to TypeScript

If you write front-end code, you have built a website using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. JavaScript is popular because it is easy to code and flexible. As your website add more features, you may noticed that your JavaScript gets more difficult to add new code. JavaScript doesn’t scale very well. To deal with this, you may have switched to another framework like Node or Angular JS.

Top 5 Reasons for Switching to TypeScript

TypeScript by Microsoft helps you to write JavaScript that scales. With TypeScript, you can write it and compile it into JavaScript. Your compiled code will run on any browser or JavaScript framework that supports ECMAScript 3 or greater. When you write valid TypeScript, it compiles into valid JavaScript.

Top 5 Reasons for switching to TypeScript

At the Milwaukee .Net Users Group, David Pine explained the 5 reasons why you should switch to TypeScript.

5. Compatibility

TypeScript is compatible to ECMSScript 3 and newer.

4. Tools

You can write TypeScript using popular coding tools like Visual Studio products also support TypeScript.

3. Open Source

TypeScript is open source. It is being developed on GitHub. You can look at the specification on GitHub. You can download the source code and post issues right on GitHub.

2. Type System

You can use types that you use in other programming languages like:

  • Classes
  • Interfaces
  • Abstract Classes
  • Namespaces

1. Compilation

“If it compiles, it is one step closer to working code.” – David Pine

TypeScript compiles into simple, clean JavaScript. Valid TypeScript is also valid JavaScript. With the compiled code, you can run it in any browser.

Want to see TypeScript Compiled into JavaScript?

You can go to Playland and see the TypeScript compiled into JavaScript.

TypeScript Playland Screenshot

JavaScript is every where on the web. As a developer, you have probably used and supported it in your projects. TypeScript helps you to write code using programming features that developers in other languages are used to. It creates compatible, clean JavaScript while allowing you to use the tools that your already have.

Building with a Headless CMS

Have you considered using a headless or decoupled CMS? Most websites are build using a traditional CMS. A traditional CMS gives you a way to store data, a UI to input the data and ways to display the data. You may have used a traditional CMS like Drupal or WordPress to build your website.

Building With A Headless CMS

What is a headless or decoupled CMS? The front end and content management system are separate from each other. Headless and Decoupled as similar but they are not the same. A Headless CMS manages the content and waits for the front end to do something with the content. With a Decoupled CMS, it prepares the content for delivery and figures out how it will present your content to a specific device or environment.

Why use a Headless CMS?

  • You are building a website or app that uses a framework like Angular JS, React or VueJS
  • You want to build a website with a Static Site Generator like Jekyll or Gatsby
  • You are creating a mobile app
  • You are creating content for use in different places

Where can I find a headless CMS for my next project? Headless CMS maintains a list of JAMStack content management systems. Or you can experiment with a static site generator.

What if you want to update your existing CMS to use as headless CMS?

If you are using WordPress, you have the option of using it as a headless CMS. You can use WordPress to store the content and display it using an API.

You are not required to use PHP you can use whatever language you want. JC Hiatt explains how to use react to create a headless WordPress site.

If you don’t want to update WordPress, you can use Cosmic JS. It lets you build your next modern web app with any programming language that you want.

When to use a headless CMS?

It depends on your needs and project. You may want to use a traditional CMS when you don’t have a development team and need a website that is easy to maintain. Use a headless or decoupled CMS when you have a development team and you want to create a custom interface for use with more than a website.

4 Items to Include in a Development Tutorial

Writing a tutorial is a good way of sharing how you solved a programming problem. Programmers use tutorials to learn how to write the code for themselves instead of depending a all ready written code. Tutorials can be a quick way to learn how to do something. What do you need to write a good tutorial?

4 Items to Include in a Development Tutorial

4 Items to include in a tutorial

  • Step by step instructions
  • Screenshots
  • Code snippets
  • Version of software or tools

Step by step instructions

By providing step by step instructions, you can break the tasks down into easy and understandable pieces. Your readers will be able to follow what you learned and do it themselves.

Screenshots

Sometimes, steps aren’t enough. You need to show your reader what happens. A screenshot can show you what to expect, look for or do. A good screenshot compliments what you want your reader to do next.

Code

Make your code samples easy to copy and to understand for new and experience programmers. You can use a tool like CodePen.io to include your code. Or use one of these 4 Ways to Add Code Snippets.

Version of Software or tools

Your software and tools change over time. New versions come out. Let your reader know what version of the software that you were using.

What about video?

Not a writer? You can record a video tutorial instead of writing one. Gregg Pollack on Hackernoon collected 10 Tips to create the best worst programming tutorials. If you prefer video, keep these tips in mind so your video tutorial isn’t the worst.

Summary

Writing a tutorial can help you to understand a new concept or programming problem thoroughly. Use these items to help explain what you have learned. When you teach others, you learn new things about the concept that you are teaching.

Copywork and Learning New Code

What is Copywork? Copywork is the process of recreating an existing work as closely as possible in order to improve your own skills. Writers and painters have used this technique to learn how to get better at their chosen craft.

Copywork and Learning New Code

Painters, Writers and Copywork

How do painters learn how to paint? Painters learn their craft by copying the work of their masters. By copying their masters work, a new painter learns how to use color, perspective and other techniques that make a painting great. When you visit a museum, you may see an artist studying and copying a famous painting.

Writers and bloggers get better by copying their favorite writers. They pick out a piece of writing they like and write it down by hand. By copying your favorite writers, you learn how to choose words, what works in a story and get better at writing. You can use the practice to incorporate what you learn into your own writing.

Why write code by hand?

When you learn new code, you have two choices. Type it in by hand or copy and paste. In Learn Ruby the Hard Way, Zed A. Shaw, explains that you learn how code works by entering it by hand, not by copying and pasting. Copying and Pasting is quicker, but you don’t learn how it works. You type it in by hand, so you can learn to read, write and see how the code works.

Why Copywork?

Copywork lets you focus learning a programming language and not worry about getting the UI right. You can learn only so much from building a beginner app like a To Do List. If you want to learn what a programming language can do, the next step is to find a simple app, copy it and build it in your chosen programming language. Dave Ceddia explains how you can use copy work to learn react.

Summary

You can learn or improve your creative skills by copying an existing app. Programmers can use it to learn what they can do with a programming language. Or you can use it to learn how to build or experiment with different UIs.

Have you used copywork to improve your skills?