Bootstrapped Web Design Through Drupal

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Mon17thJul

Your homepage is like the cover-jacket to a best selling novel. If it doesn't deliver a quick, high impact message about your business then you've lost your audience before you even had a chance to tell them what's inside. In the Internet web-scape this has become a little tricky because there is no longer a standard screen size, or screen-size ratio for a layout to a home page, or for that matter, any page on your site, but you can count on most visitors getting their first peak at your site from a smartphone.

Nearly 90% of all web searches today originate on smartphones. This means that the first impression that most people will have of your services will be seen on a 3 x 5 inch screen or even smaller, and to make matters even more challenging, the person seeing it may very well be outdoors in sunlight, or in some other location that compromises their ability to clearly read a screen.  If your homepage and website are to deliver a high-impact impression to your potential clients, you need to appeal to what they are looking for within a few seconds, otherwise, expect them to move on to the next search result. A 'mobile-first' approach to your site with some thought on a visitor's perspective of what they might be looking is the first step in meeting this challenge.

For more than a decade, Drupal has proven itself as the World's premier Content Management System (CMS), and it has done this within the Open Source world of development.  From the United States to Europe, From India to South America, businesses and governments have been building Internet solutions and content libraries with Drupal, and they have chosen this platform over many other solutions in the OS space that simply can't stack up the aptitude of Drupal in terms of API support, Support of New Technologies in the Internet arena, and sheer dedication of support from a very brainy developer community of hundreds of thousands worldwide. When a business needs to select a solution to build their Internet presence on, no other platform is available that has as much support right at your fingertips.

Twitter Bootstrap is another technology within the OS world but serves an entirely different function as a design framework for Drupal's web page UI. While Drupal is a CMS, Bootstrap is a set of styling libraries that give developers a huge "Leg Up" for creating a User Interface (UI) for websites. Since 2009, when Android and iPhone smartphones began to gain popularity, web designers started to realize that sites need to accommodate a variety of screen sizes. No longer was a website to be seen solely from a person sitting at a desk while looking at their fine, 29 inch desktop monitor, or even their more compact 19 inch laptop screen. Successful businesses began to recognize that their customer base was beginning to live off of their smartphones, integrating them into all aspects of their lives to the point where 85% of all web views begin with a smartphone display.

A web designer's job is to build sites that look great on Desktops, Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones that can be tilted into a portrait position and a landscape position, and in some cases, on a pair of eye-glass lenses.  Twitter Bootstrap 3 allows designers to start a web design project with all of the most popular elements that go into a page and provides a very simple framework for building customized styling on top of itself. it defines a set of code libraries that exist within CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript (js) and does this is an an extremely well documented and organized manner.  What that means to a marketing department that wants to position the business that it represents as a cutting edge resource in delivering clean, and stylish web sites, appreciated by anyone from a visual artist to the a blind person; is that the results can be created fast and in demos are available in near real-time fashion!

Bootstrap has become the standard in building user interfaces for any platform, but its function with Drupal is enormous now! The Drupal Bootstrap theme is used by nearly  150,000 websites worldwide, and by no surprise, has become the most popular theme template to begin building a website with. Its primary function is to allow a developer to immediately see a clean user interface on a smartphone, and then from there, allow the developer to add the character of the company and essence of it's industry to the style, and do it fast, and with results in minutes!