One of DNN’s strong points is that the architecture allows for flexibility to extend the platform using the developers preferred tools and methodology. This means that you can program a module or SkinObject in C# or Visual Basic for example.
So here’s my question: Why do most DNN Skin developers use Bootstrap?
Creating a skin for DNN follows the same principles as creating a module, you can use whatever responsive framework you like, that’s if you want to use a framework You could develop a grid system yourself if you wanted to.
This is why I created the DnnFoundation Skin ( found here in the Forge ) to show the community just this. The skin uses ZURB Foundation, a responsive framework other than Bootstrap which is a very powerful framework.
Why did I choose Foundation as a responsive framework?
- The framework is Semantic, because of this I was able to create the DnnFoundation skin in no time and learn quickly how to setup the grid for all devices.
- The Foundation framework is built on “mobile first” principle, therefore the site will look great on all devices from smartphone to desktop.
- I found out very quickly that it is very clean to use and customize, this is why there are 21 color variations available in the DnnFoundation skin. Compared to Bootstrap it was extremely easy to change the menu item colors for example.
- The grid system is very flexible to setup, allowing you to align sections easily for different devices
The list goes on.
Basically, for me, it was a breath of fresh air to use something other than Bootstrap.
Another reason for using Foundation is the ever changing web. The web has changes rapidly over the last several years and there is a change for native app’s as well. The native app’s to web app has now begun. The ZURB Foundation framework caters for this change. So if you start now and you’ll be ready for the change. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone!
So what is the best responsive framework?
The simple answer is: there is no best! All frameworks have their good points and bad points. Some people like BootStrap because of the huge community and popularity, others like Foundation because it’s easy to learn and easy to customize. It’s a question of taste.
What I say is don’t be scared to try something different. The DNN CMS offers the opportunity to use whatever you like for skinning so try another framework, you might be surprised!
So what other frameworks are available?
To find out just how many responsive frameworks there are just Google ‘responsive frameworks’ and you will see that there is not only Bootstrap.
Below I have compiled a small list of only some of the frameworks that I have found. Every solution has its good points and bad, but they all can be adapted to create DNN skins. So why not have a look, try some of them and see if one of them suits your needs.
An even better idea would be to create a skin for the Forge with a chosen framework and share with the community your findings.
BootStrap, used for the HammerFlex skin (http://getbootstrap.com)
Foundation from ZURB, used for the DnnFoundation skin (http://foundation.zurb.com)
Golden Grid system (http://goldengridsystem.com)