Bootstrap vs Ant Design

When it comes to developing responsive and visually appealing web applications, choosing the right CSS framework is crucial. Bootstrap and Ant Design are two of the most popular CSS frameworks among web developers. Each has its own set of features, components, and design philosophy. In this article, we’ll delve deep into the differences, similarities, and use cases for both Bootstrap and Ant Design to help you make an informed decision for your next project.

Introduction to Bootstrap

Bootstrap is a widely-used open-source CSS framework that was first released in 2011. It was developed by Twitter to provide a consistent framework for building responsive and mobile-first websites. Bootstrap is known for its extensive component library, responsive grid system, and powerful JavaScript plugins.

Key Features of Bootstrap

  • Responsive Grid System: Bootstrap’s grid system uses a series of containers, rows, and columns to layout and align content. It’s built with flexbox and allows up to 12 columns across the page.
  • Prebuilt Components: It offers a range of prebuilt components such as navigation bars, dropdowns, modals, and alerts that are ready to use.
  • Customizable: Bootstrap can be customized through Sass variables and mixins, or by overriding the default styles.
  • JavaScript Plugins: Bootstrap includes a number of jQuery-based JavaScript plugins that add dynamic behavior to components.
  • Community and Ecosystem: With a large community, Bootstrap has a plethora of third-party themes, templates, and tools.

Documentation and Installation

You can find Bootstrap’s documentation here. The framework can be installed via npm, yarn, or included directly in your HTML via a CDN.

npm install bootstrap

Popular Third-Party Addons or Libraries for Bootstrap

  • BootstrapVue: For integrating Bootstrap with Vue.js applications.
  • React-Bootstrap: Unofficial Bootstrap components built for React.
  • Bootswatch: A collection of free themes for Bootstrap.

Introduction to Ant Design

Ant Design is a design system that comes with a React UI library for developing enterprise-level applications. It was introduced by Alibaba Group in 2015 and has gained popularity for its design language and high-quality React components.

Key Features of Ant Design

  • Design Language: Ant Design follows the Ant Design System, which is a set of design principles and patterns for creating a cohesive user interface.
  • High-Quality React Components: It provides a comprehensive suite of over 50 React components that cover most basic UI requirements.
  • Customizable Themes: Ant Design allows for customization through its theme variables, which can be modified for a personalized design.
  • Built-in Internationalization: It supports internationalization out of the box, making it suitable for global applications.
  • Development Efficiency: Ant Design aims to optimize the development process with its well-thought-out components and tools.

Documentation and Installation

The documentation for Ant Design is available here. It is primarily used with React and can be installed via npm or yarn.

npm install antd

Popular Third-Party Addons or Libraries for Ant Design

  • antd-mobile: A mobile UI library based on Ant Design.
  • BizCharts: A powerful charting library compatible with Ant Design.
  • umi-plugin-antd-theme: A plugin for generating Ant Design themes dynamically.

Code Samples and Usage

Bootstrap Example

Here’s a simple example of a responsive Bootstrap navigation bar:

<!-- Bootstrap NavBar -->
<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarNav" aria-controls="navbarNav" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarNav">
    <ul class="navbar-nav">
      <li class="nav-item active">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Features</a>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Pricing</a>

In this example, we make use of Bootstrap’s navbar component to create a responsive navigation bar that adapts to different screen sizes.

Ant Design Example

Below is an Ant Design button component example:

import React from 'react';
import { Button } from 'antd';

const App = () => (
    <Button type="primary">Primary Button</Button>
    <Button>Default Button</Button>
    <Button type="dashed">Dashed Button</Button>
    <Button type="text">Text Button</Button>
    <Button type="link">Link Button</Button>

export default App;

This React component showcases different types of buttons available in Ant Design, each with its distinct style that adheres to the Ant Design language.

Both examples illustrate the ease with which developers can implement UI components using Bootstrap and Ant Design. However, the choice between the two often depends on the specific needs of the project and the developer’s familiarity with React for Ant Design or jQuery for Bootstrap.

Bootstrap vs Ant Design: Delving Deeper

While the previous sections introduced Bootstrap and Ant Design along with some basic examples, let’s dive deeper into the comparison, exploring customization, community support, performance, and more.

Customization and Theming

Customization is a critical aspect when choosing a CSS framework, as it allows developers to tailor the look and feel of their applications to match their branding.

Bootstrap Customization

Bootstrap’s theming is primarily done through Sass. Developers can override the default variables or use Bootstrap’s built-in custom variables to change the theme.

// Customizing Bootstrap with Sass
$theme-colors: (
  "primary": #007bff,
  "success": #28a745,
  "info": #17a2b8,
  "warning": #ffc107,
  "danger": #dc3545,
  "light": #f8f9fa,
  "dark": #343a40

@import "bootstrap";

By modifying the Sass variables, developers can create a unique theme for their Bootstrap application.

Ant Design Customization

Ant Design provides a set of less variables that can be customized to change the look of the components. You can modify these variables to apply a global theme.

// Customizing Ant Design with Less
@primary-color: #1890ff; // primary color for all components
@link-color: #1890ff;    // link color
@success-color: #52c41a; // success state color
@warning-color: #faad14; // warning state color
@error-color: #f5222d;   // error state color
@font-size-base: 14px;   // major text font size
@heading-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, .85); // heading text color
@text-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, .65); // major text color
@text-color-secondary: rgba(0, 0, 0, .45); // secondary text color

This approach allows for a more integrated theming experience, especially when working with React.

Community and Support

A strong community can provide extensive support, plugins, add-ons, and resources that can significantly accelerate development.

Bootstrap Community

Bootstrap has a massive community and has been around for a longer time than Ant Design. This has led to a plethora of resources such as tutorials, third-party plugins, themes, and extensions. Websites like Bootstrapious and Start Bootstrap offer free and premium templates and themes.

Ant Design Community

Ant Design, while newer, has a growing community, especially among developers who work with React. The ecosystem around Ant Design is not as extensive as Bootstrap’s, but it is rapidly evolving. Resources such as Ant Design Pro provide out-of-the-box solutions for building enterprise-level applications.

Performance and Overhead

Performance can be a deciding factor for many projects, especially when it comes to the loading time and responsiveness of the application.

Bootstrap Performance

Bootstrap is a heavyweight framework with a large CSS and JavaScript file size, especially if you use the entire library. To mitigate this, developers can use module bundlers like Webpack to include only the components they need.

Ant Design Performance

Ant Design is also quite heavy, given its focus on enterprise-level applications. However, it supports tree shaking, which can help reduce bundle sizes by including only the used modules in the final bundle when using modern JavaScript build tools.


Accessibility is crucial for creating inclusive web applications that are usable by as many people as possible, including those with disabilities.

Bootstrap Accessibility

Bootstrap has made strides in accessibility by including features such as keyboard navigation, focus control, and ARIA attributes in its components.

Ant Design Accessibility

Ant Design also pays attention to accessibility, ensuring that its components follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Code Sample: Advanced Component Usage

Bootstrap Modal

<!-- Bootstrap Modal -->
<div class="modal fade" id="exampleModal" tabindex="-1" aria-labelledby="exampleModalLabel" aria-hidden="true">
  <div class="modal-dialog">
    <div class="modal-content">
      <div class="modal-header">
        <h5 class="modal-title" id="exampleModalLabel">Modal Title</h5>
        <button type="button" class="close" data-dismiss="modal" aria-label="Close">
          <span aria-hidden="true">&times;</span>
      <div class="modal-body">
      <div class="modal-footer">
        <button type="button" class="btn btn-secondary" data-dismiss="modal">Close</button>
        <button type="button" class="btn btn-primary">Save changes</button>

Ant Design Table

import { Table } from 'antd';
import React from 'react';

const columns = [
    title: 'Name',
    dataIndex: 'name',
    key: 'name',
    title: 'Age',
    dataIndex: 'age',
    key: 'age',
    title: 'Address',
    dataIndex: 'address',
    key: 'address',

const data = [
    key: '1',
    name: 'John Doe',
    age: 32,
    address: 'New York No. 1 Lake Park',
  // ...more data

const App = () => <Table columns={columns} dataSource={data} />;

export default App;


Both Bootstrap and Ant Design have their strengths and are suited to different types of projects. Bootstrap is a great choice for developers looking for a widely-supported, flexible framework that’s not tied to a particular JavaScript library or framework. Ant Design, on the other hand, is ideal for React developers building complex, enterprise-level applications who value a cohesive design system and a rich set of components.

When making your decision, consider factors such as your project’s requirements, the development team’s expertise, and the need for customization and theming. No matter which framework you choose, both Bootstrap and Ant Design offer robust solutions for building modern, responsive web applications.

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