Feed The Whale

Bootstrapping SaaS: Build, grow, and scale without outside funding

difference between bootstrap 3 4 and 5

It is imperative to understand the differences between Bootstrap 3, 4, and 5 in order to stay updated with the latest changes and improvements in web development. Bootstrap 3 was a staple in the industry for a long time, offering a solid foundation for responsive design. However, Bootstrap 4 introduced numerous enhancements such as improved…

It is imperative to understand the differences between Bootstrap 3, 4, and 5 in order to stay updated with the latest changes and improvements in web development. Bootstrap 3 was a staple in the industry for a long time, offering a solid foundation for responsive design. However, Bootstrap 4 introduced numerous enhancements such as improved grid system, custom breakpoints, and utility classes. The most recent version, Bootstrap 5, focuses on customizability and modular approach, allowing developers to streamline their workflow and create more efficient and responsive websites. By understanding the key distinctions between these versions, developers can make informed decisions on which version to use for their projects.

Bootstrap 3 Overview

While Bootstrap 3 was released in August 2013, it quickly became one of the most popular front-end frameworks for developing responsive and mobile-first websites. Its grid system and extensive list of components made it a go-to choice for developers of all skill levels.

Key Features

Overview of Bootstrap 3 key features:

  • Responsive Design: Ensures your website looks great on all devices.
  • Grid System: Easy-to-use grid system for creating responsive layouts.
  • Base Styling: Consistent styling for typography, forms, buttons, and tables.
  • Components: A library of reusable components like dropdowns, modals, navbars, and more.
  • JavaScript Plugins: Pre-made jQuery plugins for adding interactivity.

The flexibility and customization options provided by Bootstrap 3 made it a favorite among developers. The overall structure and documentation were designed to make the development process smooth and efficient.


For developers using Bootstrap 3, there were some limitations that were worth noting.

For instance, outdated components and less support for modern web technologies were significant drawbacks of Bootstrap 3. While it was a robust framework, staying current with the latest trends and features proved challenging for users.

Bootstrap 4 Enhancements

Improvements Over Bootstrap 3

One of the key enhancements in Bootstrap 4 is its improved grid system, which now utilizes flexbox to create more efficient and responsive layouts. This allows for better control over the positioning of elements on the page and makes it easier to align content. Additionally, Bootstrap 4 introduces a more modern and streamlined look with updated components and styles, helping developers create sleeker and more visually appealing websites.

New Components and Utilities

The introduction of new components and utilities in Bootstrap 4 further enhances the framework’s functionality and flexibility. Some of the key additions include new card components, responsive spacing classes, and an enhanced navbar component. These new features offer developers more options for creating dynamic and interactive designs, making it easier to customize and optimize their websites for different devices and screen sizes.

Utilities like spacing classes help developers easily manage margins and padding, allowing for more precise control over the layout of their websites. The new card components provide a modern and versatile way to display content, while the updated navbar component offers improved navigation options for a better user experience. Overall, Bootstrap 4’s new components and utilities add valuable tools for developers to create sophisticated and responsive websites.

Bootstrap 5 Advancements

Major Changes from Bootstrap 4

All developers familiar with Bootstrap 4 will notice several significant changes in Bootstrap 5. The new version comes with a more streamlined and efficient framework, allowing for faster development and better performance. Bootstrap 5 introduces new features like improved grid system, utility classes, extended customizability, and more, making it easier for developers to create responsive and modern web applications.

Removal of jQuery Dependency

The most impactful change in Bootstrap 5 is the complete removal of jQuery dependency, a move that reflects the modern trend towards lightweight and efficient code. By eliminating jQuery, Bootstrap 5 reduces the size of the framework and boosts performance. Developers now have the flexibility to use vanilla JavaScript or other JS libraries of their choice, enhancing compatibility and reducing the learning curve for newcomers.

Bootstrap 5 marks a significant step forward in the evolution of the popular front-end framework. By incorporating major enhancements and addressing key issues, Bootstrap 5 empowers developers to create cutting-edge web applications with improved speed, efficiency, and flexibility. Whether you are upgrading from Bootstrap 4 or starting fresh, embracing the advancements in Bootstrap 5 can elevate your development process and deliver exceptional results.

Version Comparison

Unlike, the previous versions of Bootstrap, Bootstrap 4 introduced a major overhaul in terms of changes and updates. However, Bootstrap 5 builds upon this foundation and brings even more enhancements to the table.

Feature Bootstrap Version
Grid System and Flexbox 3
Responsiveness and Mobile-First Approach 4

Grid System and Flexbox

To address the shortcomings of the float-based grid system in Bootstrap 3, Bootstrap 4 introduced a new flexbox grid system, which offered more flexibility and responsiveness. However, Bootstrap 5 further refined the grid system by optimizing the use of flexbox for better alignment and spacing.

Responsiveness and Mobile-First Approach

Approach Bootstrap 4 emphasized the importance of responsiveness by adopting a mobile-first approach, ensuring that websites are designed for mobile devices first and then scaled up for larger screens. Bootstrap 5 takes this a step further by providing even more tools and utilities to streamline the development process and make sites more mobile-friendly.

Grid Although all three versions of Bootstrap focus on responsive design, Bootstrap 5 places a stronger emphasis on mobile-first development to ensure that websites are optimized for mobile devices, which is crucial in today’s digital landscape.

Migration Considerations

Upgrading from Bootstrap 3 to 4

An important consideration when upgrading from Bootstrap 3 to Bootstrap 4 is the overhaul of the grid system. The grid classes, such as col-xs-*, have been replaced with a simplified col-* structure. Additionally, some components may have changed or been deprecated, requiring updates to your codebase. It is crucial to thoroughly review the Bootstrap 4 documentation to understand the changes and ensure a smooth transition.

Upgrading from Bootstrap 4 to 5

Bootstrap 5 introduces several significant changes compared to Bootstrap 4. One of the key improvements is the migration from jQuery to Vanilla JavaScript, reducing the reliance on third-party libraries. It is important to note that certain classes, utilities, or components may have been altered or removed in Bootstrap 5. Therefore, careful testing and refactoring are crucial to ensure compatibility and maintain the functionality of your project.

The transition from Bootstrap 4 to Bootstrap 5 may require updates to your existing codebase to align with the latest version’s standards. It is recommended to review the official Bootstrap 5 migration guide to understand the changes and plan the necessary adjustments. Additionally, testing on a staging environment is crucial to identify any issues before deploying your updated project to production.

Final Words

Taking this into account, it is clear that Bootstrap has evolved significantly through its different versions, each bringing new features and improvements. Bootstrap 5, the latest version, offers better performance, smaller bundle size, and enhanced grid system, making it a preferred choice for developers. Understanding the differences between Bootstrap 3, 4, and 5 can help developers make informed decisions when choosing the right framework for their projects. By staying up-to-date with the latest features and advancements in Bootstrap, developers can create more efficient and modern web applications that meet the evolving needs of users.