If you are searching for the difference between Bootstrap 5 vs Bootstrap 4, then you have come to the right place. Bootstrap has been the most popular and essential tool for developing responsive and mobile-first websites. Bootstrap has been the top-most choice for webmasters to get online with a powerful website. In this guide, I will show you the difference between Bootstrap 5 vs Bootstrap 4. So, let’s get started!

Bootstrap is an open-source framework which is there for quite some time now. Initially, developing responsive websites was a difficult task. But with the rise of this powerful yet easy-to-use framework, creating fully responsive websites has become way easier. All the users who use this comprehensive framework can easily access the basic structure of both HTML and CSS along with the several predefined classes. This will in turn help developers streamline the responsiveness of their websites. There are many Bootstrap framework versions available out there to use. It depends on your needs and requirement to decide which version of Bootstrap is the best fit for your business and website.

However, Bootstrap 3 and Bootstrap 4 were two of the most commonly used framework versions of Bootstrap. They were stable, efficient, and effective versions of this framework. And web developers quite liked these two versions a lot. Then what can be expected in the next version of the Bootstrap framework? Bootstrap 5 is the latest release of this framework. And it makes sense to chalk out the difference between Bootstrap 5 vs Bootstrap 4. This comparison will give you a clear idea of what your website needs and what exactly you should go with. So, let’s dive in!

What is Bootstrap?

Bootstrap

What is Bootstrap – Bootstrap is an open-source framework introduced in the year 2011. It is totally front-end focused and free to use for your web development. All the web applications that are designed using Bootstrap can flawlessly work with both Android and iOS. Bootstrap incorporates HTML and CSS-based design templates for forms, buttons, tables, navigation, modals, etc. It can be used to design the front end. Since the inception of Bootstrap, it has come out to be one of the best inventions in this digital world.

Bootstrap was originally named ‘Twitter Blueprint’. However, initially, it was launched to provide support consistency across internal tools. Because there were already some libraries that were being used to develop interfaces. Hence, the larger the number of libraries, the maximum the risk of getting inconsistencies. Seeing all these things, Mark Otto and a few of his colleagues came up with this open-source framework. So that everybody can use it and make their web app more useful. You may also use some of the best Bootstrap Editors and get started easily.

Why Use Bootstrap?

bootstrap

Bootstrap comes with the capability to make your web apps and website development quick. It comes with freedom for its users to create responsive designs that automatically adjust themself to look perfect and flawless across various devices from smartphones to large personal computers. There are multiple reasons that encourage you to make use of the Bootstrap framework for your next project. Here are some of them:

  • Bootstrap is a quick and easy-to-use framework. Whosoever has the basic knowledge of CSS and HTML can use Bootstrap without a hitch.
  • It comes with the mobile-first style approach.
  • It has an entirely responsive design that automatically adapts to any screen your web app is viewed on.
  • Bootstrap is extremely fast and freely available from its official link.
  • It gives you multi-browser compatibility. However, right from the Bootstrap version 4, it provides you compatibility with all updated versions of browsers. It is fully compatible with browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 10+, Safari, Edge, and Opera.

All these features were well-incorporated in Bootstrap 4 as well, then what is the need for Bootstrap 5? Why the Bootstrap developers have rolled out the new version of Bootstrap i.e. Bootstrap 5? Well, when a new update or a new version altogether is launched, it certainly contains some of the upgraded features, elimination of any of the obsolete functions, along with the addition of some new components to strengthen the process.

Let’s now thoroughly compare Bootstrap 5 vs Bootstrap 4 and see which one is more competent and able to create a  Bootstrap website that is fully professional-looking and feature-rich.

Here’s a Quick Preview of Bootstrap 5 Features

We will discuss all the newly added features to the Bootstrap 5 framework in detail later in the post. But here is a quick preview of Bootstrap 5 features, if you are in a little hurry. You may also check the Bootstrap cheatsheet and keep everything handy.

  • The Bootstrap 5 framework offers you responsive font sizes
  • It has an improved grid system
  • It has updated classes
  • jQuery removal and switching into JavaScript
  • The Bootstrap 5 framework offers a new SVG Icon library
  • Change of Unit measurement
  • Utilities API
  • Improved Doc
  • Drop Internet Explorer support
  • CSS custom properties
  • Bootstrap 5 has now a lot more colors

These are the new additions to the Bootstrap 5 framework. Let’s see what exactly you can do with Bootstrap 5.

The Bootstrap 4 framework came with the following features and additions.

  • The Global font size was increased from 14 pixels to 16 pixels.
  • The pager elements were dropped.
  • It switched from pixels to root ems.
  • The Glyphicons icon font was dropped.
  • The panel and the thumbnails were dropped.

Bootstrap 5 vs Bootstrap 4 Comparison

Let’s dig a little deeper now and see what Bootstrap 5 has to offer you over Bootstrap 4.

Comprehensive Color Palette

There are a lot of CSS frameworks that developers use and like. Generally, they use Tailwind that offers you a comprehensive set of color palettes. But with Bootstrap 5 has now come up with an expanded color palette to explore different shades for your projects. It has included more shades such as $blue-200, $blue-100, $blue-300, and so on up to $blue-900. With this wide color palette, you can customize the look and the feel of your web app without having to do anything extra. It gets simpler to override this color palette with your own color palette using the shades generator.

Browser Support

Keeping the browser support in mind, the latest version of Bootstrap supports versions of other platforms such as versions 6 and 7 for both Android as well as iOS. There are certain sections that are not correctly functional with mobile devices. Moreover, Bootstrap 5 comes with validators that are helpful when it comes to fixing browser bugs. However, validators are new functions that are nothing but CSS-enabled browser hacks to fix any browser-related issues.

Pulled Out Support for IE 10 and 11

With the release of Bootstrap 5, they have removed the support for IE 10 and 11. Microsoft is making efforts toward making the web experience seamless. Internet Explorer is there for ages, and it has served millions of people quite successfully. The Microsoft Edge has used the open-source Chromium engine that allows it to have all the modern JavaScript and CSS features that are compatible with the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. Bootstrap 5 has completely dropped the support for Internet Explorer 10 and 11.

Rather Bootstrap 5 supports Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers along with the latest version of Microsoft Edge browser. On the other hand, Firefox also contains the latest ESR version. No other type of web browsers supported.

Responsive Font Sizes

Bootstrap 5 framework includes RFS that enables fonts to change their size automatically according to the screen size. RFS is a unit resizing engine. It automatically analyzes the relevant font size depending on the screen size. Of course, by responsive font size, that means that the font size of your website font will be completely adaptable to any screen size it is seen on. It will be an overwhelming experience to create different websites for different platforms. You have to have a solution that works perfectly on every platform without having to modify it every time.

Therefore, in order to overcome this issue, web developers have come out with a solution i.e. media query that permits the page to render differently on different viewports. However, it was already there in Bootstrap version 4 but with Bootstrap version 5, it is enabled by default.

Change in Unit Measurements

With CSS, you get distinct types of unit measurements such as px, em, rem, vw, vh, and %. Of course, the px is a commonly used unit measurement term. However, the px measurement does not change with various screen sizes. Also, it is not at all an appropriate choice for responsive web design. Bootstrap 4 has been using the px measurement for its gutter width. Whereas, in Bootstrap 5, it has now been changed to rem or root em. The rem measurement term evaluates the font size of the root element and determines the size according to the root element. Mostly, it is 16 px for most of the browsers.

Enhanced Grid System

The grid system is the backbone of the Bootstrap framework. And with the latest Bootstrap 5 version, they have improved the grid system capabilities to a great level. The earlier versions of Bootstrap were limited in this area. But the newly enhanced grid system has added the extra extra large (XXL) grid tier to improve its ability. However, Bootstrap 4 already had a 12 column grid system. But with Bootstrap 5, they have taken many steps further and have introduced the all-new immensely large grid system. This huge grid system is perfectly suited for screens more than 1400px wide.

The Bootstrap 5 grid system can seamlessly adjust across all six default breakpoints. Also, with any custom breakpoint as well. However, the default six grid tiers are as follow:

  • Extra small (xs)
  • Small (sm)
  • Medium (md)
  • Large (lg)
  • Extra large (xl)
  • Extra extra large (xxl)

Furthermore, each of these breakpoints has its own unique class prefix, container, and modifiers.

Class Updates

In Bootstrap 4, there are over 1,500 CSS classes available. Whereas, in Bootstrap 5, some of the obsolete classes have been removed. And some new classes have been added to it. Well, that’s how the Bootstrap developers balance the overall productivity. The classes that are removed from Bootstrap 5 and that were there in Bootstrap 4 are:

Some of the CSS classes removed from Bootstrap 5 are as follows:

  • form-inline
  • form-row
  • form-deck
  • list-inline

Some of the CSS classes added to Bootstrap 5 are as follows:

  • .gy-* (These classes can be helpful to manage the vertical gutter widths)
  • .gx-* (These classes can be put to monitor the horizontal gutter widths)
  • .g-* (These classes can be helpful to manage the horizontal gutter widths)

Removal of Card Decks

In Bootstrap 4, if you wanted to set equal width and height cards that are not associated with each other, you had to use card decks. Whereas, in Bootstrap 5, the Bootstrap developers have removed the card decks. Because, the grid system in Bootstrap 5, you get more responsive control to manage things around. Hence, Bootstrap 5 has eliminated the redundant classes that are beautifully managed with the help of the new grid system.

Bootstrap 5 vs Bootstrap 4 Comparison (2024)

Key Differences  Bootstrap 5 Bootstrap 4
Grid System It has 6 default responsive tiers i.e. xs, sm, md, lg, xl, and xxl. It has 5 default responsive tiers i.e. xs, sm, md, lg, and xl.
Color Palette Bootstrap 5 has expanded color support. Bootstrap 4 has limited color support.
jQuery/JavaScript It has removed jQuery and switched to pure Vanilla JavaScript. It uses jQuery and other related plugins.
Internet Explorer Bootstrap 5 does not support Internet Explorer 10 and 11. Bootstrap 4 does support Internet Explorer 10 and 11 both.
Gutter It makes use .g* with font size in rem. It makes use of .glutter with font size in px.
Bootstrap Icon In Bootstrap 5 you will find its own SVG icons. Bootstrap 4 does not have its own SVG icons.
Card Deck Capability The card deck capability is no more there in Bootstrap 5. The card deck capability is used to set the width and height of a grid card.
Static Site Generator Bootstrap 5 makes use of Hugo software. Bootstrap 4 makes use of Jekyll software.
Utility API It lets you create your own utility classes using utility API. It doesn’t allow you to modify utility classes in Bootstrap 4.
Jumbotron Support It does not support Jumbotron. It supports Jumbotron.
Class Update The columns can not be placed relatively. In Bootstrap 4, the columns can be placed and positioned relatively.

Bootstrap 5 vs Bootstrap 4 – In Conclusion

With every new update or release, the Bootstrap framework rolls out many new features and advancements for the betterment of web development. This time in Bootstrap 5, it made improvements in several areas such as CSS, JS, Bundle, Modules, Components, important Global styles, Responsive meta tags, Box-sizing, and Reboot. While you compare Bootstrap 5 vs Bootstrap 4, you will see that the Bootstrap framework this time has come up with some of the incredible improvements and new additions to give you an even better online experience. Learning about Bootstrap vs Foundation may help you know which solution is better than the other.

If you are working on a web app or a single website, it’s worth switching to Bootstrap 5 from Bootstrap 4. Surely, your website will load faster and it will give you an amazing web experience. After going through the above discussion and learning about Bootstrap 5, what do you think about Bootstrap 5? Do you like it this way or do you want some other changes to it? If so, feel free to leave me a message below in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.