RSD Newbie - Bootstrap 3, 4, or...

User 2351765 Photo

Registered User
2 posts

Hi Everyone,

I am completely new to RSD and am not sure where to start. I am sure this would have been covered before but I couldn't find anything.

My question is what are the differences between the frameworks and how would I know which is best. I have very basic knowledge of html and even less of CSS. What am I best to start with? I know I should really learn html and css properly. I have previously bought a copy of the CC html editor with the intention of coding from scratch but I haven't had chance so far. Is it better to learn html and css first?

Any advice would be most welcome.

User 235071 Photo

Registered User
110 posts

Initially you'll probably find it a very steep learning curve learning HTML/CSS, especially using RSD.
I first learnt over 20 years ago, but not as a computer programmer or web designer --- i.e., apart from my own static (as opposed to database-driven / dynamic content) sites.
(as a newbie you probably won't need to know too much about different versions -- just that it's best to stay with one version, and one Framework, per project -- so if you come across a Bootstrap 3 that's really providing what you want, work with Bootstrap 3, same with Bootstrap 4 templates -- the latest version, still in Alpha? -- check on GetBootstrap; Foundation latest version 6, check out Zurb Foundation).

There's a good case to be made for RSD helping / making you learn HTML / CSS. In the end, though, you'll probably end up learning all three -- RSD / HTML / CSS through the process of using the program -- all builders "promise" this, and they vary by how much this is facilitated -- some are good, automatic, little to need any code, but stranglingly inflexible in many ways, just because they don't give you much access to code. Some give you more direct access to the code, but have fewer pre-built elements / components, so less ability to rapidly build visual designs -- CC's kinda in the middle, at least imho.
Unfortunately, the CC User Guides are a real pain, and there's no sign they'll ever be improved, so it's a case of (forced) learning-by-doing. Along the way you'll get access to the Foundation Framer and Bootstrap Builder User Guides, along with that for RSD. There's a variety of sources off-site for learning about the differences between Bootstrap and Foundation, and I recommend you seek those out. Put simplistically, Bootstrap is more constrained, more tied to x-grid (vertical-style) grid; more pre-built; more prone to "cookie-cutter" style designs; while Foundation more x-y grid (check off-site explanations of what these terms mean), and hence generally more flexible, and "creative". It's true that RSD enables you to do SOME things with both Bootstrap and Foundation, but what their differences are, both inside RSD and in the outside world, isn't clearly laid out onsite, but in order for CC to develop RSD (itself really a "framework" -- a way of expressing and working with the design rules for developing responsive designs using a set of pre-defined classes of the visual style of the site -- the whole point of web development in recent years has been the separation of content and style (more pre-defined styles for Bootstrap than for Foundation, which enables you to define more of your own -- the tech gurus onsite will chastise me for these over-simplified attempted explanations -- but you won't need to know the finer points yourself for quite a while probably, if you're just getting into this non-professionally) they've had to operate within certain constraints, which are not well explained, but by the same token they've some great examples, with code, so it's clear you'll still be able to develop some exciting sites.

I haven't done much development for several years so am experiencing a really challenging time learning to use RSD -- I find it easier to read and modify code developed using other easier, but more constrained, builders (some even free!), but if you're not that familiar with code you'll have to follow the (mainly) learning-by-doing approach BUT!! there're some really great people here on the user forums eager to help you -- won't be me so much, since I'm still learning / re-learning, but jump in and have a go with the templates provided.

But I think one (two) of the really important things to keep in mind when you're starting off is /are
(i) to have a VERY clear idea of what it is you want to do BEFORE YOU EVER TOUCH THE PROGRAM (except to look around a lot at templates, in and out of the program) and at other people's
(ii) have a go yourself, and be sure to seek out feedback / guidance from others as you go.
(lastly no one tool, or company, will provide all the answers you need).

Have a ball!
User 122279 Photo

Senior Advisor
11,631 posts
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Hi Richard,
To most of us here RSD seemed a bit overwhelming, to begin with. But once you have a go at it, it is actually not so difficult.
You have two frameworks to choose among, Bootstrap and Foundation. Most people here in this forum use Foundation, so if you need help, you are likely to get more, and faster help if you go for Foundation too.
The two frameworks are built up in the same way, in rows and columns, but the built-in classes are different. I'd say try to learn one of them and stick with it for a while, otherwise, you might get confused.
A good approach would be to check out the themes that come with the programme. You can change out colours, images and content, and that way you may have a site up fairly quickly. The easiest theme is the 'Visions'. Try that first, even though you might want a different one for your site. 'Visions' has the basic elements that you will need, also for more sophisticated sites. And remember, that you need to start building and designing for phone-size screens first, and then gradually reorganize the content so that it also fits on larger screens. If you get stuck, just holler! ;)
Ha en riktig god dag!
Inger, Norway
My new honey site, built with RFF:
Component sharing for RFF, RBB, RSD and SD:

User 235071 Photo

Registered User
110 posts

Now might be a good time to what be becoming "the" standard for the future (at least given my currently limited understanding), facilitated for users of CC products by the currently very cheap prices for CSS Grid Builder.
Bootstrap is pretty much involved with Flexbox -- a 1-dimensional system; Grid Builder with 2 dimensions (as I mentioned, as for Foundation). Along these lines, I have recently come across these articles, offsite, which could explain some of the underlying concepts for you -- might be a bit "academic" - spent too many years at University :-(

and especially this one … uide-grid/" class="bb-url"> … uide-grid/

and go with Inger, as you can see she's written a lot on these products :-D
User 2351765 Photo

Registered User
2 posts

Thank you both so much for your time. I really do appreciate your help and advice. Eventually I would like to design sites for other people but that's way down the line. I now have an idea of what bootstrap and foundation are. I think based upon your replies and the support available I'll have a go with foundation and see how I get on.

I am just about to check out those links, thanks Russell.
I'm sure I'll be back on the forum when I get stuck :-)
User 2844004 Photo

Registered User
193 posts

The fact that Foundation is very well documented and offers loads of feedback and showcases online makes me choose for Foundation every single time. I'm not a wizard of any kind on this, but the documentation and vids offered at Zurb makes RSD/Foundation web site development a breeze.

If only Coffeecup would make it possible to structure websites by using folders to create levels ...

– Richard
Ontwerpzaam | Papendrecht, The Netherlands
27" iMac i5 3.1GHz / 32GB RAM / 4TB SSHD / 1GB VRAM - macOS 10.12.6 Sierra
Switched from Softpress' Freeway to Coffeecup Responsive Design software

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