The Ultimate Guide to Bootstrap 5 Changes

Jun 29, 2020

The Bootstrap 5 alpha version has been released on June 16, 2020. You can check the official page for Bootstrap 5 alpha.

Bootstrap is a free and open-source most popular CSS framework for website and web applications. It contains CSS- and (optionally) JavaScript-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation, and other interface components.HTML- and CSS-based design templates for different components of a website or application such as models, forms, buttons, navigation, accordion, tabs, typography and other interface components with helpful JavaScript extensions. A bootstrap is a powerful tool for whatever type of website and web application you are trying to build.

The following are some of the expected changes in Bootstrap 5:

  • jQuery could get removed

    As we all know, Bootstrap has made this decision long before. The team had opened a pull request in 2017 aiming to remove jQuery entirely from bootstrap versions, and now in bootstrap 5 alpha it is done and replaced entirely.

  • Switch to Vanilla JavaScript
    JavaScript is currently dominating the modern web development community. Almost all modern web browsers on consoles, desktops, games, tablets, and mobile phones include JavaScript interpreters. Therefore, it's geared up to become the universal scripting standard of the global.  As a result, this will improve the size and weight of the files and libraries used by the framework.


  • Responsive Font Sizes (RFS)

    Bootstrap 5 alpha enables responsive font sizes by default. That will automatically resize the typography element according to the size of the user’s viewport through RFS engine or Responsive Font Sizes.

    As per RFS repository, RFS is a unit resizing engine. Furthermore, RFS offers the ability to resize every value for any CSS property with units, like padding, margin, box-shadow, or border-radius.

  • Enhanced grid system
    Bootstrap 5 alpha isn’t a complete departure from v4. Developers of the first alpha have made sure that everyone can be able to upgrade to this future version more easily.
    Here’s a rundown of what’s new in the grid system:
    • New grid tier: XXL ≥1400px
    • .gutter classes have been replaced with .g* utilities.
    • Vertical spacing classes.
    • Columns are no longer position: relative by default.
    • Form layout options are replaced with the new grid system.
    • Also, options for your grid gutter spacing are added.

           Here’s a quick example of how to use the new grid gutter classes:

<div class="row g-5">
  <div class="col">...</div>
  <div class="col">...</div>
  <div class="col">...</div>

  • Drop Internet Explorer 10 and 11 support

    Well, Internet Explorer was talk of the town when it was released as it was the only browser to support Java applets and CSS.

    Although it is no longer relevant with Chrome, Firefox, and Edge as it doesn’t support modern JavaScript standards and CSS properties anymore. Which limits your web design potential. Hence, Bootstrap 5 alpha decided to drop the support for IE 10 and 11.

  • Improved customizing docs
    There are some good improvisations in the documentation. Like, removing ambiguity,  giving more explanation, and providing much more support for extending Bootstrap. It all starts with a whole new Customize section.

    The color palette is expanded in v5, too. With an extensive color system built-in, you can more easily customize the look and feel of your app without leaving the codebase. There is an improvisation in color contrast, too.

    Also, they have provided color contrast metrics in Color docs. Hopefully, this will continue to help make Bootstrap-powered sites more accessible to folks all over.

  • The custom SVG icon library
    With Bootstrap 3, there were 250 reusable icon components in the font format called ‘Glyphicons”.  After that, with Bootstrap 4, it was scrapped. Because of that developers had to rely on free icon fonts or their SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) icons to add value to their web designs.
    However, with Bootstrap 5 alpha, they introduced a brand new SVG icon library, which adds a fresh touch. These icons are brilliantly crafted by @Mark Otto, co-founder of Bootstrap, himself.

  • Adding CSS custom properties

    As mentioned, Bootstrap 5 alpha has begun using CSS custom properties thanks to dropping support for Internet Explorer. In v4 there were only a handful of root variables for color and fonts, and now developers have added them for a handful of components and layout options.

    For example table component, there are a handful of local variables to make striped, hoverable, and active table styles easier

.table {
--bs-table-bg: #{$table-bg};
--bs-table-accent-bg: transparent;
--bs-table-striped-color: #{$table-striped-color};
--bs-table-striped-bg: #{$table-striped-bg};
--bs-table-active-color: #{$table-active-color};
--bs-table-active-bg: #{$table-active-bg};
--bs-table-hover-color: #{$table-hover-color};
--bs-table-hover-bg: #{$table-hover-bg}; // Styles here...


  • Improved Utilities API 

    Well, this is by far the most interesting aspect of Bootstrap 5 alpha.  A brand new utility API.

    By using the utility API from Bootstrap you have unlimited possibilities to create utility classes for positioning, spacing, sizing, and so on.

    For example, you will be able to easily expand the number of `m-*`, `p-*` classes, and so on without writing custom Sass code to expand them. Here’s an example showing us how the $ utility variable can be expanded by adding multiple values:

$utilities: () !default;
$utilities: map-merge(
    // ...
    "width": (
      property: width,
      class: w,
      values: (
        25: 25%,
        50: 50%,
        75: 75%,
        100: 100%,
        auto: auto
    // ...
    "margin": (
      responsive: true,
      property: margin,
      class: m,
      values: map-merge($spacers, (auto: auto))
    // ...
  ), $utilities);

We think this will be a game-changer for those who build on Bootstrap via source files, and if you haven’t built a Bootstrap-powered project that way yet, your mind will be blown. 


  • Migrating the documentation from Jekyll to Hugo
    If you know how WordPressDrupal, or Joomla works, then, you might be aware of how Jekyll works. Well, Jekyll is a free and open-source static site generator. Besides, it is useful to build websites with easy to use navigation, website components and generates all the content at once.

    However, Bootstrap 5 alpha is all set to step up its game and is switched to Hugo.  As it is a fast and flexible static site generator.

    One of the frustrating experiences of being a developer is reinventing the base HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for each project. While some prefer to write their code, it still makes sense to just use an existing framework like Bootstrap. With the all-new updates that came with Bootstrap 5 Alpha, We can surely say that the Bootstrap team is making very progressive steps to make the framework simple, lightweight, faster, useful, and more responsive for the developer’s benefit.



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Jay Ukani

About the Author

Jay Ukani

3+ years of professional experience in Web design and Front-end technologies. I've worked across various platforms like HTML5, SCSS, LESS, CSS3, Bootstrap, Foundation, Javascript, Jquery, Wordpress, CMS Portal, ERP Portal, ERM Portal, and many more.