What is Bootstrap and why should I use it?
There are many reasons for using a framework such as Bootstrap. To begin with, it is fast to develop with. It allows you to utilise existing ready-made blocks of code which are already cross-browser compatible. It’s also designed to improve consistency of design language. Furthermore, it allows for simple but extensive customisation across all areas of the framework.
As the most popular web framework, Bootstrap also presents a great library of free and premium admin dashboard themes. These come in varying levels of complexity. The framework’s versatility, availability of resources, and ease-of-use separate it from other popular frameworks. As a result, it’s a particularly good choice for implementing an admin dashboard upon.
What is a dashboard?
Admin dashboards are an integral aspect of the modern web. Any service which offers a login typically requires an admin dashboard for the user to interact with the platform. By examining an example such as WordPress.com, we can break down exactly what purpose the dashboard serves.
When a user logs in on WordPress.com they are taken to a dashboard. From here they can manage all aspects of their website such as pages, post, and media.
In simple terms, an admin dashboard is a way for users to interact with a service or product through their unique account. Think of it like an extended settings page: you edit and manage all of your settings, options, details and more, all in one place.
What do people use dashboards for?
Like WordPress, thousands of other companies and startups use dashboards as a way for their users to interact with the product or service. While the general concept always remains the same, the individual uses for a dashboard vary widely between examples. This depends entirely on the company’s service or product. If we take Weebly, for example:
Their dashboard contains what is known as a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. It allows users to drag and drop elements to and from their site design in a highly visual manner. The dashboard also allows editing of pages, themes, and settings.
In another example such as Stripe, the dashboard is focused heavily on analytics, data, and events and logs. This results in a very different overall user interface design and user experience.
The comparison shows the wide range of applications for admin dashboards. It also highlights how the products and services have differing requirements and design directions to reflect this.
What makes a great dashboard?
A great dashboard is one that offers a high degree of usability and fits the desired use appropriately. As explained above, admin dashboards often do not fall into the one-size-fits-all category. Each case has different requirements and thus it’s important to consider this when choosing a premium template.
More specifically, a great dashboard:
- is responsive and incorporates brand elements
- uses suitable iconography for navigation items
- contains colored elements to indicate states
- has good contrast between design elements
- has a readily accessible user menu
Why should I use a template for my admin dashboard?
The frequent issue for startups and small companies is the high costs associated with building a complex admin dashboard user interface from scratch. The building of a dashboard from the ground up also requires an extensive amount of time and planning. Furthermore, it is subject to an extended period of testing and bug fixing. Such a project also needs a significant amount of human resource to develop.
Templates greatly simplify this process, bringing forward the launch date and reducing the overall project cost. The product can be launched faster and the excess time can be spent on easily customising the theme to the product’s specifications and requirements. The premium dashboard theme’s user interface will be designed to a high standard and thoroughly pre-tested for cross-browser and cross-device compatibility. This allows you and your team to focus time and effort on the more important aspects such as the core product or service itself.
What should I look for in a premium admin dashboard template?
There are a wide range of high quality premium Bootstrap admin dashboard themes. Therefore, it’s important to narrow these down to those which fit your product or service most appropriately. Look for the elements which will fit your product and be helpful for your users.
For example, a blogging platform will specifically need elements and widgets such as analytics, page editors, forms for site data, and file upload functionality. Conversely, a digital currency platform would require pricing charts, purchase and sale forms, and payment information sections.
More generally, it’s important to look at aspects which will make it quick and easy to edit the template on your end. This means features such as color themes, layout options, extra design elements such as pricing tables, and functionality like form wizards, file upload, and toast notifications. Also be sure to look at all the pages a theme includes. Many will include pages such as inbox, search results, calendar, shop, and coming soon, so ensure you cross-check your requirements with this list in the theme details.
It’s also crucial to look at the theme from a user experience aspect. You’ll want it to be simple and easy for the end user to use and navigate. Look for good contrast, consistent typography, responsiveness, cross-platform compatibility, clear icons, adequately sized buttons, hover states, and other elements which contribute to the overall ease of use.
Where can I find the best premium admin dashboard templates for Bootstrap?
We are going to walk through a hand-picked selection of the very best premium dashboard templates available for your next web project.
Aside combines extensive functionality with beautiful light and dark themes, and simple, bright data elements.
One of the most visually impressive templates, Datta implements a card-based system to allow for infinite layout customization. It contains sign up, login, settings, and checkout flows, as well as the source Sketch file for further edits.
Doodle is a responsive template utilizing Sass and a modular design. It allows for easy customization and contains six different dashboards as well as a vast number of ready-to-use apps and widgets.
Employing a beautifully clean user interface, SimpleAdmin is fully responsive and easy to customize. The code is easy to edit with extensive documentation and support for Sass.
Flatkit presents a dashboard template with multiple themes, and six pre-built layouts. Visually, the dark and black themes are particularly impressive, combining excellent user interface components with the latest versions of Bootstrap and AngularJS.
Built upon Google’s Material guidelines, Metrika combines AngularJS with the power of Bootstrap, allowing for easy layout customization and material component combinations. The template sources complex charts from powerful libraries including D3, Morris charts, Flot charts, Sparkline charts, and Chart JS.
Zircos combines impressive flat design visuals with 500+ customizable pages including error pages and a stylish pricing page. The code is formatted to allow for modular design and ease of building any type of admin dashboard for a web application.
ProUI emphasizes simplicity while offering the ability to replicate and extend pages and user interface components with ease. It’s most suitable for an admin project such as admin panels, admin dashboards, and content management systems.
Milestone offers multiple layout options and features to build an admin dashboard. The clean, Google-esque design encompasses multiple reusable components, plugins, and pre-set layouts ready to use.
AppUI is fully responsive and built specifically with developers in mind, and focuses on optimal user experience and speed. The package also includes source PSD files, email templates, and detailed documentation.
Utilizing Bootstrap 4, jQuery, and LESS CSS, StartUI comes ready with a range of ready-to-use components suitable for any admin dashboard project. The colorful template is fully responsive and built specifically for ease of use on mobile devices.
Adminto’s clean user interface makes beautiful use of the 1700+ included icons and stands out against the colorful integrated widgets. With over 55 pages, including error pages, Adminto is a stunning and well-rounded Bootstrap solution for building an admin dashboard.
Webarch combines a beautiful, simple design with trusted functionality and over 100 widgets and over 20 components. The pages are quick and easy to edit and can be simply customized to align with brand elements.
Kenny Admin is based on a modular design for easy customization. The design is clean and modern, and includes some of the most visually-outstanding user interface and widget components around.
DashBee includes 16 responsive screens with various layout arrangements. The polished design includes beautiful gradient-based stat components and data sections, along with free vector icons, fonts, and PSD source files.