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The Structure of a Modern VueJS-Based SPA with Bootstrap

07 March, 2021
Last updated at 11 March, 2021.

Use the VueJS Framework to create a single page application for desktop as well as mobile usage.

Jenyus CEO & Frontend Developer


In this blog we will explain the process by referencing one of Jenyus' projects. The prototype project of the Alte Kanti Aarau, Spesen-App, which offers the schools teachers an efficient, easy-to-use application. This includes the use of the app on desktops, laptops and mobile phones.

What is VueJS?

VueJs is a Javascript Framework to create, manage and deploy Single page applications. Vue, as it is also often referred to, is in contrast to other Javascript frameworks an easy to adopt, easy to expand on library. Its basis focuses on the frontend only and does not support a heavy backend or state management, but instead offers great support for the integration of the Vuex state manager and the VueRouter router packages, two of the must have packages for a bigger, more functional application.

What is Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is a responsive CSS component framework. It is widely accepted in the Webdev community as a support frontend toolkit. Its goal is to make the styling experience of a developer as short as possible, as it can act as a blackhole for time. Its predefined classes make styling much more intuitive, quick and modern looking.

Why VueJS?

As the project is not a huge one, and needs to be setup and deployed as quickly as possible, we at Jenyus Org opted to create the prototype in Vue for many of the same reasons as listed above. This decision was not taken lightly as the Team has experience in coding with a variety of frameworks, yet we defined crucial requirements to be best fit with Vue such as:

Easy Prototyping

In Vue it is especially easy to create prototypes. The Spesen-App is one of the projects, which first needed approval of the schools administrative board. This means we needed to create a prototype to showcase the superiority of the app asap.


As the requirements of the app were not fully defined at the start of development, it was especially important to us to choose a framework, which supports us in expanding the project.

For these reasons we settled on using the VueJS framework for creating the Spesen-App. Both the Jenyus CTO, RaviAnand Mohabir, and I enjoy coding in Vue, as it is intuitive and offers a calming experience in an otherwise hasty project.

Why Bootstrap?

To know why Bootstrap is the superior styling framework in this context, it is important to recall, what the requirements of the project are.

Easy Prototyping

Bootstrap has many ready-made components and supports creating good looking, modern styles in a matter of minutes.


By offering access to the Bootstrap classes the styles are in no way bound, and are replaced, added upon and removed as quickly as setup with Bootstrap.

Setting up the Boilerplate

Vue is wonderful for boilerplating, as the Vue CLI can take care of creating a well setup, customised boilerplate.

As is usual with Vue the CLI is highly intuitive.

vue create spesen-app Please pick a preset: Default ([Vue 2], babel, eslint) Default (Vue 3 Preview) ([Vue 3], babel, eslint) > Manually select features Please pick a preset: Manually select features Check the features needed for your project: (*) Choose Vue version (*) Babel ( ) Typescript ( ) Progressive Web App (PWA) Support ( ) Router ( ) Vuex ( ) CSS Pre-processors (*) Linter / Formatter ( ) Unit Testing ( ) E2E Testing

Now the Spesen-App does not require specialties like Typescript, Unit Testing or E2E Testing as those plugins are overkill for a quickly needed solution like the Spesen-App.

As the Spesen-App is supposed to be a easy access, easy-to-use Application for the teachers of Alte Kanti. We will need the plugins Progressive Web App (PWA) Support, Router and Vuex, which sets up a nice boilerplate. An argument to be had is, if the CSS Pre-processors plugin should be added as well. We do not choose the plugin, as the node-sass plugin often has issues with Vue 2, the used Vue version for this project.

All this could also be achieved by downloading the the plugins one by one and implementing the essentials by hand, but why take the hard way when the Vue CLI can do all that for us anyway.

Please pick a preset: Manually select features Check the features needed for your project: (*) Choose Vue version (*) Babel ( ) Typescript (*) Progressive Web App (PWA) Support (*) Router (*) Vuex ( ) CSS Pre-processors (*) Linter / Formatter ( ) Unit Testing ( ) E2E Testing Please pick a preset: Manually select features Check the features needed for your project: Choose a version of Vue.js that you want to start the project with 2.x 3.x (Preview) Please pick a preset: Manually select features Check the features needed for your project: Choose a version of Vue.js that you want to start the project with 2.x Use history mode for router? (Requires proper server setup for index fallback in production) (Y/n)

The history mode of the Vue Router is required so the default hash mode is disabled. The hash mode reloads the page on url changes, which is highly unfavourable in combination with the Vuex store as the store refreshes on reloads as well. There is an issue with this kind of routing. If there is no valid server configuration and the user opens a url indirectly, meaning by not building the route up from the index page, like by clicking on a link. The server interprets the link, which should in fact be correct and load, as a missing page and rewrites the url to Error404.

We now only need to add Bootstrap and we are done with the boilerplate. Even though Bootstrap is a CSS Framework, it needs source code to run, which is installable through the Node Package Manager (npm).

npm install vue bootstrap bootstrap-vue

Once installed the framework will need to be added to the boilerplate. Register the framework in the main.js file by adding this.

import { BootsrapVue } from "bootstrap-vue"; import "bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.css"; import "bootstrap-vue/dist/bootstrap-vue.css"; Vue.use(BootstrapVue);

Project Setup

The Node Package Manager (npm), as used for the installation of Bootstrap before, downloads packages which contain a lot of data, which would be hard to manage and implement without it. The problem is, these packages, as mentioned, are huge and can clog your progress for literal hours when they are processed (Pasted, Compressed, Decompressed). To circumvent this issue npm writes the package names into a project file called package.json. When a new party receives this file the Manager will be able to read the required package names and download them on that party' computer.

It is important when using the Node Package Manager (npm) with GitHub for anything, not just Vue, to always add the node_modules folder, which contains the downloaded code, to the .gitignore.

# Other ignores node_modules/

The npm command to install these packages mentioned in the package.json file is:

npm install

It's time to start coding and using the boilerplate. As Vue is a Frontend Framework we highly advise on sketching at least some functionality before starting development. We use Figma to plan out detailed pages in mobile and desktop view.

To have a live preview of the code we can use another npm command.

npm run serve

npm run serve opens a new localhost port and loads the website into it, making it a live preview. This is made exclusively for developers and should not be used to deploy the website.

To deploy the website on a server npm thought of another command.

npm run build

The most obvious difference between the two is, that the build command does not open a localhost port and showcase the project. It instead reads all the installed packages and fully loads them. serve on the other hand just taps into the packages whenever it needs something.

Important to understand is, that these commands are utterly useless if not specified in the package.json file of the project. The good news is, by using the Vue CLI for the boilerplating, the file already contains these commands.

As is implied by the need to specify, these commands are not by any means the only options a developer has. Check out the npm commands list for more ideas. NPM Commands

In the Spesen-App we opted for another manager, the yarnpkg manager. The functionality is the same but yarn has a better dependency resolver, which means if two packages have the same dependency it is less likely to break due to overruling one or the other.


The best thing about using a design framework like Bootstrap is the intuitive way of implementing design ideas. There is no need to ever type out huge style classes, which in the end do not fit the design anyway. Bootstrap supports every imaginable UI component to implement it directly in the page without writing a single line of CSS. But that is not all Bootstrap has to offer. Its utilities can also take off a huge junk of work.


An example of the implementation of a Bootstrap component is the usage of the Button. In registering Bootstrap globally before the basis is already set. We can simply access the library' components. In the case of the button. The html looks as follows:


Using the utilities is not as simple. It does not use a component but instead taps into the CSS of the specified component. We can do virtually everything regular CSS can do but much more efficient, like for example this flex box with a padding of 2px and spread out content.

<div class="d-flex p-2 justify-content-between"> <span>Hello</span> <span>World</span> </div>

Bootstrap shares its documentation online and lists every available Component and Utility on it.

Closing Words

VueJS is a must know framework, as it is well supported by the community, easy to learn and intuitive too. Yet I do believe there are better options like React for bigger projects. This leaves Vue with a great niche. The small applications and those who focus on a quick deployment, just like the prototype.