Wells and panels are great features of Bootstrap to help set your content apart from the rest of the page and make it more visually attractive to your visitors. Although they are rather similar, it is important to know which element to use in different situations.
A well is a simple element that basically puts your content in a little inset, making it look like it has been placed in a shallow “well”. Here is what a well looks like:
To create a well, simply use the following:
Wrapping any element in a container class will create greater margins on the left and right sides of the element, providing for a cleaner look. Removing the outer div will allow the well to take up the entire width of your page. Wells can also be larger or smaller than the default shown above by adding either the “well-lg” or “well-sm” classes to your element :
A panel is similar to a well in that it is an element that holds content to set it apart from the rest of the page. What makes a panel different from a well is that panels can include headers and footers. To create a panel, type the following:
The heading and the footer divs of the panel are optional and need not be included. The code above represents the default panel, which looks like this:
The panel element includes six built classes that change the color of the panel depending on the chosen situation. To use one, just replace the “panel-default” class with one of the following:
I did not include the footers in the panels above because they do not change color based on the class. They are intended to be background information for the panel, and not included with the styling of its content. Footers can also be placed above or below the body and header, although the most common place for it is at the bottom of the panel.
As you can see, wells and panels are similar elements for displaying content, but panels allow us to achieve extra functionality through the inclusion of headers and footers. I hope this helps identify the difference between these elements so you make sure to choose the right tool for the job.