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Beginner's Guide to WordPress Bootstrap

January 12, 2022

More than 90 percent of internet users get online using their mobile devices at least some of the time. In fact, the average smartphone user spends 5-6 hours on their phones on a daily basis — and that doesn’t even include stuff related to work.

Since smartphones are that widely used, it’s essential for you to make your website mobile friendly. WordPress users have numerous mobile responsive themes and plugins that allow them to present their web content on screens of all sizes.

However, you can also build your own mobile-friendly WordPress theme using Bootstrap. It’s a free mobile-first framework you can integrate into your WordPress installation.

Keep reading to learn what Bootstrap is, its benefits, and how to use WordPress Bootstrap.

What is WordPress Bootstrap?

Frameworks are basic structures you can use as the foundation to build a website and adjust it according to your own preferences and needs. They provide you with quality code already, so you don’t have to code from scratch. Frameworks make the entire process much quicker and more accurate.

Now, what is WordPress Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is a fully designed front-end framework that makes developing your mobile responsive site fast and easy. In other words, it’s like a skeleton to build websites. Bootstrap includes a set of CSS and HTML — elements that help you create custom features like navigation bars, buttons, and typography.

It also works with plenty of optional JavaScript plugins for a responsive layout and better functionality. Both WordPress and Bootstrap are free. You can download and customize them, knowing they are widely accepted and supported by a community of developers.

Bootstrap vs WordPress: What’s the Difference?

Bootstrap is an open source framework based on HTML (for structure), CSS (for presentation), and JavaScript (for interactivity). It’s actually the most popular framework when it comes to building responsive, mobile-first websites quickly and easily. Bootstrap comes as a powerful and uniform solution developers can use to build an interface.

WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) written on PHP, where users can build their own blogs and websites. It’s a tool that helps you manage the media files and folders. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world.

WordPress is a widely used solution because it’s relatively easy to use and allows a user to manage, update, and customize the site from its back-end CMS and components. It provides numerous useful plugins, together with a highly flexible interface that reduces both your costs and time.

Bootstrap doesn’t have features of the pre-existing theme, while WordPress offers plenty of them to help you create your very own dynamic site. To develop a site on Bootstrap, you need to be familiar with coding as well as have strong knowledge of HTML and CSS. In WordPress, on the other hand, you don’t need to know this.

Bootstrap is based on a grid system where you adjust the web pages on different sections of your site. When it comes to WordPress, you’ll mostly drag and drop features you want to use for the website. Also, unlike Bootstrap, WordPress is SEO friendly.

Can I Use Bootstrap in WordPress?

Bootstrap can be used in various applications as well as WordPress theme development. You can easily hook it to the CMS, plus it provides predefined classes that help developers with creating custom, responsive WordPress themes rather fast.

You can develop a WordPress theme with Bootstrap from scratch, customize an existing one, or simply create a theme using only HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Either way, you’ll have all it takes to create a unique and functional WordPress site.

To make the most out of Bootstrap, you need jQuery. It’s a popular JavaScript library that makes JavaScript compatible across different browsers as well as supports its plugins.

The Benefits of Using WordPress Bootstrap

It’s Bug-Free & Works Across All Browsers

Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge — these are just some of the browsers people across the world use when searching the Internet. Tools you use need to make your website available across various browsers. Bootstrap is an excellent framework where you won’t experience browser incompatibility.

It Makes the Web Development Process Faster

The less time you spend on building your website, the slimmer your bill will be. Bootstrap takes a lot of routine work off the shoulders of web developers, which means they don’t have to deal with media queries, fonts, or layout. That way, they remain free to work on custom features without getting distracted by regular technicalities.

It Helps You Meet Specific Requirements of Your Business

One of the best things about Bootstrap is that although it’s a framework, it is not set in stone. It’s like you go shopping — you go to a shop and get to choose the things you like. Similarly, Bootstrap allows a user to pick the preferred elements and create their own custom library.

You Won’t Get Lost in a Bunch of Different Plugins

When creating a website, you’ll probably include plenty of interactivity features. Still, if you add too many of them, you could experience browser issues, version mismatches, and some other potential issues. Bootstrap has plenty of built-in jQuery elements you can smoothly integrate with your website.

3 Popular WordPress Bootstrap Themes

Here are some of the most popular WordPress Bootstrap themes you might like to check.

1. WP Bootstrap Starter

WP Bootstrap Starter theme is an excellent starting point for any WordPress project. It's a free and highly customizable solution, based on the Bootstrap framework. It’s a lightweight solution that comes with numerous different page templates such as full-width, left sidebar, right sidebar (the default), and blank with/without a container.

Each template has a branded link with the title “Bootstrap WordPress Theme” in the footer — but, of course, you can remove it if you want.

Also, to make the theme your very own, you can use WooCommerce, Elementor, Contact Form 7, or some other compatible WordPress plugin.

2. Shapely

Shapely is a great choice for your business or landing page sites. It will provide you with features you need to showcase your website, including widgets for adding a portfolio, products, services, clients, shop, etc.

It's a tool developed using Bootstrap 3 and it has a 12-column grid layout excellent for displaying projects, posts, and products on the page. Coupled with that, it’s quite responsive and will help you create a website optimized for iPhones, iPads, Androids, and other devices.

3. Evolve

If you want your WordPress website to look professional, there’s an excellent multipurpose theme called Evolve. It’s a great solution, whether you’re looking for something for a personal blog or a business site.

Evolve is based on the Bootstrap and Kirki framework, which is a rather popular customizer tool. It’s a flexible and customizable theme where you can find plenty of blog layouts, header layouts, slider options, widget areas, and other useful features.

How to Integrate Bootstrap With Your WordPress Site in 5 Steps

Here are five simple steps to integrate Bootstrap with your WordPress website.

1. Unload Bootstrap

Before you start using Bootstrap, you’ll need to enable a hosting account. Choose your web host to be able to properly use and customize your website. After you do that, download Bootstrap. Unzip it and connect it to the server through an FTP program.

Go to wp-content, then choose Themes. While there, make a new folder and upload the content from the unzipped files in the folder. Don’t forget you’ll need the standard files header.php, index.php, footer.php, and style.css for everything to work properly.

2. Configure Bootstrap

In the folder with the uploaded content, open the style.css and configure it according to the setup of your site. This way you’ll be able to personalize your theme’s description which will help your site stand out.

3. Copy The Code

Copy the code from the bootstrap.min.css and paste it in the style.css file. This will allow you to stylize the interface the way you prefer.

4. Set Up the HTML Template

An excellent way to set up the HTML of your website is to have a well-set template where you only have to make small changes to get what you really want.

When it comes to WordPress, the built-in functions get_header() and get_footer() are respective to the header.php and footer.php files that are a part of your page’s design.

Cut the top of the HTML code until the first div line. Paste the code into the header.php file. Now you’ll have the rest of the code in the footer.php file. Go to the index.php file and then paste this code there:

<?php get_header(); ?>
<?php get_footer(); ?>

This is how you’ll activate them. Now, you’ll have the header and footer features loaded on your site — but, there won’t be any styling.

5. Set the Header & Footer Elements

Add the Bootstrap stylesheet in the header.php file with one of the WordPress functions called echo get_stylesheet_uri(). Now, import the style.css into your site, and you’ll see it displaying a top menu bar.

Still, you need to take more steps to activate the changes you’ve made to your website. To make it all work properly, import the JS files of the preferred template in the footer.php. Now, paste the code before you get to close the body tag.

<script src=”../wp-content/themes/(name of the template folder/js/bootstrap.min.js”></script>

At this point, your header and footer should be working. In this phase, you can go to WordPress settings and stylize everything the way you want.

Power Your WordPress Site With Fully Managed Hosting From Nexcess

WordPress hosting is a form of website hosting that provides both storage and access to a site. It’s simple to use because it provides plenty of different features that help you design a unique website for your business.

Nexcess offers managed WordPress hosting and has numerous hosting packages you can design according to your business needs. We’ll take care of the technical aspects and make sure your website stays secure, scalable, and high performing.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

Aaron Binders