Retrofitting with Bootstrap

Hi Guys,
Can someone advise me on what’s required to retrofit a website with bootstrap?
Is it just a matter of adding the files and enqueueing them in functions.php?

Or is it better to just use Media Queries and regular CSS?

Any help appreciated.

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Main advantage of Bootstrap is a great grid system and a huge set of ready-made components and widgets. It only consists of HTML blocks of code, JavaScript and LESS/CSS. Queueing these files into functions.php (Is that WordPress?) would do little to help you as there is no PHP code involved. What you can do next depends on your goal:

  • Do you want just to make your site responsive? It might be easier to just tweak your existing code with plain CSS and custom media queries tailored to your setup.
  • Do you want to redesign? You can start with bootstrap from the grounds up, taking advantage of both the rapid prototyping features and the huge community of contributors. For WordPress there are also countless themes, either free or premium. Be careful with the free ones (or free versions of premium themes taken from third party sites) as they often contain hidden code that can make your life miserable.

Can you post a link to your website and state what your end goal is?

As Adrian said it depends on what the reasons for the change are?

It’s quite hard to force a site into a bootstrap framework because its all controlled by the html and its grid format etc. If you just want access to the widgets and pre-built bootstrap components then yes you can use bootstrap but you are adding a lot of code if you are not going to use it fully.

If you just want responsive then use media queries and tailor the existing design.

At some point you need to decide whether this a re-design or a modification. If you want to use bootstrap then I would start with a new design rather than retro-fitting. Sometimes it takes longer to convert some sites to responsive that it would to be create new templates but on very large sites you don’t always have that option.

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I have gone some way down the track using Bootstrap with this site and I really like the stable look and ready made styles and components that BS offers.
My challenge is to convert my client wordpress sites to responsive (and get them to pay into the bargain - wish me luck :worried:
Paul I take your point about asking the question is it a modification or a re-design and I guess for expedience the answer is modification.
BTW do you guys have a killer pitch for selling either a redesign or conversion to responsive?

I usually say that when you retro-fit you get a ‘best-fit’ but when you re-design you get a ‘perfect-fit’. It all depends on what the criteria and budget is as to which way you go.

A ‘best-fit’ approach is OK if the client leaves you alone so that you can fit things as best as possible (and that the mark up allows without changing everything). However some clients are so intent on taming every pixel that you can’t use that approach because every choice you make they query.


Sounds like the standard dilemma designers face. Thanks for your thoughts.

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