How to Use Bootstrap: The Essentials - Growth Freaks

How to Use Bootstrap: The Essentials

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If you are interested in web development, even if it’s just tangentially, you must have heard about Bootstrap. Briefly, it’s the most popular CSS, HTML, and JS framework for responsive design. Many people use it for mobile first projects they develop. But how to use Bootstrap? Today we are going to find out more about the essentials when using this framework.

How to Use Bootstrap for Dummies

1. Do You Really Need It?

Before answering that question, let’s ask ourselves how useful can it be. Here are a couple of reasons why you should try your best to learn how to use Bootstrap:

  • Responsive design adapts your website to different screen sizes;
  • You can create a consistent design and code;
  • Prototype new designs;
  • Prevent any repetition between projects, etc.

Getting back to our main question, the answer would be that it’s not essential, but it could make your life so much easier.

2. Three Main Files

When learning how to use Bootstrap, you should know that it’s made of three main files:

  • A CSS framework – bootstrap.css;
  • A JavaScript/jQuery – bootstrap.js;
  • A font (icon font set) – glyphicons.

Moreover, you will need jQuery to make it work, which is a JavaScript library that adds a cross-browser compatibility and simplifies the process.

3. Get Started

Before beginning, you should have a code editor installed on your computer, as well as know how to use CSS and HTML. Then, you need to download the Bootstrap files. There are two versions to choose from: compiled Bootstrap and Bootstrap source files. In general, it’s better to use compiled Bootstrap files (which include CSS and JS files, plus minified CSS and JS) since you won’t need to include separate files for each individual functionality.

4. Create the First Web Page

Now that you understand the basic structure of Bootstrap, as well as the files that come with it, you can create your first web page. Here you have the steps you need to follow:

Create an HTML File

Open the code editor and create a new HTML file. Just start with an empty window, type the code you want and save it as basic.html on the desktop.

Make It a Bootstrap Template

If you want to make it a Bootstrap template, you only need to include the right CSS and JS files. Include the JavaScript files found at the bottom of the page. Do it before closing the <body> tag.

Save the File

Save the file on the desktop and name it “bootstrap-template.html”. All you need to do now is to add the jQuery library and then start developing a site or an app.

You can find more details about these first steps in the following tutorial:


Bootstrap may appear intimidating at first, but luckily, there are plenty of tutorials available to help you out. Check out the basic steps we presented above and try to create your first Bootstrap page. Remember that you need to know some CSS and HTML to get it done. If you don’t know them already, take the time to learn them separately. These skills are very useful and can help you boost your career.

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Author: Amanda Knowles