How to Incorporate Bootstrap’s Latest Version into Your WordPress Custom Theme

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Bootstrap is a popular front-end framework that provides a wide range of CSS and JavaScript components for building responsive and mobile-first websites. If you’re developing a custom WordPress theme and want to use Bootstrap, you’ll need to incorporate it into your theme’s code. In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps for adding Bootstrap’s latest version to your WordPress custom theme, how to add Bootstrap classes to native WordPress PHP functions, how to add rows and columns within the header and pages, and how to add the jQuery needed to get the Bootstrap menu to work.

Step 1: Download Bootstrap

The first step is to download Bootstrap’s latest version from the official website at You can choose to download the complete package, which includes both CSS and JavaScript files, or you can download just the CSS or JavaScript files if you prefer.

Step 2: Add Bootstrap Files to Your Theme

Once you’ve downloaded Bootstrap, you’ll need to add the necessary files to your WordPress custom theme. Create a new folder in your theme directory and name it “bootstrap”. Then, copy the downloaded CSS and JavaScript files into this folder.

Step 3: Enqueue Bootstrap Scripts and Styles

To use Bootstrap in your WordPress theme, you’ll need to enqueue the CSS and JavaScript files in your theme’s functions.php file. Here’s an example of how to do this:
					function mytheme_enqueue_scripts() {
    wp_enqueue_style( 'bootstrap-css', get_template_directory_uri() . '' );
    wp_enqueue_script( 'bootstrap-js', get_template_directory_uri() . '', array( 'jquery' ), '5.0.0', true );
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'mytheme_enqueue_scripts' );


Note that these functions should be added to your WordPress theme’s functions.php file.

This code adds the Bootstrap CSS and JavaScript files to your theme and ensures that they’re loaded in the correct order. It also includes jQuery as a dependency for the Bootstrap JavaScript file.

Step 4: Use Bootstrap Classes in Your Theme

Once you’ve enqueued the Bootstrap files in your WordPress custom theme, you can start using Bootstrap classes in your HTML markup. For example, you can use the “container” class to create a responsive container for your content:

					<div class="container">
    <h1>Hello, World!</h1>
    <p>This is my WordPress custom theme using Bootstrap.</p>


In addition to using Bootstrap classes in your HTML markup, you can also add them to native WordPress PHP functions like wp_nav_menu(), the_content(), and the_post_thumbnail(). To do this, you can use the $args parameter to add the classes to the output.

For example, to add the “nav-item” class to the menu items in your header navigation, you can use the following code:

					wp_nav_menu( array(
    'menu_class' => 'navbar-nav',
    'container_class' => 'collapse navbar-collapse',
    'container_id' => 'navbarNavDropdown',
    'menu_id' => 'main-menu',
    'walker' => new Bootstrap_Nav_Walker(),
    'items_wrap' => '<ul class="%2$s">%3$s</ul>',
    'depth' => 3,
    'add_li_class'  => 'nav-item',
) );

This code uses the “add_li_class” parameter to add the “nav-item” class to each menu item.

Step 5: Add jQuery Code for Bootstrap Menu

To make the Bootstrap menu work in your WordPress custom theme, you’ll need to add some jQuery code to your theme’s JavaScript file. Here’s an example of how to do this:
					jQuery(function($) {
    $(document).ready(function() {
        $('.navbar-nav li.dropdown').hover(function() {
            $(this).find('.dropdown-menu').first().stop(true, true).delay(250).slideDown();

        }, function() {
            $(this).find('.dropdown-menu').first().stop(true, true).delay(100).slideUp();


        $('.navbar-nav li.dropdown > a').click(function() {
            location.href = this.href;

This code adds the necessary jQuery to activate the dropdown functionality for the menu items. It also adds a click event to the parent link to allow users to follow the link to the parent menu item.

Step 6: Add Rows and Columns within the Header and Pages

To add rows and columns within the header and pages, you can use Bootstrap’s grid system. Here’s an example of how to create a row with two columns in your header:

    <div class="container">
        <div class="row">
            <div class="col-sm-6">
                <!-- Left column content here -->
            <div class="col-sm-6">
                <!-- Right column content here -->

This code creates a row with two columns, each taking up 50% of the available space on screens that are at least 576 pixels wide (the col-sm-6 class). To add rows and columns within your pages, you can use the same markup as above, but adjust the column classes as needed. For example, if you wanted a row with three equal-width columns, you could use the following markup:
					<div class="container">
    <div class="row">
        <div class="col-md-4">
            <!-- Column 1 content here -->
        <div class="col-md-4">
            <!-- Column 2 content here -->
        <div class="col-md-4">
            <!-- Column 3 content here -->

This code creates a row with three equal-width columns on screens that are at least 768 pixels wide (the col-md-4 class).


Incorporating Bootstrap into your WordPress custom theme can provide you with a range of useful components and functionality for building a responsive and mobile-friendly website. By following the steps outlined in this post, you can easily add Bootstrap to your theme, use Bootstrap classes in your HTML markup and PHP functions, add the necessary jQuery for the menu, and add rows and columns within your header and pages.

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Packy Savvenas
Packy Savvenas

Packy Savvenas is a senior web designer that helps online businesses achieve their goals by creating and developing websites that reach more customers and sell more products.