How to Convert Your Bootstrap Website to a WordPress Website

Have you ever noticed that many WordPress themes and plugins can be configured and used to replicate the basic functionalities of a Bootstrap website?

Whether you’re a seasoned designer, developer, or both, you’ll discover that WordPress offers tremendous value when adopted in this manner.

Why Did Bootstrap Grow In Popularity?

As a designer specializing in web development, it’s not uncommon for me to encounter a Bootstrap website. The popularity of Bootstrap can be attributed to several factors.

  • The responsive nature of the framework.
  • The wide array of free and premium resources available for download.
  • The fact that it is one of the most popular HTML bases available for creating a website.
  • WordPress’ adoption of Bootstrap.
  • The extensive community that supports the Bootstrap framework.
  • The simplicity of the code structure.
  • The ease of implementing complex designs.
  • The wide array of tools available for developers to expand upon.

How Is WordPress Different From Bootstrap?

WordPress is a completely different animal from Bootstrap. It was designed from the ground up to be used in tandem with other frameworks or within a custom design. This approach provides you with a greater degree of flexibility, and the ability to take your site in any direction you please!

Bootstrap, on the other hand, was primarily designed to be a standalone framework for creating responsive websites. While much of what it offers can be adapted and used for WordPress sites, it was not designed with this in mind. This is perhaps its biggest disadvantage when compared to WordPress, as many of the plugins and themes that were developed for Bootstrap lack the many features and functions that WordPress offers.

Is Converting From Bootstrap To WordPress Easy?

Not at all. Converting a Bootstrap website to a WordPress website is a complex process that requires significant knowledge of both frameworks. Moreover, you’ll need to consider the structure and content of your existing site in order to properly develop a strategy for moving everything over to WordPress.

If you’re looking for an easy way to get started, I wouldn’t recommend going this route. Instead, I’d recommend focusing on designing and developing a new WordPress website from the ground up.

However, if this is a strategy that appeals to you and you want to learn more, continue reading.

The General Approach For Converting From Bootstrap To WordPress

The general approach for migrating a Bootstrap website to a WordPress website is akin to migrating a traditional website to the internet. That is, you need to consider what to keep and what to let go. The following is a shortlist of some of the most significant things to keep in mind when adopting this strategy:

  • Your domain name (if you have one).
  • The URL of your site (if you have one).
  • The theme and templates you are using (a minimum of two).
  • Pages and posts (your website will more than likely grow and change over time, so be sure to preserve all of this information).
  • Content (your existing content, images, and videos).
  • Social media (if you have a sizable following on social media, be sure to preserve this content as well).
  • Configurations (settings and login credentials).
  • Additional plugins (there are over 200 available for WordPress, so be sure to keep track of what you’re using).

As with any other website conversion project, you’ll also need to consider how you’re going to structure your new WordPress website. The following is a shortlist of some of the most significant things to keep in mind when structuring a WordPress website from scratch:

  • Pages (most WordPress websites have several pages, typically three or more).
  • Post structure (most WordPress websites have a standard post structure, typically three or more).
  • Categories (categories are very important in SEO, so be sure to create several and apply a consistent approach to your categories).
  • Tags (tags are quite important in SEO, so create several for your blog posts and apply a consistent approach).
  • Navigation (breadcrumbs, site map, and other navigational aids).
  • Alphabetical (or numerical) ordering of posts (most WordPress websites have posts in an alphabetical or numerical order, so be sure to keep track of this and apply it consistently across your site).
  • Home page (this can be either a static or a dynamic page – your choice).
  • Customize CSS (you can do this quickly in WordPress with the appearance option).
  • Implement SEO (search engine optimization) for your site (you can do this quickly with WordPress’ built-in SEO features).
  • Content marketing plan (this can be developed quickly in WordPress – Content planning and marketing are critical to the success of any business online, so be sure to develop this element of your plan).

Once you have a general idea of what you’ll need to retain and what you can let go, you can move forward with the process of converting your Bootstrap website to a WordPress website. For a more in depth review of this process, I’d recommend checking out the WordPress website migration guide.