I'm new to web development and WordPress. I recently installed WordPress on my site. However, that is not the WordPress page; don't get ahead of me!

That page was created using Bootstrap. From my readings, I've learned that I need to create my own theme if I want to use that same styling that I have on that page linked above. I don't know where to begin to do that. I would want to have it look the exact same. I wouldn't want a sidebar or top bar for logged in users even. I would want index.php to display the most recent article from each respective topic page. Those topic pages would be things that you see already like, News, Video Game Reviews, Video Game Spotlights, etc. I've learned that these are called categories, but I'd also like each Category to have its own page.

So now that I've explained what I need, where can I learn more about Bootstrap theme development? How would you recommend I get started on this task? My PHP is not so great either. Do I need to learn PHP for this?

Thank you for the help!

  • 1
    What you need to do is ask 1 specific question at a time which is directly related to WordPress theme development. Questions relating to 3rd party themes are off topic. Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 7:50

6 Answers 6


First, yes, you need to learn PHP. You can pretty much don't bother with rest of answer until you have PHP basics (at least) down.

Now let's talk about WordPress and Bootstrap relationships.

WordPress provides template tags. These are PHP functions that are meant to be used in template files. There is a lot of them, to output all kinds of things and data WordPress deals with.

Bootstrap front-end framework. It expects you to output markup in a certain way to achieve certain baseline look and functionality, to serve as foundation for more individual solution.

So how well these two get along? So-so at most. It varies plenty how eager WP's specific template tags are willing to play nice and output that specific markup Bootstrap needs for specific case. Sometimes it goes well, other times it's a mess.

The good news is — due to enormous popularity of both there is overlap of enormous amount of people willing to fall on this sword and try to figure it out. There are dozens of Bootstrap themes for WordPress around.

What would I suggest next (after learning that PHP part)? Go look one of those themes and start taking it apart. Best case scenario it will allow you to convert your existing site, already using Bootstrap, quite easily.


I would suggest looking at theme's that are already out there then modify them as needed for your project..

There's one theme I know of that I think would do what you need with some very minor css modifications (not even php updates, just css)... That theme is called Divi.

Good luck. --James


Your question is actually 5 or 6 vague questions, but I'll do my best to answer as specifically as I can! In my opinion, the best way to approach this problem is to use some kind of bare bones theme template for Wordpress that will include the necessary files for your theme to be recognized by Wordpress.

Once you've got the theme, you can adapt it to meet your needs and style it similarly to your existing site. My favorite bare-bones Wordpress theme is called Near Nothing and it includes only the bare minimum that you need to create a theme. If you include the files from Near Nothing in a directory within the wp-content/themes directory, it will be recognized as a theme in Wordpress. To activate the theme, you will need to sign into the Wordpress backend and navigate to the Appearance > Themes menu. There you will see the Near Nothing theme as an option and you can select it as the active theme.

The Near Nothing theme is very minimal. If you want something with a bit more fleshed out, I would recommend Blank Slate.

To create a category page, you can create or edit a file called category.php and include it in the theme directory. You can learn more about this file here. As for your specific page functionality you mentioned, I'd recommend getting a theme installed and activated and familiarizing yourself with the theme files first and then asking another question here on stack exchange that is more specific. What you're trying to do is possible and fairly simple with a little bit of Wordpress understanding.

You do need PHP for this, though you can get by with a simple understanding of it. There are many resources out there for learning PHP. I started learning it from the book PHP Solutions by David Powers, but your mileage may vary. I hope this is helpful in getting you started on the right track!

  • 1
    Thank you very much for your help. I think I found some good resources that help me with what I want to do. I really just need to start getting Bootstrap INTO my own custom theme. Both of these I think will help: blog.teamtreehouse.com/… bootstrapwp.com I just need to learn what all the PHP files do and then tinker with them as I need to. I basically want to strip out the sidebar, footer and header and include my own. So for me, I think my header is my navbar, my footer is...my footer and no sidebar. Thanks!
    – Tyr4el
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 20:33

One of the key questions to consider is whether you want to try to modify an existing theme or if you want to build on top of a starter theme. You might get to where you want to be faster by modifying an existing theme if you can find one that's reasonably close to your desired endpoint. However, you may also experience frustration if the theme you try to modify does things one way and you want to do them a different way.

In contrast, the idea of a starter theme is it makes minimal up front decisions, hopefully leaving you more freedom to do what you want. One excellent choice is Underscores, which is maintained by Automattic, the company that leads WordPress development. Underscores embodies many best practices for WordPress theme development, which will get you started on the right track. There is a website where you can download a customized version of Underscores.

I have used Underscores as a basis for three custom themes recently and the more I work this way, the less desire I have to use off-the-shelf themes. Most recently, I'm developing a theme based on Underscores and using the Foundation framework from Zurb, which is an approach analogous to building a theme using Bootstrap. There is some loss of control, but in exchange you get a lot of well-tested ready-made features you can use.

Whatever you decide, I agree with @Rarst, you will need to learn PHP.


Your first question where you can learn about bootstrap theme development?

  1. I will suggest you go to tutorialrepublic website and search about bootstrap
  2. If you got problem with the coding just go to LayoutIt website, this development website will help you to create a bootstrap website. Just a drag and drop like a wordpress.

Second questin how would you recommend I get started on this task?

  1. You need basic programming language php,css,html that is for started.

Last question my PHP is not so great either. Do I need to learn PHP for this?

  1. Yes you need. If you got a basic pl about php and that will make easy for you. Because in wordpress sometimes if there some of the post you had problem with it, you need to do a hardcode way.

Thats all, and Have fun with learning. Anything you can email me.


you must learn about PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript before create WordPress theme. you can learn here.

At the very minimum, a WordPress Theme consists of two files:


style.css provides details about the Theme in the form of comments. style.css will contains theme header information like:

Theme Name: Twenty Thirteen
Theme URI: http://wordpress.org/themes/twentythirteen
Author: the WordPress team
Author URI: http://wordpress.org/
Description: The 2013 theme for WordPress takes us back to the blog, featuring a full range of post formats, each displayed beautifully in their own unique way. Design details abound, starting with a vibrant color scheme and matching header images, beautiful typography and icons, and a flexible layout that looks great on any device, big or small.
Version: 1.0
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
Tags: black, brown, orange, tan, white, yellow, light, one-column, two-columns, right-sidebar, flexible-width, custom-header, custom-menu, editor-style, featured-images, microformats, post-formats, rtl-language-support, sticky-post, translation-ready
Text Domain: twentythirteen

This theme, like WordPress, is licensed under the GPL.
Use it to make something cool, have fun, and share what you've learned with others.

you can check here for details and here. a good basic tutorial from scratch.

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