Last year Bootstrap joined the flat design craze with its 3.0 release and a new optional theme. The default box model and basic UI components have been greatly improved. Bootstrap 3.1 introduced an official Sass port, further expanding the framework’s toolbox.
Awhile back, we featured WordPress themes built using the Foundation front-end framework. Since Bootstrap has been around longer, its user base is larger, which has resulted in more WordPress themes. Here’s a selection of the best, built with Bootstrap 3.
Inkness is a retina-ready WordPress theme, featuring a grid-based home page and multiple page layouts.
Download | Demo
Fullby was inspired by the Twenty Fourteen default theme and built with Bootstrap under the hood. The homepage includes a fluid grid for displaying posts and a featured content area at the top.
WP Knowledge Base
WP Knowledge Base is a theme for creating a multi-product knowledge base. It’s compatible with a number of Bootstrap plugins and includes support for bbPress.
Arcade Basic is a beautiful theme with a bold homepage design and many options built into WordPress’ customizer feature. It supports post formats and includes special styles for Jetpack galleries.
Stanley WP is a unique theme that works well for personal branding. It’s packaged with a drag-and-drop homepage builder and three different page templates.
GovFresh was created specifically for governments and comes with a list of recommended plugins to extend the theme.
Download | Demo
Romangie is a retina-ready theme with support for post formats. It provides a quality browsing experience for users on mobile devices and desktops.
Blain sports a minimalist design with a responsive slider, customizable header and footer, four page layouts and custom widgets for displaying recent posts and thumbnails.
Lobster is named after the font featured in the theme. The background and page layouts are fully customizable and the theme includes support for post formats, bbPress and BuddyPress.
Revera features a big slider on the homepage, configurable banner advertisement spaces and a custom portfolio page template.
Unite sports a flat design for wedding websites, although it can be used with other types of creative websites with a focus on images. All of the colors are easily customizable via the theme options.
Nova Lite is a tumblog-style theme that allows you to create unlimited custom sidebars.
Wembley is a portfolio theme built with Bootstrap. It makes it easy to upload a logo, change the main color scheme and configure the banner ads.
Flat is a blogging theme based on Bootstrap. It features an off-canvas sidebar and a customizable blurred background.
The Vangard theme sports a customizable jQuery content slider, welcome section, widgetized footer and a blog-oriented homepage.
Ward has a unique layout and includes support for post formats. It’s easy to customize using WordPress’ built-in customizer and is compatible with both bbPress and BuddyPress.
There are some gorgeous themes here but I’m starting to think Bootstrap is being used as a crutch. Bootstrap is great for developers who want to get something up quickly and don’t have the time to learn all the ins and outs of CSS etc. It’s great for a start up who wants to get good results quickly
For a commercial WordPress theme (It wouldn’t be very fair to level criticism on free themes) I don’t consider Bootstrap a ‘feature’ or selling point at all, rather it implies that *maybe* the theme author is not versed in CSS and web design enough to make a theme, or they are simply taking shortcuts. That’s not a good indicator of a quality theme at all. Of course, I’m not saying all themes that leverage Bootstrap are bad or that the authors aren’t skilled.
I just think Bootstrap (and it’s similarly bloated-by-nature counterparts) shouldn’t be part of a distributed theme in the way many of these themes are doing now. If you load up some of these themes and check what parts of Bootstrap are actually being used, you see code not being used, purely hanging around there as artifacts of a framework. This means the author is loading up Bootstrap with little discretion, without bothering to tailor it to the theme. I like it when theme authors obsess over their craft.