Getting started

Overview of the project, it's contents, and how to get started with a simple template.

Before downloading, be sure to have a code editor (we recommend Sublime Text 2) and some working knowledge of HTML and CSS. We won't walk through the source files here, but they are available for download. We'll focus on getting started with our the compiled Bootstrap files.

Download compiled

Fastest way to get started: get the compiled and minified versions of our CSS, JS, and images. No docs or original source files.

Download Bootstrap

Download source

Get the original files for all CSS and Javasript, along with a local copy of the docs by downloading the latest version directly from GitHub.

Download Bootstrap source

Within the download you'll find the following file structure and contents, logically grouping common assets and providing both compiled and minified variations.

Once downloaded, unzip the compressed folder to see the structure of (the compiled) Bootstrap. You'll see something like this:

  ├── css/
  │   ├── bootstrap.css
  │   ├── bootstrap.min.css
  ├── js/
  │   ├── bootstrap.js
  │   ├── bootstrap.min.js
  ├── img/
  │   ├── glyphicons-halflings.png
  │   ├── glyphicons-halflings-white.png

This is the most basic form of Bootstrap: compiled files for quick drop-in usage in nearly any web project. We provide compiled CSS and JS (bootstrap.*), as well as compiled and minified CSS and JS (bootstrap.min.*). The image files are compressed using ImageOptim, a Mac app for compressing PNGs.

Bootstrap comes equipped with HTML, CSS, and JS for all sorts of things, but they can be summarized with a handful of categories visible at the top of the Bootstrap documentation.

Docs sections


Global styles for the body to reset type and background, link styles, grid system, and two simple layouts.

Base CSS

Styles for common HTML elements like typography, code, tables, forms, and buttons. Also includes Glyphicons, a great little icon set.


Basic styles for common interface components like tabs and pills, navbar, alerts, page headers, and more.

Javascript plugins

Similar to Components, these Javascript plugins are interactive components for things like tooltips, popovers, modals, and more.

List of components

Together, the Components and Javascript plugins sections provide the following interface elements:

  • Button groups
  • Button dropdowns
  • Navigational tabs, pills, and lists
  • Navbar
  • Labels
  • Badges
  • Page headers and hero unit
  • Thumbnails
  • Alerts
  • Progress bars
  • Modals
  • Dropdowns
  • Tooltips
  • Popovers
  • Accordion
  • Carousel
  • Typeahead

In future guides, we may walk through these components individually in more detail. Until then, look for each of these in the documentation for information on how to utilize and customize them.

With a brief intro into the contents out of the way, we can focus putting Bootstrap to use. To do that, we'll utilize a basic HTML template that includes everything we mentioned in the File structure.

Now, here's a look at a typical HTML file:

    <title>Bootstrap 101 Template</title>
    <h1>Hello, world!</h1>

To make this a Bootstrapped template, just include the appropriate CSS and JS files:

    <title>Bootstrap 101 Template</title>
    <!-- Bootstrap -->
    <link href="css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
    <h1>Hello, world!</h1>
    <script src="js/bootstrap.min.js"></script>

And you're set! With those two files added, you can begin to develop any site or application with Bootstrap.

Move beyond the base template with a few example layouts. We encourage folks to iterate on these examples and not simply use them as an end result.

  • Basic marketing site

    Featuring a hero unit for a primary message and three supporting elements.

  • Fluid layout

    Uses our new responsive, fluid grid system to create a seamless liquid layout.

  • Starter template

    A barebones HTML document with all the Bootstrap CSS and javascript included.

Head to the docs for information, examples, and code snippets, or take the next leap and customize Bootstrap for any upcoming project.

Visit the Bootstrap docs Customize Bootstrap