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Free HTML Starter Templates for Bootstrap (startbootstrap.com)
448 points by jalan on Sept 29, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 80 comments

This is really awesome, thank you for sharing this! In particular it's great to see the "Simple Sidebar" [0] example — I was just about to have to build one of these, so having a complete reference to work from is really helpful.

[0]: http://startbootstrap.com/templates/simple-sidebar#

Yeah. That is my favorite as well. In fact I created my own version with sidebar at http://bootmystrap.com/ to sell.

I find that Twitter Bootstrap is probably not the best framework when you are designing single page apps but it works.

Hey, what are you using for charts? Very cool .

Looks great!

This is exactly the purpose of Start Bootstrap. It takes out some of the leg work, but is still just a starting point or reference tool.

Thanks for viewing my site, you're totally cool!

Official sidebar example: http://getbootstrap.com/examples/offcanvas/

Full disclosure: I started the work on it, then mdo and fat refined it to meet their standards.

For those who want scrolling webpages these seem nice.

But it's scrolling web pages again, which seem to be all the hype in 2013 just as flash intros have been some years ago. Aren't there any nice templates NOT following current styles and offering structure for content?

I have to update the web page holding my CV as I have updated it in 2006 the last time. Woah, how dated would my page look in 2019 if I use a silding page now.

Oooh, and I just imagine hacker news as "2013-glitz" page. Bling, bling, look we can scroll stock photos from a cheapo stock photo site. One carousel per story, two HERO UNIT words of headline. This story would show some cool young guys at a mac, one pointing, HERO UNIT reads "Starter HTML."

Scroll down half a mile to see the next story.

BTW. any predictions what the post-flat-parallax-photo-sliding web trend will be?

Sorry to be a party pooper, but I saw one scrolling page to many and I'll rant about these from now on regularily. The last straw that happened to me (a Java developer) was http://spring.io/. It's so low on content that its information-vaccum might endanger the universe by sucking in all other data leaving all but a low radiation void.

Personally I think the Bootstrap templates at wrapboostrap (http://wrapboostrap.com/) look far better and give you a much better starting point. Sure these are not free, but for a one-off website typically cost about $20 which is peanuts.

Hi. I made Start Bootstrap. I agree that Wrap Bootstrap offers much better finished products than my tool. The purpose of my tool is to start with a somewhat blank slate.

Buying a template is like buying a finished painting and sticking it in a custom frame. Building a site from scratch is like painting your own painting.

Start Bootstrap is kind of like getting a paint-by-number. Some of the work is done, and the elements are there for you. If you want, you can just use the default styles and make it look okay, but if you're a bit more experienced as a painter you can make it look even better by adding some of your own style.

I definitely think that if you're looking for a nice, clean, completed template then head over to http://wrapbootstrap.com and check out their selection! If you're looking for something a bit more barebones, then http://startbootstrap.com is built for you! :)

Hi, I logged in to thank you for start bootstrap. I'm not from US and 20 $ isn't peanuts its about 1500 bucks with which i can host an entire website for 1 year( in my country). I really love your bare templates, and will start using them from my next project.

Thanks again for all the good work and keeping them free.

That's awesome. Thanks for using my templates. I'm adding more every week, so be sure to keep checking back!

I agree that they fill different needs and there's definitely room for both. I think a good addition to http://startbootstrap.com would be a few preconfigured palettes that will work with the templates.

http://bootswatch.com already has some of these. I might start integrating some of my own sometime though. Might not be a bad idea.

For the most part, I'd agree. I've bought a number of templates there. However, many of them tend to be very opinionated, adding a lot of JavaScript and non-Bootstrap markup. You see a lot of the same features that feel "me too!" (for example, parallax sliders) Once you buy and start converting to your needs, you'll find that the files and directory structure may be a little jacked up (recently did a lot of the work with the Ace Admin theme, and found image directories inside of the css directory, even though it had a separate root images directory, and there was both "images" and "img" directories.. fun.

That has been my assessment as well. I once bought a theme there and ended up spending more time changing the code so the classes are similar to what Bootstrap uses.

That's why I am starting http://bootmystrap.com/ All changes in just one LESS file, using same classes as Bootstrap so if you do buy a theme it actually saves you time.

I've had that same experience. I bought a theme very niavely thinking that it would follow bootstrap conventions and would be easily modifiable. Instead, I've got a huge mess and I think I'm just going to throw it out. I've been looking for a site like yours, that actually respects LESS. I hope it takes off and will definitely be keeping an eye on it.

I agree. If you're building a site you're going to end up maintaining for a long time, you should be building it from the ground up yourself. These sites are great at inspiration though! Your site showcasing extremely barebones demos is great.

Wrong link.

Right link: https://wrapbootstrap.com/

Is it easy-ish to integrate wrapbootstrap themes into a Rails app?

Wow...I'm speechless. You guys are awesome for looking at my site, and jalan (whoever you may be), thank you for posting a link to my site on HN!

If you have any suggestions for templates that you'd like to see added to the mix, feel free to let me know.

Thank you again guys, you're all so awesome!

You're awesomer.:) This is really helpful. Thanks.

Thanks for making such a wonderful initiative. You guys (at Start Bootstrap) rocks!

We're just getting started. My short-term goal is 100+ templates. From there we'll see where things go!

I always find it interesting when there is a TON of articles on HN about building things from scratch, doing things yourself and essentially taking the slightly longer road for a better product.

I see a lot of these "starter templates" coming out almost as fast as new Javascript libraries. While I can see a benefit for some developers, I often wonder if the art of building a fast, responsive website from scratch has been lost in the sea of mass production website building.

Or is this just the wave of the future that I need to just deal with??

*EDIT: thanks for the advice from everyone. It does makes sense to have these ready made solutions so you can focus on what you really want to make great about the site or app you're building.

There are also plenty of people here who want to hack on something else and just need a website. That's why free, pre-made, packaged, ready-to-use scripts and templates will always be popular.

Don't see it as a mass-product, just because it was offered to a mass of audience, like the HN Crowd, who certainly bookmarked or shared it with friends. That won't make it a mass-product. The future you have to deal with is that more people jump into the DIY-Bandwagon and given the opportunity present their stuff to a huge audience. Which in return either requires improvements, perfectly deals with it (making it a part of the web-toolchain), or neglects the idea/product.

     • The good thing about this development is that you will get more free stuff that you can try out, remix, fix and break things to your liking (given that's it's opensource).

     • The bad things is that you will have to eat the bugs in your soup, sir. You can scream for a new soup, but there is no guarantee that you'll get a new one, unless many people like you are unsatisfied, or you make your voice heard on the media.

Constant flux is something you have to deal with in IT, but that doesn't mean that your hard learned lessons are gone. They are more valid than ever and you'll be amongst the few who still understand it. The DIY-Culture is only trying to understand this on a personal level and wants independant, more rapid innovation.

The reason for all that bases in our frustration with the world and the internet that allows us to go out and "fix it for the rest of us".

You could build your own webserver and scalable platform too. On the other hand, having a lot of what amounts to infrastructure built for you lets you focus on the real problem you're trying to solve rather than reinventing the wheel.

Sometimes you're more interested in building the higher level part than the lower level part.

If my goal is to build a great CMS for Rails, does it ultimately matter if I chose to use a Start Bootstrap template for my views?

I have lots of experience with CMS and have also contributed to a CMS and still do QA. Yes, Sir it is a very important decision unless you give your users a very easy way to replace it for the front- and backend. People really often come and want to extend things in the backend, that leasds to customizations and some companies prefer white-labeled CMS's.

For me, I built Start Bootstrap from my own personal library of starter templates that I used for my company. Once Bootstrap 3 came around I updated my personal starter templates and figured why not share them with the world.

They serve a purpose as learning tools, inspiration, reference, or a quick way to get a decent looking site out for someone.

I have so much respect for the people out there who can build awesome things from scratch though, the talent of some designers out there blows my mind, and for something to really stand out and be unique I think custom is the only way to go.

Some newbie questions:

Why do responsive themes/websites often collapse the top navigation bar into a menu button a lot before the space available becomes too short to hold it?

It sounds to me that the default action with both Bootstrap and Zurb is to stack the columns when the width is smaller, or possibly make them disappear completely. Is my understanding correct? If so, is this behavior customizable? Could one for example make a right column come on top instead of the bottom when the columns are stacked?

They do it just to work with any amount of menu items usually. I don't like this approach personally... hiding primary navigation behind a click/touch drives me nuts.

If your column comes before in HTML then it will come before when everything is stacked up in mobile resolutions.

The behavior to hide something is of course customizable. Bootstrap comes with certain classes [0] which can hide the content on mobile screens and show on desktop.

[0]: http://getbootstrap.com/css/#responsive-utilities

Are you saying (reminder, newbie here :-)) that it is possible to have a column come before in HTML and still appear right on the screen? Else, this means it is not possible to change the order in which the columns stack beyond what can be achieved using a nested grid.

The link above does suggest why the navigation bars collapse too soon sometimes (and sometimes too late). The collapse event is tied to the horizontal resolutions at 768, 992 and 1200 px, and does not depend on how much width the navigation bar actually needs (such that it is collapsed only when space available for it is too small).

I wonder why things are built this way though.

If the column comes before in HTML then it will appear before as well according to the Bootstrap conventions laid out. However you are more than welcome to throw that all out and have the column to appear left, right, top, bottom wherever you want with simple CSS.

In terms of navigation, it is tied to resolution because it's easier to change code than to change devices owned by your users :)

There's no sense in using these templates when you can make a template as per your requirement using template builder like http://www.layoutit.com/build which lets you build your template using drag and drop.

I'm not sure, but your comment suggests you might be involved with the project?

Also, no drag & drop UI is substitute for design common sense and flexibility.

No, I am not involved in the project, I just like it as I dont have to worry about my UI while implementing an Idea. I wanted to quote more examples so as not to sound as if I am advertising it but couldnt find any other free service, rest all are paid.

but still, its someone's hardwork in making these templates and giving it for free, and thats appreciable.

This is great, I'd recommend pairing it with Bootsnipp [1]. It seems pretty feasible to almost create your own custom theme out of StartBootstrap, BootSnipp and a few other items from the Big Badass List [2] by just cut-n-paste - but I wish there were a "real" cross project build system.

1 - http://www.bootsnipp.com/ 2 - http://www.bootstraphero.com/the-big-badass-list-of-twitter-...

Creator of Bootsnipp here, in fact the new Bootsnipp that I am building will be something along the lines of snippets+ interactive prototyping + hand coding if needed. Anybody will be able to build up on existing templates right there on Bootsnipp, no code editor needed.

You think pairing with Bootsnipp is good...

Grab a template, slap on a theme from http://bootswatch.com, and you'll have something pretty nice. It will still require some further customization, but it's a great starting point!

Question for people using this: why use something like this rather than a ready-made professional template from something like Themeforest?

These themes are more bare-bones. That may be a good thing, depending on your needs, as I've found that ThemeForest (and WrapBootstrap even) themes tend to be very opinionated and JavaScript heavy, filled with features that I end up spending time pulling out anyways.

Because you might not have the budget for a Themeforest theme ?

Extended licenses, which you need for a Saas product, are around $800 or $900, which is affordable for a business (still way cheaper than hiring a designer), but far from free.

That's not necessarily true, as answered here [1]. Choosing the right license depends on how your SaaS product is setup.

[1] http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/picking-up-the-right-li...

I feel like they serve two different purposes. The ready-made professional templates are finished/polished, I just need to fill in the copy/images. These are starter templates, I'd use these and add on my own styles to create my own unique design.

These are very quick and easy to use for an MVP.

Does something like this exist for Zurb Foundation?

Perfect, thanks!

the templates have been there forever but http://patterntap.com/code is a new one and discovered it myself only today :)

This looks great. One issue popped up: a 403 on http://startbootstrap.com/templates/business-frontpage.html

Thanks for pointing that one out. I will have to fix that ASAP.

this is nice, really good examples of base stuff that can be achived with bootstrap -- but I kinda feel like using these misses the point of bootstrap in that you should be able to piece together whatever look you're imagining in your head with bootstrap by hand. Learn the code/use the code & quickly build stuff -this cuts a corner that could be handy in a super rush but as always, learning the framework by building yourself can give you intimate understanding

I'm pretty familiar with foundation, but the other day I found their template page and was stoked to have a starting point with the header and some divs already in place for me. It was nice and responsive and I could focus on styling those areas. The extra push is the entire purpose. And when templates strike that perfect balance between generic / specific I think it's both time saving and inspiring.

Very nice! What would be great is if you accepted contributions from the community. Also I was looking for a bootstrap template this weekend for a site with the logo above the navbar but wasn't able to find a good free example.

Really like the site, and love the templates! I definitely went in with the pre-conceived notion that this was going to be another bootswatch clone, but I really like it!

I'm not really seeing the point of this per se. Bootstrapping something that's already called Bootstrap? And then having to bootstrap that to make it unique?

Yeah I guess this is the one main criticism that I get with this. The first few templates that I added to the site were my own personal templates I used for projects, and I just decided to share them and see what kind of response I got because I didn't like the amount/quantity of the starter templates that Bootstrap had to offer. The response was good, so I kept going, but I do see your point.

I mentioned up in another post that using Start Bootstrap, or using Bootstrap at all for that matter, will never replace the artistic capability, uniqueness, and flexibility of designing a project from scratch.

I was thinking almost the same... "starter templates" for... for what... for something called "bootstrap"...

I don't know too much about recursion, but finally I like what I did see after follow the link :-)

I was planning to design my website today. Looks like Universe has responded !. Thanks for such an awesome templates. Web is a beautiful place because of u guys !

Congrats! It really good idea to make starter templates. Your project creating big value and can have good future if you add templates regular.

I plan to keep adding at least 1-2 templates a week as time permits. I will take your advice!

It's not my project. I am not involved with this project, in any way. I just shared this project, because I found it very useful. Glad everyone liked it.

Thank you! I am glad you found Start Bootstrap useful. If you have a personal suggestion for a template please let me know and I'll build it for you! Email me at feedback@startbootstrap.com and make sure you mention it's jalan from HN. I'll make whatever you want to the best of my ability!

Thanks a lot. I do appreciate all the hard work, you are putting into open source community. It's people like you, that make this open source community wonderful. And yes, will surely ask for your help, as my hands are weak in UI part. :)

Thanks! This is awesome. I'm always looking at the official examples whenever I start a new project. This is so much better.

Is this cool or what?. Very nice! I can see people learning how to code with this also by seeing it done the right way.

Congrats, this is very useful. One thing I'd recommend is adding an option to subscribe to a weekly newsletter.

Simple template is great for a data driven website.Little to distract from the graphs/info. Many thanks

This really helps with shaving of tedious design and layout work for devs who really just want to ship their app.

Thank you!

Good job! Very easy to navigate with lots of useful items. Thank you.

These look good, thanks for this free service.

Awesome resource, thanks.

Really useful. Thank you.


great! :)

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