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Feature Spotlight: Bootstrap Theme Finder

browse through a huge catalogue of Bootstrap themes, free & premium

Alex from UnderStrap Alex from UnderStrap November 22, 2019 No Comments

UnderStrap is an amazing way to start your next WordPress project if you are looking for maximum flexibility and speed. If you are looking to get your next project off the ground quickly then UnderStrap might not be the best choice for you.

Our Bootstrap Theme Finder

Bootstrap Theme FinderWe have added an easy to browse catalogue of the best Bootstrap themes we could find that are either free to download or priced around $30-$50. Buying a theme can sometimes work out better for a lot of projects when you consider the massive time and effort it takes to make an awesome WordPress site.

Typically you can spend weeks if not months trying to get UnderStrap to where you want it to be, coding things from scratch. Buying a theme can save you time which when you are trying to prove a concept is much more important than having something totally unique.

The big down-side to buying a theme is the bloat. A lot of theme developers put tonnes and tonnes of features in for you to use like sliders for example. If you aren’t using these features then they simply add more weight to the pages and cause your site to load slower in browsers.

As a developer you need to learn when to buy and when to build.

  • Weigh up the costs, how much time will it save you? (what are you worth per hour?)
  • Have you got time to build from scratch? (do you really need a unique design?)
  • Can you build something good looking enough for your client? (not all developers are artists!)
  • Will you need to buy premium plugins that are included for free with themes anyway (a lot of themes include premium plugins that make the purchase cost of a theme in theory much smaller)
  • Can you re-use that purchased theme on another project? (the cost per project is then massively lowered)

Multi-Purpose Themes

WordPress Theme DemosIf you are the kind of person who makes lots of WordPress websites (developer, agency or maybe an entrepreneur testing ideas?) then in terms of value for money you should be looking at multi-purpose themes.

Themes that are described as being “multi-purpose” are usually very flexible with many features. You will find that these sort of themes have 10’s if not over 100+ demos available for you to browse through and steal elements for your project.

If you are more of a “programming” than “design” type then this can be an amazing weapon to use to ensure your work is presented in the best possible fashion.

The downside to these is again, bloat. With so many generic features included you may find you are downloading things you don’t need along with the page content. A smart developer would be able to go through and cut away elements you don’t need and speed the download process up once development has finished though. A good WordPress hosting company like WP Extend, Kinsta or Flywheel will be able to do this for you if you ask.

Testing A Theme

Pingdom Speed Test ToolWe have talked a lot about bloat as being a major downside for buying themes but how can we tell before we buy how bad the problem is?

A good way to test the loading times of a WordPress theme is to run it through a page-speed tool. A few of them exist but the 2 major ones are:

The first, GTMetrix is a page speed and SEO scanner that is very popular with a lot of information. The problem is that it can take a while and almost always has a queue of people using it, leading to long wait times.

If you are after a simple measurement of download speed from several locations around the world though, its probably quicker to use Pingdom’s speed test tool. Its also another good idea to test from a few locations around the world to get an idea of the kind of lag you could be experiencing if you used that theme.

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