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UnderStrap Documentation

BUILDER Documentation v.1

Installing & getting started with UnderStrap BUILDER

UnderStrap BUILDER is a child theme for UnderStrap that makes editing a WordPress website using the framework a lot easier. In just a few steps (without touching any code) you can be customizing your WordPress website in an easy to use environment. This documentation attempts to break everything down into steps that are as simple as possible.

Check out the contents that follows you up and down the page to the left of this text (if you are reading this on desktop) for the important sections.

The fastest way to learn would be to watch videos of BUILDER in action, check out the video section below for a list.

Join our Facebook support group for UnderStrap BUILDER to get answers from us and the community.


First things first, you need to know what UnderStrap BUILDER is.

At its heart its a simple way to build a WordPress website without any coding knowledge + an easy to use template importer to save you hours of time.

BUILDER is a child theme (no more complicated than a standard parent theme to install) for UnderStrap that contains a lot of the things you would need to create a complete WordPress website already built in. You need to customize and toggle them in order to achieve your desired website for you or your client. Typically you would have to code these features yourself in PHP and then customize using CSS and HTML – with BUILDER that is taken care of for you.

Its super easy to install as you will see from the next sections. Videos of the latest version being installed will be available for people who find that the best way to learn.

You can edit the BUILDER PHP files if you require further customisation (and know how to do that) and to add additional CSS and JS on top of what we provide is also easily done from /wp-admin/ (the WordPress backend section).

For agencies and commercial developers its also a great way to build client projects quickly and be able to hand them an easily customisable platform for them to use for years.

You can see what features are currently available in BUILDER along with example starter sites and demos on the hub page here. They are great for inspiration or for importing to get going quicker.


The PRO version of BUILDER unlocks a lot of non-standard blog features and a library of ready to go templates. PRO gives you the power to quickly create professional WordPress websites very quickly for you or your customers.

You can find the current pricing for PRO here.

Downloading & Installing BUILDER

(watch a video of us doing the installation here)

The first step to getting BUILDER running on your own WordPress website is by downloading the latest version.

You will need our parent theme “UnderStrap” also installed on your WordPress (it’s free like BUILDER) so you really need 2 themes downloaded and installed.

Go to the BUILDER hub page and click Download Now to be presented with the different versions. Choose the latest version of BUILDER and download the ZIP file.

Now install BUILDER by uploading the ZIP file to your WordPress backend or by FTP. You will be prompted by WordPress to allow it to download the latest UnderStrap parent version if you do not already have it, agree to that to continue.

If you now see UnderStrap and BUILDER in the websites /wp-admin/themes.php screen like the following screenshot then you have downloaded and installed correctly.

Activate the BUILDER child theme (if not done already) to finish the installation and be ready to move onto the “Getting Started” section. If you have upgraded scroll to the “Installing BUILDER PRO” section for an additional few steps you need to complete.

UnderStrap BUILDER Themes Page

Installing BUILDER PRO

If you have upgraded to the PRO version of BUILDER then you need to do a few more steps to unlock additional features and templates.

Get your PRO plugin and upload it into the plugins section of your WordPress (here is a WordPress.org guide on how to do that).

Now in your BUILDER options page you will see that you have new options, the most important being “BUILDER PRO Licence Key” – enter your licence key here and hit Save.

You will know if you have entered a correct licence key because after saving a green tick will appear next to the license field.

Then BE SURE TO ACTIVATE YOUR SITE. When you purchased your copy of BUILDER PRO you will have created an account to manage your licenses, sign into https://builder.understrap.com/my-account/ with those details, click “View Licenses” and then “Manage Sites”. Here you can add/remove sites that are approved to use the licenses you have purchased.

Development Mode

With v1.3 of BUILDER PRO we added a development mode for local development, so that you don’t have to use a license for that site.

Development mode will be running after you activate the PRO plugin until you enter your valid license key (on the BUILDER options page under Appearance in /wp-admin/) and the green tick appears.

While in development mode only signed-in users will be able to view the PRO features on the front end. So for a signed in admin user you can experiment and set things up, upload to a live domain and then enter a valid license key after adding the domain to the list of allowed domains in your https://builder.understrap.com/my-account/ section.

Getting Started With BUILDER

With a blank WordPress installation and BUILDER (+ BUILDER PRO if have upgraded) installed you can now start creating your site.

Installing Recommended Plugins

Once you activate the BUILDER child theme on your WordPress website a new dialog should appear at the top of your WordPress admin asking you to install several plugins. We recommend installing those plugins in order to import starter templates, add a contact form and also add more Gutenberg blocks to your site that work with Bootstrap.

Importing a demo site

A quick way to get going is to import a demo site and then edit that. Underneath the BUILDER options page under Appearance in your WordPress admin you should now have an option to “Import Template” if you activated the recommended plugins from the previous step.

On this page you are able to browse a library of templates to import, both free and premium.

Starting from scratch

Once you use BUILDER once and quickly pick up where everything is your next website will be easy! Start by editing these options in the Customizer screen to bring your website to life:

Next move onto creating pages and posts to bring some content to your site. Set a home page with either blog posts or a static page.

Using Gutenberg with the Gutenberg Bootstrap blocks plugin we recommend you can create all sorts of pages, check out the template library for inspiration. You can use Bootstrap classes with the Bootstrap blocks too, so its easy to set colors, sizes and margin/padding’s.

Adding Content & Structure

UnderStrap BUILDER contains some great styling features that you can access in the Customizer, though the bulk of your site will be built through pages and posts with the aid of Gutenberg.

After installing and activating the BUILDER child theme you will be instructed to install a series of recommended plugins. These plugins enhance BUILDER and turn it into a complete website builder that you can use to go from simple blog to almost any sort of website you can think of.

Trying to stay true to the Bootstrap nature of UnderStrap & BUILDER we recommend a Bootstrap Gutenberg blocks plugin. This plugin adds a new set of blocks to your page and post Gutenberg editors for handling containers, rows and columns.

Take a watch of this video to see how we put sites together in this way: https://youtu.be/4HA_9Vbs1U0


Watching videos of BUILDER in action will be the easiest way to learn for most people. Here is a collection of the videos we have put together for reference or inspiration:

Getting Further Help

You can get help with UnderStrap BUILDER using the following methods:

  • Join our Facebook support group for BUILDER here.
  • You can leave a comment on this documentation article below, great for something that you would like to ask publicly to maybe help others.
  • Catch us on live chat on understrap.com, someone is usually on during GMT business hours at least.
  • Send us a message through the contact page and we will email you back.

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