React Bootstrap: Adding Bootstrap to a React Application

This article looks at the benefits of combining the JavaScript library React with Bootstrap, the world’s leading front-end component library. We delve into the many benefits, from enhanced UI/UX to rapid development, and provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on integrating Bootstrap within a React application.

  • Introduction

    The tools and frameworks we choose as web developers can significantly affect the performance and appearance of the applications we craft. Standing tall in the current web development landscape are React and Bootstrap.


    Developed by Facebook, React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It’s especially known for its virtual DOM, which ensures efficient updates and rendering. React’s component-based architecture and the ability to manage state make it a favourite among developers for creating interactive web applications.


    Originally created by Twitter, Bootstrap remains the globe’s most popular front-end component library. It’s an open-source toolkit tailored for creating with HTML, CSS, and JS. Boasting a vast array of pre-designed components, plugins, and themes, Bootstrap empowers developers to construct responsive and visually stunning user interfaces effortlessly.In this article, we’ll delve into the harmony between React and Bootstrap (here’s a similar guide for adding Bootstrap to Angular) , guiding you through the steps to integrate the latter into a React application and highlighting the many benefits of this union.

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    Why Integrate Bootstrap with React?

    When React’s interactivity merges with Bootstrap’s adaptive designs, the outcome is something great:

    Enhanced UI/UX

    Bootstrap provides a plethora of components, ranging from modals to carousels. When implemented within React, these tools amplify the user experience.

    Speed and Efficiency in Development

    Bootstrap’s ready-to-use components can significantly reduce design and coding time. Marry this with React’s state management, and you’re looking at a swift development process.

    Versatility and Compatibility

    Bootstrap guarantees that your React application maintains a consistent appearance across diverse devices and browsers, tackling the issues of varying screen dimensions and resolutions.

    Step-by-Step Guide: Adding Bootstrap to an React Application

    Setting up a New React Project:

    If you haven’t already, first install the Create React App globally:

    npm install -g create-react-app

    Then, generate a new React project:

    create-react-app your-project-name

    Installing Bootstrap:

    Navigate to your project directory:

    cd your-project-name

    Install Bootstrap via npm:

    npm install bootstrap

    Integrating Bootstrap CSS:

    Once Bootstrap is installed, import its CSS into your main React entry file (src/index.js or similar):

    import 'bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css';

    Including Bootstrap’s JavaScript (Optional):

    To harness Bootstrap’s JavaScript functionalities, you’ll also need its JavaScript and Popper.js.

    Install Popper.js via npm:

    npm install popper.js

    Then, in your main React entry file, import the necessary Bootstrap and Popper.js files:

    import 'popper.js/dist/umd/popper.min.js';
    import 'bootstrap/dist/js/bootstrap.min.js';

    Utilising Bootstrap Components in React

    With Bootstrap seamlessly integrated, you can commence using its components within your React components.

    For instance, if you desire a Bootstrap navbar in your React app, simply embed the appropriate Bootstrap classes within the JSX of your React components.

    Customising Bootstrap (Optional)

    If you aim to modify Bootstrap’s default styles, consider employing Bootstrap’s SCSS source files instead of the precompiled CSS.

    Install the SCSS version via npm:

    npm install bootstrap@npm:@twbs/bootstrap

    Import the main SCSS file into your project’s global styles file:

    @import "~bootstrap/scss/bootstrap";

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