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Abel Lifaefi Mbula
Abel Lifaefi Mbula

Posted on • Updated on

How to Add Bootstrap to your Nodejs Project

This article was originally published here in my blog.

If you're building apps with Nodejs and feel like you need a tool to help you enhance the UI, this article is for you. It will guide you step by step on how you can add Bootstrap to your Nodejs.

Let's create a simple app that contains the text Hello the World in a Bootstrap jumbotron.

The Initial Project

Create a simple Node project like the one below.

Project Tree

Nothing tricky here. Create a folder for your project and initialize it as Node project, npm init -y. Create the server file, app.js (touch app.js), and other directories (mkdir views).

Let's install express to configure a lightweight Node server.

npm i express or yarn add express.

We can now create our basic server.

const express = require("express")
const path = require('path')

const app = express();

app.get("/", (req, res) => {
  res.sendFile(path.join(__dirname, 'views/index.html'))

app.listen(5000, () => {
  console.log('Listening on port ' + 5000);

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We are listening on port 5000 and serving up index.html file. Make sure you have it created already and add some html contents in it.

Start your server (node app.js) and see if everything is OK. If so, let's move to the next session.

Adding Bootstrap CSS

The first solution I'd suggest here is to use a CDN. Here's how you can do it.

Go here to copy Bootstrap CSS and eventually additional JS and paste them in your index file.

Using a CDN

Now is the time to modify our index.html so that we can add Bootstrap CSS.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
    <!-- Required meta tags -->
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, shrink-to-fit=no">

    <!-- Bootstrap CSS -->
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="" integrity="sha384-9aIt2nRpC12Uk9gS9baDl411NQApFmC26EwAOH8WgZl5MYYxFfc+NcPb1dKGj7Sk" crossorigin="anonymous">

    <title>Hello, the world!</title>
    <div class="jumbotron">
      <div class="container"><h1>Hello, the world!</h1></div>

    <!-- Optional JavaScript -->
    <!-- jQuery first, then Popper.js, then Bootstrap JS -->
    <script src="" integrity="sha384-DfXdz2htPH0lsSSs5nCTpuj/zy4C+OGpamoFVy38MVBnE+IbbVYUew+OrCXaRkfj" crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
    <script src="" integrity="sha384-Q6E9RHvbIyZFJoft+2mJbHaEWldlvI9IOYy5n3zV9zzTtmI3UksdQRVvoxMfooAo" crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
    <script src="" integrity="sha384-OgVRvuATP1z7JjHLkuOU7Xw704+h835Lr+6QL9UvYjZE3Ipu6Tp75j7Bh/kR0JKI" crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
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I added two Bootstrap classes: container and jumbotron.

Restart your server and go check if Bootstrap is on the page (just see if a fluid jumbotron is there).

This solution is good, but when working offline, you'll be limited. That's why I want you to test the next solution.

Using npm

The first thing you have to do here is to install packages, which are bootstrap and optionally jquery.

npm i bootstrap jquery --save

To make use of these files we have to modify our app.js so that it will serve them to us.

// app.js
const express = require("express")
const path = require('path')

const app = express();

app.use('/css', express.static(path.join(_dirname, 'node_modules/bootstrap/dist/css')))
app.use('/js', express.static(path.join(_dirname, 'node_modules/bootstrap/dist/js')))
app.use('/js', express.static(path.join(_dirname, 'node_modules/jquery/dist')))

app.get("/", (req, res) => {
  res.sendFile(path.join(__dirname, 'views/index.html'))

app.listen(5000, () => {
  console.log('Listening on port ' + 5000);

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Thanks to express.static() we are able to serve up Bootstrap without any difficulty.

Now we can make use of Bootstrap in our HTML pages by just linking to it as <link rel="stylesheet" href="./css/bootstrap.min.css">.


In this article, we learned how to integrate Bootstrap in our Nodejs project in two different ways. The first way is to use official CDN and the last one to use npm. This last solution is suitable if you're working locally (and offline).

Do you have another way to work with Bootstrap in a Node project? Share with us!

In case you like this post, consider hitting love and unicorn buttons or follow me on Twitter or read more post on my blog.

Top comments (5)

jerucker profile image
Jimmy Rucker

Hello my name is Jimmy and the instructions are great on how to use bootstrap in node. I have a question on how to use bootstrap with handlebars in a template. I have been trying to set up my default templates with bootstrap with no success. Can you please take a look at the video and the screenshots to see what I am doing wrong.

Here are some screenshots of how I tried to link bootstrap to my handlebars template -


and here is a video of the process to further explain

Thanks a for your help

oskii profile image
Oscar Chambers

For some reason the author failed to mention that you need to add this into your HTML file - in between the

codigoisaac profile image
Isaac Muniz

Thank you very much. I was having trouble loading Bootstrap with Node and Express >)

kwazadi profile image
Jaderson • Edited

So when you install using npm, you dont need to add the script at the bottom of body ?

kavinsde profile image

you need to add that!