How to open an existing template I've made?

Hello there everyone!

I’m new to BSS and I’d like to use it to continue work on a site I’ve created but I’m having problems figuring out how to open the template in the editor.

Could someone tell me what I’m missing? How do I open an existing html template in the editor?

Thanks for the help!

If you created an HTML template outside of Bootstrap Studio (either hand coded, or with some other software) you cannot open it in Bootstrap Studio as a “template.” Bootstrap Studio does not support the importing of third-party templates, or even those that you hand-code yourself.

You can only bring HTML files into BSS as custom code blocks. This is simply a limitation of the program, and it really should be something that’s made more clear on the Bootstrap Studio homepage. because the way it’s advertised, it can confuse people into thinking they can buy, download or create Bootstrap templates and them import them into BSS. The only templates BSS can use are the ones that come with the program.

Of course, you can always rebuild your HTML template in BSS using it’s components (which are how BSS creates it’s HTML) and then save your site as a “template” for your own use in the future.

What’s often more helpful, is to save portions of web pages you’ve created as custom library components, and then you can easily put together a new website by simply using your own library of navbars, headers, footers, and so on.

Ooof, that’s absolutely heartbreaking. Nowhere in the documentation could I find anywhere that it said it couldn’t import html and when I tried to ask on the forums before purchase, it wouldn’t allow me to because I didn’t have a purchase associated with my email. I don’t know that it’s feasible to import the 40-50 sites I manage into BSS as custom code blocks but it sounds like not a very happy solution.

I wouldn’t have purchased BSS if I had known that it was a walled-garden solution and not an editor. I’m super bummed that I’m out $60 to have learned it.

I very much appreciate you taking the time to explain the situation to me. I should have done more Googling prior to the purchase.

Don’t kick yourself too hard, because you’re hardly the first person to post this exact experience.

As I said, I personally feel the Bootstrap Studio homepage really should be updated to read more clearly that the program supports the importing of existing website’s CSS and JS, but that the HTML can only be imported as custom code blocks, which can not be edited via the program’s visual UI.
I feel this is a crucial distinction that has disappointed quite a few people who thought they could buy BSS, and then import any old website and start working on it.

The issue has been mentioned to the developers (@martin @gabby) by both myself and a few of the other forum “regulars.” I’m at a bit of loss as to why they’re resistant to changing the wording on the BSS website’s home page (especially since 99% of the time, it’s us veteran users who have to break the news to new users that they can’t simply import their older websites seamlessly.)

The only program I know of that DOES do exactly what you want is Pinegrow, but be warned that it’s a very different workflow, has a steeper learning curve than BSS, and it’s quite a bit more expensive.

FWIW, when I bought BSS, I had about 40 existing client websites that were all built prior to responsive design, so while I also learned the hard way that I couldn’t just import them into BSS and start editing, it wasn’t as big of a deal to me because I really wanted to update them to more modern looking designs anyway.

Although it can seem daunting, ultimately I feel it’s worth it to rebuild your old sites in BSS. Once you do it, then you’ve got them in the software forever, and they’re a lot easier to maintain and update once they’re in BSS. And once you get the hang of BSS, it’s really not that hard to recreate a page from an existing website using BSS’s drag-and-drop components.

Seeing as how they would have lost getting $60 of my money if they had let me know, I am going to assume that it’s financially motivated because that’s a huge deal breaker for a lot of people. Imagine selling a graphics editor that could only open images you created in that editor. The premise is absurd and would never be something that someone would assume but instead would need to be instructed of. In fact, I’ve never come across an editor of any type that couldn’t open project files created in other applications.

I can understand your point in recreating every single site again just so I can use BSS but I’m not sure if I’m up for recreating every site(some are quite complex) just so I can use this editor. I’m going to have to think on it a bit but my kneejerk reaction is that this will be an application that ends up never getting opened.

Hopefully this topic will serve as the notice that the creators won’t make for any future prospective customers that do a better job Googling than I on the application’s limitations before purchasing.

If you’ve just recently purchased the app and feel mislead due to the lack of more descriptive verbiage expressing what the app does and doesn’t offer through its website. Then try contacting the developers to ask for a refund, especially if you feel you will never use the app.

I found a Youtube Video by a Yorksgire (from his accent) web developer who was showing how to import an existing website into BSS.

In essence I’m, doing something similar but in practice I’m just re-writing and in some cases improving or refining key elements that were in my old Dreamweaver template, such as headers and footers, galleries.

In all honesty I’ve spent 3 or 4 years trying various other options and like you I was thinking the same last year, but after a fresh look and upgrading I decide this was the best option for me. In my case I need to re-vamp my entire site regardless as much of the content goes back to the early to mid 1990’s. Images were scanned and compressed and sized for 1440k modems, although some of it is a lot newer :smiley:

However it’s not a case of re-writing every thing, text etc is quick and easy to cut and paste. I realised what seemed a daunting task isn’t as most of my main website uses sections of similar pages based on templates. The planning and thinking is harder than teh doing.

I’d add that the way the Forum is beginning to work better and the use of a Google search seems to be making it easier to find answers. I’d say my biggest mistake was expecting to use BSS from the word go to begin revamping my websites, by playing with and adapting components etc, I’ve realised I needed to assemble my own elements in the Components/User section.

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Well you’re not at a total loss, you can import all your CSS and JS files as well as any fonts that you use that are not already in Google (or similar to Google fonts). The only thing you need to really do is create the structure of your site. If you’re a good developer you’ll create your pages to be similar structure to eachother baring some of the content of course, but usually the same Header area, Footer area and Sidebar if you use it.

From there you can duplicate the page and use it over and over by making the second page, Do the Linked Component for anything that will stay the same (means you’ll need to drag a replacement for Header, Footer, Sidebar or anything you plan to be on all pages so that it shows the linked one. Then just delete the old components as you replace them and Wallah! Now you can duplicate either of those pages, or any page and as long as it is linked it is good. In a sense, all pages are master pages so to speak so it doesn’t matter which one you duplicate to get the linked items.

Hope that helps and have fun redoing your site! Sounds exciting! :slight_smile:

That’s the approach I’m taking but it’s easier to edit the existing BSS CSS, and the JS I was using was old.

When finished it’ll replace this

I’ve not finalised the header or footer yet, there will be far less though a more simple footer.

And then using the same elements a Lightbox Gallery.

The current site is not responsive the new pages work well on any device. Essentially I know my CSS settings from the current site so will just adapt. Perhaps it’s important to realise you can’t match exactly (easily) but yiu adapt and evolve.


True, and also keep in mind that if you create a second page right away, even before you have your Header and Footer completed, you can then set up the Linked Components so that when it is done you will be all set to go. Anything you change will always be duplicated in any other pages if they are linked, so it doesn’t matter if they are completed or not to do this. Might save you steps later when you add new things to it and the site is larger. :slight_smile:

I wasn’t really aware of that Jo, that’s something I need to look into. BSS has a lot of hidden power that’s not immediately obvious.

It seems common sense to have an Experimental; Project separate to play around. In the past I’d find a nice expensive Template and look at the HTML & CSS and write what I needed, but I’m an aged pensioner now :smiley: I learnt Fortran 4 programming in the 1960’s (67 just after the Summer of Love).

But hey I still shoot film and mostly larger formats 5"x4", 7"x5" ansd 10"x8", big wood and brass cameras. However I’d also shot gigabytes of Digital for work by the mid 2000’s (I’ve essentially worked with the same people since the mid to late 1970’s.

There’s a parallel point here, and a kind off cross over. I neglected moving to a responsive website , then I looked at my own site on an IPad 3 or 4 it was strange.So I hadn’t neglected my core side but had the web side.


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Well Bootstrap Studio is really not an “editor”, it’s a Bootstrap website builder. What other website builders do you know of that can open websites created in other builders?

Aside from Pinegrow and Dreamweaver, which are editors that deal directly with HTML and CSS files, every website builder I’ve ever used saves website projects in proprietary formats that are only recognized by that builder. For example, you cannot open Website Realizer project files in WYSIWYG Web builder. You cannot open WYSIWYG Web Builder project files in Website X5. You cannot open Website X5 files in CoffeeCup Site Designer, and so on…

I find that Bootstrap Studio is actually somewhat unique in this regard, in that it is a builder that also allows you to import CSS, JS and (in it’s limited fashion) the HTML from other websites.

I agree that It would be amazing if Bootstrap Studio at least supported the opening of Bootstrap Websites in the program, but if you’ve ever used Pinegrow to open a Bootstrap Website or a Template purchased from a company like Envato, you’ll see right away that the process is never as smooth as one would hope.

I once had a client who bought a Bootstrap template and hired some company in India to customize it for their company. After they ended their relationship with the company in India (a red flag I should have recognized) we acquired the account. They sent us their website files that the company in India had created for them from the template. I opened it in Pinegrow. It was a Bootstrap 3 site.

Correcting the nightmare they had created from this template was one of the most time-consuming, aggravating things I’ve ever worked on (and I’ve rebuilt transmissions!) HTML errors everywhere, inline styles all over the place, huge images that were shrunken down via CSS. It took me weeks to find and fix all the problems.

At the time, I did not yet know about Bootstrap Studio, but if I had, I wouldn’t have hesitated for a second to have ditched their entire project and rebuilt the whole site from scratch in Bootstrap Studio. That’s how much of an advantage I consider it to be to work on websites in this program.

I still have and use Pinegrow from time-to-time, and if editing a large number of existing websites is your main workload, I’d recommend Pinegrow. But in terms of taking old, non-Bootstrap or non-responsive websites and updating them to Bootstrap, I would consider giving Bootstrap Studio a second chance. Once you get the hang of this program, I think you’ll be hard pressed to find any other software that makes it as easy and fast to build (or rebuild) a website as Bootstrap Studio.

Hi there Print and thanks very much for all your thoughts and help. It’s greatly appreciated. Everyone else as well, it’s been a very informative topic thanks to everyone.

I shouldn’t have called it an editor and that’s not the fault of the website’s advertising, just my mistaken mindset when approaching the app. My intention is not to beat up the developers of BSS, which is the reason for my silence thus far. There’s not a bunch more for me to add to the topic that would be of any value. I just really wish my particular sticking point had been answered by the website’s content or that they would allow prospective buyers a chance to ask questions on the forum before pulling the trigger on a registration key. In the end though, that’s on me as well as I had a bad feeling in the back of my mind that I was purchasing something that wasn’t what I had hoped or thought it would be.

I appreciate everyone’s help in the topic. I’ve gone back to using VS Code to work on my sites but imagine I’ll play with the app when time permits to see what it can do. It can’t hurt and it looks to be a power tool for what it is.

They used to allow anyone to join the forum, but the problem was people were joining almost every day and spamming all the categories with ads for other website programs, or just garbage products from overseas. It got so bad that we pleaded with the developers to limit forum membership to people who’ve purchased the program.

I believe with this new forum, it’s possible to create categories that are private (for registered users) and also public (for anyone who has the website address.) It would probably be a good idea to make a category specifically for people interested in buying Bootstrap Studio, and allowing people to ask questions about the program there. What do you think of that @martin?

As someone who runs some forums, I can tell you it’s shockingly easy to keep that from happening with the assistance of SFS and Akismet. Rather than remove the single method of assistance to potential buyers, they should have just checked new users for spamminess. It would have allowed someone like me to get their questions answered by friendly folk like you.

Yeah, normally that would be the case @Schwim, but they just changed forums a couple weeks ago and the old ones didn’t have much in the way of settings at all so … in their defense they did what they could do. With the new forum now (which they’ve been changing here and there for us as needed), hopefully they will get something set up in these new forums to allow people like you to ask questions first. Here’s hoping!

Discourse(this forum’s software) has some great anti-spam capabilities, both baked in and available as plugins, so it would be possible to allow non-owners to participate if they so desired. I think it would really help prospective buyers have a better understanding of the applications capabilities.

You should post your suggestions here and tag Martin

Sorry that you’ve had a bad experience! We will update the website to link to the HTML importing tutorial to make it clear that there are limitations. You can reach out to us for a full refund.

I think that opening the forum to everyone would be a mistake. For presale questions, people should use our contact form.

Just to remind people – it’s very much a “horses for courses” approach IF you can afford the horse.
BSS can do some things, for a much cheaper price, than Pinegrow’s family of products can, but that till the very soon to come to an end of Cyber Monday, Pinegrow prices are currently reduced by 35%, maybe still not as cheap as the Lifetime version of BSS but …