WordPress is ideal for creating online forums and by choosing an item from this collection of the best WordPress forum themes, your website will not only look great, but it will have all the features and functionality you should need.
With all of these themes either including features for creating online forums or being built to tightly integrate with the leading forum plugins, whichever theme you choose for your website, you’ll be able to create an online forum with WordPress.
As well as being designed for launching a forum with WordPress, many of the themes in this collection also have support for adding popular social networking features to your site. Through integration with a plugin like BuddyPress, lots of the WordPress themes for creating forums featured here make it easy to enable features like private messaging, advanced user profiles, user connections and relationships, activity feeds, and discussion groups. Therefore, if you want to make your online forum even more interactive, these themes can really help.
When browsing this collection of the best forum themes, be sure to check out the demos to get an idea of how your website could look. If there’s anything that isn’t quite right for your site, check to see what customization options the theme has and how you can go about making changes to the design. Some of these themes for creating online forums include page builder tools that allow you to get really creative with the appearance of your site.
As these themes hopefully demonstrate, everyone should be able to launch their own discussion board or online forum with WordPress, combing useful features with a stylish design.
Olympus is another modern WordPress forum theme that’s fully compatible with the bbPress plugin.
As Olympus is a relatively recently released WordPress forum theme, it has a fully up-to-date design that will give your website a modern look. In addition to the stylish homepage layout that’s packed with useful content, Olympus also comes with a full set of modern templates for all the other pages your online forum might need. Thanks to this, you can ensure that your website has a consistent look across its different sections, such as the homepage, the blog, and the discussion forum area.
However as the Olympus theme has been created using the powerful WPBakery Page Builder plugin – which is included in the theme package at no extra cost – you get full creative freedom over the appearance of your website. Not only is the WPBakery Page Builder one of the most popular drag-and-drop content editor plugins for WordPress, but it also comes with a large library of useful elements that you can insert into your pages to make them more functional and effective. Some examples of this include video players, pricing tables, optin forms, and much more.
It’s also worth highlighting that Olympus hasn’t just been built to work with the bbPress plugin but also the BuddyPress plugin too. This means that you have the option of enabling BuddyPress and then activating its wide range of social networking features. As BuddyPress is often described as social networking in a box, you can add many features found in sites like Facebook to your forum, including user relations and connections, private messaging, user profiles, and status updates. Olympus has also been built to be fully compatible with the WooCommerce plugin, giving you a quick and easy way to add ecommerce features to your site, such as the ability to collect payments online, list and sell physical and digital products, and offer subscription packages to your members.
With a helpful quick start guide, Olympus is not only well designed but easy to use.
Gwangi is a WordPress forum theme aimed at dating and matchmaking communities.
With six main websites demos available, you get to choose from a range of options for how your dating-focused community website will look. Among the pre-built demo options that you can import into your site is a youth-style dating website design, one for creating spiritual dating sites, and another for building an elite dating site. There’s also a basic demo that just includes the essential features, rather than being aimed at a specific audience. You can then customize that demo to meet your specific needs.
When it comes to customization options, Gwangi doesn’t disappoint. Through the intuitive WordPress Customizer interface, it’s possible to adjust many of the display properties of your website when using this theme, hopefully providing you with everything that’s needed to appeal to your target audience. The Gwangi dating forum and community theme also includes a selection of custom widgets for inserting a range of elements in your pages.
Gwangi isn’t short on community, forum, and dating related features either. Thanks to the member directory feature, you can easily display lists of your users, complete with their choice of photograph and profile information. You can also create, or let your users create, member groups based on shared interests. This can help your members connect and form relations organically on your website.
As you might expect from a theme included in this collection of the best WordPress forum themes, Gwangi includes full support for adding a discussion forum to your website. Through close integration with the popular bbPress plugin, your users can post messages and reply to each other through the forums that you create. If you want to monetize your forums and the rest of your dating website, you can enable the WooCommerce plugin to start collecting one-time or recurring payments from your users. You can easily publish pricing tables with this theme so that your members can compare the different membership plans available to them.
BuddyBoss works with the best plugins to help you create an online forum with WordPress.
Built around a selection of popular plugins for WordPress as well as its own in-house tools, BuddyBoss has everything you’ll need to create an interactive online community. Thanks to a growing library of templates for these plugins, you can make use of all of their features and select from your choice of pre-built layouts for your forum, social network, and user profile pages.
You can also use the pre-built content and features to let your members make connections with each other, create social groups, and use the private messaging system. You get full control over which of these features are enabled on your website, helping you to create the right type of platform for your project and its audience.
As well as the forum-related features, BuddyBoss has all the functionality and templates needed to help you add other useful elements to your website. This includes the full set of blog templates for sharing your latest news on your site, the ability to publish events, and support for advertising jobs and employment opportunities online.
BuddyBoss also have everything that’s required to launch a membership site with WordPress or add a membership component to your online forum. Thanks to this, you get another way to control access to your website and its content, as well as more options for monetizing your project.
Other reasons to consider the BuddyBoss WordPress forum theme include the option for enabling gamification to encourage engagement and the integrated page builder tool for customizing your site. It also allows you to create native mobile apps that you can publish in the Google and Apple app stores to give your target audience another way to interact with your forums and the rest of your platform.
BuddyBoss is a well-rounded theme that can do much more than just help you launch an online forum.
ForumPress is a purpose-built WordPress theme that was created just for online forums.
The default pre-built mode and layout of the ForumPress theme ensures that your forum is the main attraction of your website, putting the discussion area front and center of your WordPress website. Of course, if this approach doesn’t quite match your preferences, then you’re free to change things up and display a page, blog post, or all the latest content from your blog as the homepage of your website. However, for those looking to create a website where their online forum is the key feature, ForumPress is ideal.
As you might expect by now, ForumPress, like many of the other options in this collection of WordPress forum themes is powered by the ever-popular bbPress plugin. The theme has all the templates a bbPress-powered forum might need, ensuring that your website has a uniform look throughout. This covers the homepage, forum topics, user profiles, and search results, as well as many other sections of your site. Other features like the live search and quick setup guide will assist your users in finding what they’re looking for and help you get your site online with as little effort as possible. You can also add your own branding to your site and personalize your forum in other ways through the WordPress Customizer tool.
If you’re looking for a theme that’s built to do one thing and do it very well, ForumPress from HeroThemes should meet your criteria.
5. Join Up
Join Up is a BuddyPress-powered interactive WordPress discussion forum theme.
The demos in the Join Up package cover creating a social network style site and an online community portal. Plus, you get lots of different templates for displaying your forums and other interactive website features in various ways.
This theme also has good events publishing support and eCommerce templates for selling items directly from your website. Customizing the templates is easy, thanks to compatibility with the powerful Elementor page builder plugin. For more functionality, Join Up includes the premium Slider Revolution plugin and the Youzify BuddyPress add-on at no extra cost.
Join Up has an impressive design that will give your forum website an inviting and modern look.
Lynk is a WordPress forum theme with a strong social networking component.
Designed to provide you with everything required to create your own online community with WordPress, the Lynk theme includes support for lots of useful plugins, including bbPress, and BuddyPress. With these two plugins and their libraries of add-ons, you can easily add a forum and lots of great social networking features to your site. There’s also a good range of features for adding an online directory to your website, which combined with the social networking and community features, could be used to allow your visitors to sign up and add their own items to the directory, such as reviews, adverts, or anything else they might want to share with your audience. There’s also a fully functional events calendar feature included too, that allows you to publicize upcoming events in an interactive calendar format.
With good ecommerce support, you can easily monetize your entire site with the Lynk theme, or just certain aspects of it. For example, you could make your site private and charge a membership fee for access, or simply make the classifieds section a paid option which will cost your users a one-time fee to publish an advert on. As this theme and its supported plugins are very flexible, you can get a lot of control over how this aspect of your online forum and community site works.
To help you get started and build your own online community and forum with WordPress, Lynk comes with an installer which will walk you through the process of installing and setting up this theme. There’s also lots of helpful documentation to help you on your way, not to mention the six months of support you get from the theme developers when you purchase Lynk.
With a stylish design that’s recently been refreshed, Lynk is well worth a closer look.
Kleo is packed with features to help you build an online community website based around a forum.
Aimed at those who want to launch an online forum with a strong social networking and community aspect, Kleo is a popular option among the best WordPress forum themes. With over 18 thousand sales to date and an average user rating of 4.7 out of 5, Kleo should appeal to anyone looking for a tried and tested theme for their website.
Despite launching in 2014, Kleo has been regularly updated and improved, with – at the time of writing – the latest release only a being a few days old. Thanks to this good approach to theme maintenance, if you choose Kleo for your online forum, your website will have a fully up-to-date design with a feature list to rival the best multipurpose WordPress themes available today.
In fact, if you check out the Kleo demo, you’ll see that this theme actually comes with a huge selection of pre-built websites for you to choose from. Admittedly, not all of them are ideal for creating online forums, however, there are plenty of suitable options in the library of demos. Furthermore, due to the functionality of this theme, if you simply want to add a discussion forum to another type of website, such as a news site, an eLearning site, or a business directory, Kleo is more than up to the task.
Some of the community and forum features that you might be interested in include full support for the bbPress and BuddyPress plugins, the full set of templates for the discussion areas of your website, and the collection of widgets that make it easy for your users to navigate your forums and interactive areas. Other important features of the Kleo forum theme include the wide range of customization options and settings, the full ecommerce support for collecting payments and creating subscription packages, and the eLearning functionality provided by the Sensei plugin.
If you want a theme that’s ideal for many different projects, then Kleo could be the one you’re looking for.
Socialize was designed for creating social networking and community sites but is more than suitable for adding forums to WordPress.
Whether you want to use the social networking and community features of Socialize on your forum website or you’re just looking for a theme with good bbPress support, Socialize is a suitable option. Due to the high levels of support for the free bbPress plugin, creating an online discussion forum with WordPress is a task that Socialize is more than capable of. Then, if you have greater needs, or your requirements change in the future, you also have the option of using the BuddyPress plugin to add even more interactive and community-focused features to your site.
With a full set of BuddyPress and bbPress templates at your disposal, if you choose Socialize for your website, you’ll have no trouble enabling front-end user profiles, private messaging, and of course discussion forums, as well as many other interactive features. You can also use the variety of extensions available for BuddyPress and bbPress to add even more features to your website as needed.
In addition to the useful features that make up this theme, Socialize also has a stylish design that will appeal to anyone creating a content-rich website with WordPress. With lots of options for your menus and sidebars, as well as a wide range of post and page templates, you get a lot of control over how your content is organized and presented with this theme. There are also four different homepage layouts to choose from and multiple advertising areas for monetizing your website and its content.
Other interesting features that you might want to take advantage of if you pick Socialize for your website include the built-in online calendaring functionality and the integrated page builder tool. Thanks to this, you can publish and promote upcoming events to your audience or give your members the ability to add their own events to your online calendar. The drag-and-drop WPBakery Page Builder tool should come in handy too if you want to customize your website without the need to edit any code yourself.
Socialize is another well-established option in this collection of the best forum themes for WordPress.
Besocial gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to setting up an online forum with WordPress.
With a powerful set of theme options, you can customize many of the display properties of your website and online forum through an intuitive visual interface. You can also use the integrated page builder tool from SiteOrigin and its library of optional add-ons to customize the templates and pre-built content that makes up the Besocial theme package.
When it comes to social networking and forum features, Besocial has plenty to offer in this department too. For example, you can use the featured members widget to highlight your most active or most valued users to the rest of your community. You can also use the site-wide stats widgets to share selected statistics with your visitors and members, such as the top or most recent posts, comments, and members. Promoting popular content and the latest activity on your site is easy too, thanks to the bbPress and BuddyPress-compatible widgets. Other features like the powerful search tool should be able to help your members find more of your content and network with other members who meet their search criteria.
With Besocial you also get access to a good selection of templates and pre-built designs to help you populate your website with content. These designs cover the forum and social networking aspects of your site, as well as the homepage, blog, and portfolio sections. You can also enable the optional WooCommerce plugin and then use the templates of this theme to start selling physical and digital products directly from your WordPress website. Another supported plugin that you might want to enable on your site is the Events Calendar tool, giving you and your members the opportunity to promote upcoming events to the community.
With features like live notifications and a rating system, there are many good reasons to consider Besocial.
Buddy is marketed as a multi-purpose BuddyPress WordPress theme with lots of features.
Although Buddy has been available for a while now, this theme certainly doesn’t look out of date. Regular updates ensure that it still has lots of offer WordPress users today. Built around the two leading interactive BuddyPress and bbPress plugins, you should have no trouble setting up an online forum with this theme. Whether you want to extend the functionality of your forum by using the social networking features of the BuddyPress plugin is entirely up to you. But if you do, the Buddy theme comes with all the pre-built content and templates you’re likely to need.
Getting started is easy, thanks to the one-click installer. This should ensure that your website is ready to go and all the required plugins have been activated. If you want to publish your website in more than one language, you should be pleased to learn that Buddy is translation ready, while also compatible with the best multilingual WordPress plugins, such as WPML.
Other notable features of this popular WordPress forum theme include a library of shortcodes for inserting a range of elements into your content in just a few clicks, an integrated contact form, and clean and search engine friendly code. Like all of the best WordPress forum themes, Buddy should work with any reputable third-party plugins, allowing you to add almost any extra features to your forum website, including page builders, slideshow tools, and ecommerce extensions. Any websites created with Buddy are fully mobile responsive as well.
Buddy has built up a positive reputation since its initial launch and continues to receive positive feedback from users.
Cinematix is a theme for creating online communities that are powered by BuddyPress and bbPress.
Cinematix comes in a number of different color schemes that let you change the mood and style of your online forum or community website in just a few clicks. You aren’t limited to the pre-built color schemes though. Instead, you can also create your own custom color palette that will match your branding, appeal to your target audience, or help your site stand out from the crowd.
In addition to the color options, Cinematix has also been built around the powerful and popular WPBakery Page Builder plugin, enabling you to customize almost every aspect of your website, along with the ability to create custom page designs for your site from scratch. As all of this creative work takes place through a user-friendly interface, everyone should be able to personalize their website to some degree with WPBakery and Cinematix.
For those all-important forum and community features, Cinematix certainly isn’t lacking. Private messaging, member profiles, activity feeds, and friendship and connection functionality are all included as standard. You can also give your users the ability to enable email and browser notifications so that they never miss an update, as well as let them create their own custom groups where they can discuss shared interests. The forum features are all provided by the bbPress plugin and its add-ons, ensuring Cinematix has everything you need to launch your own discussion boards. If you want to see how any aspect of this theme works in real life, the online Cinematix demo does a great job of showcasing what’s possible with this competitively priced option.
With lots of online documentation, Cinematix is well suited to new and experienced WordPress users alike.