“These themes are hand-picked for their outstanding design quality, features, and customer reviews.”
bbPress is the most popular forum plugin for WordPress.
Given its ubiquity, there are a ton of WordPress themes that support bbPress. However, many of them only add this compatibility as an afterthought.
In this post, you’ll find five themes that are beautifully integrated with bbPress. They support all of its many features and have designs that emphasize forums over all other content. You can still run a blog or even an eCommerce store alongside the forums, but the discussion boards will be the main focus in the design.
We’ve got a lot of other posts you may like! If you don’t find what you’re looking for, check out these posts too:
bbPress WordPress themes
These themes are all new or recently updated, so they work with the latest versions of WordPress. They’re also fully responsive so visitors can login and post replies even when on their mobile devices.Here are my top picks for best bbPress WordPress themes for 2020.
1. Ekko - bbPress by Key Design (Themeforest)
If you want a clean and well-designed forum theme, choose Ekko. This theme is excellent for creating a focused web forum without additional distractions and elements.
The Ekko theme integrates beautifully with bbPress and many other plugins. Plus, it comes with a page builder plugin you can use to create any page design you can imagine. In fact, there are more than 25+ pre-made page templates to choose from.
Ekko loads quickly despite the massive number of features included and is search engine friendly too. All text you see is customizable or fully translatable, and Ekko is also compatible with the WPML plugin for running multilingual websites.
2. Forum by Dannci (Themeforest)
While there are a lot of premium WordPress themes with bbPress support, most of them don’t put their forums at the forefront of the design.
What I love about Forum is that it is clearly designed for a site built around its forums. The layouts are clean and easy to browse, the overall aesthetic is pretty slick and professional. The design is straightforward and emphasizes the forum and user threads and replies. On each page, there is a sidebar where you can place widgets for any tangential content you’d like to promote: feature hot threads, freebies, giveaways, or advertisements.
Forum comes with unlimited color schemes so you can match it precisely to your brand. Without any additional fluff or details, setting up a new website with this theme is elementary. If you’re transitioning from another WP template, all of your content in bbPress will be reused automatically in this theme without any data loss.
3. ForumPress by HeroThemes
If you want to focus on engagement, it’s hard to beat the awesome ForumPress theme.
This cleanly designed bbPress template has a simple design that puts all the emphasis on your community. The integration with bbPress is flawless and provides a beautiful interface to go along with the plugins powerful discussion board features. And as a modern theme, ForumPress is fully responsive so it looks just good on mobile devices as laptops.
Add multiple forums and feature them on your homepage. Visitors can navigate through the latest threads in each forum which are sorted by the most recent reply. The large member avatars throughout each page give the forum a more personal feel. Every member gets a custom profile page where they can share a bio and all of their latest topics and replies.
ForumPress includes a simple set of customization features that allow you to match the theme to your brand quickly. Switch the color, add your logo, and you’re on your way! This bbPress forum theme even comes with a setup assistant that drastically speeds up the process of building a discussion forum on a new WordPress site.
4. Vilan by Disgogo (Themeforest)
Vilan is a beautiful bbPress theme for the enterprising forum site starter. In addition to a comprehensive bbPress integration, Vilan also works with WooCommerce for adding eCommerce functionality, has a great blog design, and even has portfolio templates for images and graphics. It also comes with the Revolution Slider plugin bundled, 15 custom widgets, social media sharing buttons, and hundreds of fonts from Google Fonts. Overall, Vilan has more theme customization options than your average premium template.
If you check out the demo site, you’ll find that the forum is well designed and all the posts are easy to read and browse. Readability is extremely important for a discussion board, but you’d be surprised how many poorly designed bbPress displays are out there. The forum design includes space for a sidebar where you can add a login box, ads, or anything else you want.
As I mentioned already, you can add an entire eCommerce shop to your website with Vilan. This theme will be a great choice if you want to create a comprehensive destination for a niche topic. You can host a discussion forum on the subject and simultaneously sell recommended tools and products from the on-site store. Run an active blog too to attract new visitors and Vilan can help your site become a major hub of activity and commerce.
5. Besocial by Egenemerd (Themeforest)
BeSocial is a theme for professional social networks and forums. With an added BuddyPress integration, users can add friends, follow each other, create groups, and get live notifications while on the site. If you want to create a forum with an extra emphasis on the community members, BeSocial will be fantastic. The BuddyPress support makes the perfect choice as a WordPress theme for messaging.
The design and simple and clean, and each feature is nicely integrated. The community emphasis means you’ll work more on promoting discussion and engagement between members than publishing a lot of your own content. Like some other themes listed here, BeSocial is WooCommerce compatible so you can add an eCommerce store too. It’s also compatible with the Events Calendar plugin which lets you publish a calendar of upcoming events.
BeSocial also includes a beautiful blog with full post format support. That means you can publish images, galleries, and videos just as easily as regular posts. The built-in Facebook comments can replace the default WordPress comment system leading to more discussion on your blog. BeSocial also includes right-to-left (RTL) language support making it an excellent choice for non-English websites. Plus, the demo content importer lets you prepare your site with content in just one click.
If you plan on hosting in-person meetups and other get-togethers, this will work great for your community.
6. Cinematix by Diabolique (Themeforest)
Cinematix has a creative and colorful style for a community website. It comes with BuddyPress integration, so you can easily include social elements to this site like live notifications, direct messaging, and user groups.
Despite the name, this theme isn’t especially catered towards entertainment niches. Use it to build a community around any topic or interest. The secondary navigation menu in the top right features some well-executed iconography and contains all of the social pages a user might want to visit. Social pages include member groups, profiles, and forums.
The forum design itself in this theme is fine albeit a little spacious. It would be nice to fit more forums and user replies on the screen at once. That said, the modular design lends itself well to page building which is possible thanks to the drag-and-drag page builder plugin, Visual Composer, which comes bundled with this bbPress WordPress theme.
There are tons of pre-made templates, plus you can create your own from scratch with the page builder. And don’t worry if you’re not a big fan of the orange, you can use any color scheme you’d like. Cinematix is also translation-ready which means you can adapt it for any language or region you want.
7. Sentric by Imaginem (Themeforest)
Sentric bills itself as a support forum theme, but there’s nothing about its designs or features that make it inappropriate for any other niche. Use it to create a public or private forum about gaming, arts & crafts, fashion, personal finance, or anything else you can imagine.
This bbPress compatible theme has a clean and focused design. User replies fill the entire width of the layout leaving few distractions from their content. Feature the search bar at the top of every page allowing visitors to find whatever they may be looking for with ease. As a theme with bbPress support, you can create as many beautiful forums on your site as you want with Sentric.
If you are looking for a support forum solution, then Sentric will work well. It has some cool “forum monitoring” tools that help you find unanswered and unresolved questions. You can even assign threads to different moderators and filter posts by their status.
For customizing the theme, Sentric comes with plenty of options in the admin panel. You can change the fonts and icons, switch the colors, and add shortcodes anywhere on the site for interactive content.
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Which bbPress theme is best for you?
Ekko is insanely customizable and integrates perfectly with bbPress. Make it your first choice for creating a discussion forum website.
ForumPress does a wonderful job of highlighting the community, and that gets it the top position in this collection. The clean forum design and large user avatars and profiles make it an easy pick for a community forum.
Forum is a great alternative and is one of the best all-around forum WordPress themes here. If you want to create a forum and don’t care about any additional content (besides maybe a blog), this theme will work great for your site.
If you want a more advanced and full-featured option, the Vilan bbPress theme also has image portfolios and eCommerce store support. You have a lot of options to create a profitable site with this WP theme.
Sentric is an obvious choice for a support forum, but its built-in forum moderation tools would be useful for any discussion board. Not to mention, the minimalist aesthetic would be compatible with just about any niche.
If you’re looking to create a site that will stand out, Cinematix has a bright and bold style. The colors and all of the templates are customizable making it a very flexible theme as well.
Lastly, if you want to add a lot of social aspects to your site and serve a more professional audience, BeSocial will be a great fit. The BuddyPress integration will give you all the social tools you need and the design is nice out-of-box without any customization.
If you have a question about one of these bbPress WordPress themes, post in the comments section below.
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