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10 Best WordPress Forum Themes 2023

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.

1. Olympus

Olympus is a modern WordPress forum theme that’s fully compatible with the bbPress plugin.

You’ll love the stylish design of the theme. In addition to the appealing homepage layout that’s packed with useful content, Olympus also comes with a full set of templates for all the other pages your online forum might need so that your website has a consistent look across its different sections.

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. What’s more, WPBakery comes with a large library of useful elements that you can insert into your pages to make them more functional and effective. 

It’s also worth highlighting that Olympus works well with the BuddyPress plugin too. 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.

More Info / Download Demo

2. Gwangi

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. When it comes to customization options, Gwangi doesn’t disappoint. Through the intuitive WordPress Customizer interface, it’s possible to adjust the display properties of your website when using this theme. You also get 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 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 in 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.

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3. BuddyBoss

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.

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.

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4. SocialIV

5. ForumPress

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. 

ForumPress, like many of the other 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 should meet your criteria.

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6. Lynk

Lynk is a WordPress forum theme with a strong social networking component.

With the bbPress and BuddyPress plugins and their libraries of add-ons, you can easily add a forum and lots of great social networking features to your site using the Lynk theme. 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 or ads. 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 site with the Lynk theme by charging a membership fee for access. 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.

With a stylish design and high functionality, Lynk is well worth a closer look.

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7. Anesta

Anesta is a flexible community-focused bbPress forum theme.

Designed for creating collaborative online spaces, whether they’re public spaces available to all or protected spaces that only certain users can access, Anesta is a useful tool for building discussion forum sites. The selection of demos in the Anesta package covers a few different types of projects, including extranets, online communities, and online learning platforms, but they all have discussion forum functionality.

Anesta also has some interesting AI-powered features built into it. For example, you can use the AI tool to generate unique images for your site. If you want to make your forums accessible to paying members only, Anesta has the functionality for that, too. Furthermore, all of the templates can be edited with Elemetnor to ensure you can give your site a unique look.  

However you want to build your forum site, Anesta can help.

8. Kleo

Kleo is packed with features to help you build an online community website based around a forum.

This theme actually comes with a huge selection of pre-built websites for you to choose from, including plenty of suitable options for a forum website. 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.

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9. Socialize

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. You also have the option of using the BuddyPress plugin to add even more interactive and community-focused features to your site. With BuddyPress and bbPress at your disposal, you’ll have no trouble enabling front-end user profiles, private messaging, and of course discussion forums, as well as many other interactive features.

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 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. 

Socialize is another well-established option in this collection of the best forum themes for WordPress.

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10. Buddy

Buddy is marketed as a multi-purpose BuddyPress WordPress theme with lots of features.

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.

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 code. 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. 

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.

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