Best Community WordPress Themes for Social Networks & Forums

18 Best Community WordPress Themes 2023

Community, forums and social sites drive a lot of traffic from user interaction. This means you need to offer your users a great experience and what better way to do that than with one of the best community WordPress themes?

In this post, we list 18 of the best (in our opinion) community WordPress themes suitable for your bbPress or BuddyPress site. We cover feature-rich and responsive themes that come with excellent customer reviews.

That out of the way, let us discover what the community WordPress theme market has to offer. Enjoy and share your findings at the end.

Disclaimer: WPExplorer is an affiliate for one or more products listed below. If you click a link and complete a purchase we could make a commission.

1. Total (bbPress)

Looking for a quick and easy way to build your own forum? We have to mentioned the Total theme. With integration and styling options for bbPress forums it’s Total is a great way to build a website to get the conversation going, create a support form for your product, start a community events board for your neighborhood, etc.

The theme comes with a powerful extended version of the WPBakery page builder complete with drag and drop modules for over 50 different page elements including buttons, titles, sliders, images, tabs, toggles and of course bbPress forums, logins and more. Added features in the live WordPress Customizer make choosing custom fonts, colors, default layouts, header and footer designs and more easy.

Want more than just a bbPress theme? Not problem. Total is compatible with most major plugins including (but not limited to) WooCommerce, the Events Calendar, Elementor, Open Table, WPML, Polylang, Yoast SEO, JetPack etc. Plus the theme comes with premium plugins, like Slider Revolution, Visual Composer and Templatera for FREE. Other key features include 40+ quick import sample demos, extensive online documentation and 6 months of premium support – so you can get started fast (or ask for help if needed).

2. BuddyBoss


If you’d like to build a more feature rich community, than BuddyBoss is for you. Fully compatible with BuddyPress, the BuddyBoss platform help you create and customize your online community. Use the Gutenberg editor and the power of the Elementor page builder to design your site. Enable BuddyPress, plus all of your core settings for editable member profiles, social groups, private messaging and more. Then encourage the community to engage with points, rewards, ranks and achievements. You can even easily monetize your site when you use BuddyBoss. Add premium memberships, subscriptions, or one time purchases.

But BuddyBoss doesn’t stop there. It also offers numerous helpful integrations to offer your community even more features. Add an events calendar using Events Calendar Pro. Create a job postings section with WP Job Manager. Create courses with LearnDash.  Build a WooCommerce store to sell goods. With BuddyBoss it’s easy to create the site you want for your online community.

3. ForumPress

ForumPress bbPress Forum WordPress Theme

If you want to build a forum your best best is a WordPress theme created and designed specifically for that purpose. One of the best bbPress themes around is ForumPress by HeroicThemes.

To start off, ForumPress is easy to install thanks to the setup assistant. Just follow along with the prompts to activate and install the theme. You can even install sample data if you need a bit of help figuring out how to configure your core forum pages. Plus ForumPress is customizable. Just use the live theme customizer settings to make your forums match your brand. Edit colors, body font, site logo, footer copyright and more.

Plus, with ForumPress all the features you need to extend your bbPress forum are built in. Create multiple forums for users to connect. Manage topics and replies with easy. Enable user profiles, user pages (to display profile info, topics created by the user, replies and favorited posts) and even add a forum live search.

ForumPress is also responsive, compatible with popular plugins (such as Yoast SEO and Contact Form 7), and includes update and support for a year.

4. Kleo Pro

kleo community wordpress theme

You don’t have to be a professional developer or designer to build excellent websites thanks to the Kleo BuddyPress theme. Don’t let the term “BuddyPress” throw you off, Kleo is perfect for bbPress and other community WordPress sites.

Seventh Queen, the power elite author behind Kleo offers you 27 demos that you can install with a click. Alternatively, you can create your template from scratch since Kleo ships with a horde of impressive features.

We are talking about features such as an intuitive admin panel, unlimited customization options, multiple site layouts, drag-and-drop page builder, Sensei plugin, Facebook login integration, BuddyPress profile and group covers, live notifications and so much more.

5. Aardvark (BuddyPress)

aardvark buddypress community wordpress theme

Handcrafted by power elite author GhostPool, who specializes in BuddyPress themes, Aardvark is a complete and robust community WordPress theme suitable for your BuddyPress networks.

That’s not all; Aardvark is also suitable for online stores, paid membership sites, online courses, news sites and general blogs among other sites. All because the theme packs quite a punch in terms of features.

15 pre-built demos you can install in a click give you a head start with your design. But if you’d like to create your page layouts from the ground-up, Aardvark comes with the WPBakery drag-and-drop builder.

200+ theme options mean you can create the community site of your dreams without touching a line of code.

6. Socialize

socialize community wordpress theme

Socialize by Ghostpool is a remarkable WordPress theme that is perfect for any community-focused website. It’s is as colorful as it is useful, what with a cache of amazing features.

We are talking about easy bbPress/BuddyPress integration, four homepage variations, six post layouts, nine category styles, Ajax page load, WPBakery page builder, great menus and unlimited customization options among others.

Socialize comes with a child theme and a one-click demo site, both of which make creating your community site a breeze.

7. Buddy

Buddy Multi-Purpose WordPress/BuddyPress Theme

Build community websites like a boss with a BuddyPress theme like no other. Buddy is a fully fledged community theme that puts a lot of design freedom in your hands. It features a unique throw-back forum design that helps your social site to stand out from the crowd.

Additionally, Buddy ships with powerful shortcodes, multilingual support, front-end registration, retina image support, font icons, site-wide search and multisite compatibility among others.

Buddy plays well with plugins such as BuddyPress (of course), WooCommerce, bbPress, BuddyPress Activity Plus, Yoast SEO and more. The theme is customizable and extensible.

8. Sweet Date


A dating portal is just one example of the many social sites you can create on WordPress with plugins such as BuddyPress and bbPress. For the dating and relationship industry, you cannot afford to miss the mark with your design.

Sweet Date offers you an all-in-one theme that promises to increase user interaction on your dating website. Well, you can use Sweet Date for other websites, not just dating sites. All because the theme is easy to set up and customize.

You can expect features such as membership levels, Facebook login integration, partner matching system, smart notifications, unique profiles, online status, Ajax instant search, shortcodes and a powerful admin panel among others.

9. Cera

Cera Community Theme

Meet Cera – a powerful community theme that comes with an extensive list of features and then some. From our first impression, the design isn’t disappointing either, which means you have a theme you can depend on.

What’s in store? Well, all the features you need to create a formidable community site. Cera boasts a number of compatible plugin integrations compatibility with BuddyPress, bbPress, LearnDash, the Events Calendar, WooCommerce and more. Plus there are plenty of features such as uploads, directories, shared files, global search, blog posts, ajax login, easy customizations, etc.

Cera offers you all the power you need to create social sites, staff intranet, learning platforms, forums, private sites, and any other community website you have in mind. With a good number of features including unlimited customization options, nothing should stop you from creating the social site of your dreams.

10. BuddyApp

buddyapp community wordpress theme

Seventh Queen makes yet another appearance, this time with BuddyApp, a mobile-first and minimalist community theme perfect for your social site. With a creative mobile-friendly design and features out of this world, you can run your networking site on the go.

BuddyApp comes with features such as a bonus HTML5 landing page, live notifications, Ajax search, full live customizer support, live chat, knowledge base, advanced file management, three menu locations, bbPress forums, Facebook login, profile/group cover photos, and the list goes on.

On top of that, BuddyApp ships with top-notch plugins such as WPBakery page builder, WP-Polls, BuddyPress Like, Cleverness To-Do List, Visualizer: Charts and Graphs and much more. Don’t take my word for it, give the demo a test drive and come back with your findings.

11. Olympus

Olympus Community Theme

So, what do you do to have users flocking to your social networking website? Quick answer: you create an appealing and user-friendly website using a formidable WordPress theme such as Olympus.

Olympus sports a splendid customer rating, an intriguing design, and features that will blow your wig off. Right off the box, Olympus is a social-networking ready theme that makes building any community website as easy as pie.

You can use Olympus regardless of your skill level thanks to a bounty of features such as beautiful demos, social login, WPBakery page builder, unique header and footer styles, customization options, and so much more your head will be reeling in awe.

12. Besocial

besocial buddypress theme

A great website costs an arm and a leg, right? Wrong, especially when you have Egemenerd, the elite author behind the Besocial WordPress theme, in your corner.

Just to put it out there, Besocial is the second best-rated theme on our list, and I have a feeling the rating has everything to do with the impressive design and an endless list of features.

That being said, what’s on offer? Besocial offers you exciting options such as social login, live notifications, an events calendar, front-end post submission, mutual friends, FAQ system, bbPress forums, multiple post formats, Facebook comments, and one-click demo import among others.

13. Anesta

Anesta Community Theme

Anesta is one of the more unique community WordPress themes, made with your community’s interactions in mind. It is fully customizable and scalable but remains simple enough to let you create a brilliant website without writing a single line code.

If you aim to boost user interaction (and who isn’t) on your social site, you want to go with the Anesta network WordPress theme. The theme is packed to the brim with features that help you to drive interaction on your community site.

If you’re wondering, Anesta comes with features such as user dashboards, file sharing, polls, groups, e-commerce options, Elementor page builder and a robust admin panel among others. The theme helps you to customize your social network extensively.

14. Salutation

salutation community wordpress theme

Whether you’re in Boca Raton sipping some Roca Patron or traveling across the globe doing your thing, you need a dependable WordPress theme that ensures your users are having a great time. Enters Salutation and the day is saved.

Salutation is a simplistic WordPress theme that is giving the competition a run for their money left, right and center. It features a simple design but make no mistake; this bad boy packs a punch as far as features are concerned. It’s laid back, yes, but it is a formidable theme by all means.

The feature list spots the usual options such as Slider Revolution, a drag-and-drop layout manager, contact form builder, sidebar generator, unlimited colors, multilingual support, popup login form and powerful admin options among others.

15. Gwangi

Gwangi dating and matchmaking community WordPress themes

Last but not least comes Gwangi, a WordPress theme perfect for all types of dating and networking sites. The theme is relatively new in the market (it’s three months old at the time of writing), but it is a worthy contender for this collection of community WordPress themes.

Why? You ask. Well, for starters, Gwangi focuses on your content with a state of the art design.  That, plus you can customize every element to your heart’s content. There aren’t that many BuddyPress themes, so when you spot one that rocks, you better keep it. Gwangi is one such theme.

The features department will knock off your socks. You can expect features such as a matchmaking system, member swap Tinder-style, Ajax global search, mutual friends, unlimited member listing, excellent messaging features, ability to follow other users and so much more.

16. Lynk

Lynk Social Networking & Community WordPress Theme

Lynk is a BuddyPress and bbPress compatible theme you can use to build a social site or online forum. But that’s not all – Lynk offer a ton of other features for business directories, magazine or new sites, events and online stores.

Lynk offers everything you’d expect from a community theme, but there are also a few surprises. Such as mega menus, ajax global search, customizable user menu, front-end forms, user notifications (messages, friend requests, new posts, etc.), MailChimp integration and more.

17. SocialChef

SocialChef BuddyPress & bbPress WordPress Theme

SocialChef is a fully functioning recipe community premium WordPress theme that supports BuddyPress and bbPress. This theme is perfect for creating a forum for your readers to share and swap recipes.

What’s better than a recipe for your grandmother’s perfect chocolate chip cookies? Sharing that recipe with the world! And with SocialChef, your friends and anyone else can get together online to share different recipes that you love. The theme is fully compatible with bbPress forums and BuddyPress social networking, so it’s easy for users to connect with eachother.

A key feature of the theme is of course the recipes. SocialChef allows your users to submit their recipes so you don’t have to be the only one adding content. From there, recipes are formatted to make them easy to follow. Add the prep time, cooking time, skill level, servings, category, ingredients and even nutrition facts. You can even add numbers to the cooking steps so readers don’t get lost when following along with the recipe. Other great theme features include 12 color schemes, social integration, a built-in callout bar, styled widgets and more.

18. ForumEngine

ForumEngine WordPress Theme

ForumEngine is a community and forum style WordPress theme created by EngineThemes. This theme includes everything you need to start, run and manage your own online forum.

ForumEngine includes great options for managing your forum. Users can create individual profiles with images and basic information, as well as stats on the number of comments and posts they’ve made. Plus you can color code the categories posts are added to for easy reference.

The theme is also fully responsive. This is a great feature since users will want to follow and comment on discussions on the go using their tablet or mobile device. The layout is easy to use no matter what device your readers use.

ForumEngine includes lots of customization options as well. You can choose from 8 included color schemes, or put together on of your own (there’s unlimited color options for many of the theme elements). Other great features include footer social links, custom login page, custom logo, font options, and more.

Final Words on the Best Community WordPress Themes

The secret to picking an excellent community WordPress theme lies in understanding your specific site needs. On top of that, we encourage you to go for a responsive and feature-rich theme. For example the Total WordPress theme – it really is a true multipurpose theme.

First, decide between BuddyPress or bbPress (basically, social network or forum), then pick one of the awesome themes above (just be sure it supports the community option you chose in step one), add extra plugins if you need more features (like these BuddyPress extensions) and  lastly spread the word about your site to your network. You’ll have a thriving community in no time.

All in all, endeavor to offer great user experience and your community site likely succeed regardless of the theme you choose. Having the best WordPress theme means jack if you can’t offer your users a great time on your site.

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