WordPress has evolved over the years. And while many platforms have been created just for building communities, WordPress has become an interesting option among whom are growing a community from a brand. Although building a community on WordPress has its cons, the truth is that it’s flexible enough to connect customers without leaving the website. There are amazing themes to build online community websites with trendy features, including gamification, tiered membership options, and more.
So today we’ll share some of our favorite WordPress themes to build online communities. All of these are highly customizable so you can easily adjust the look and feel of your website!
Most Popular Community Themes for WordPress
Starting online communities can be a challenging task. You’ll need to handle forum spam, member profiles, and more. And if you’re building your community on WordPress, choosing the right community theme is crucial. Because if you choose a theme that is not designed to maximize community growth, you might be wasting your time…
Fortunately, there are themes that are specifically designed to meet the needs of online communities. In this article, we have featured the best themes of 2022 👇
According to this template’s users, Vikinger is one of the best WordPress community themes in the market in terms of quality and features.
The badges, credits, quests, and gamification system of this theme are fantastic! Not to mention there are no bugs. However, there is still room for improvement. A recommendation could be to add a widget at the bottom of the forum so community builders and other users can see who is online in the forum.
The regular license for this template costs $69.
So what’s BuddyPress? Basically, it’s a popular theme that requires a plugin to create any kind of community or social network with WordPress.
BuddyPress allows you to create member profiles, launch activity streams, create user groups, send private messages, and much more.
Socialize is a great WordPress community theme, but also one of the most expensive ones on this list. This template is priced so high to reduce the number of new customers and cover the costs of continuous development for the existing ones, according to Envato. The regular license for this theme costs $249.
While Socialize is pretty expensive, it was also explicitly designed to get the most out of BuddyPress! Also, it has completely redesigned bbPress so that it looks like a traditional forum.
However, if you’re seeking a cheaper alternative, you can check out other templates, including Magzine which comes with a demo similar to Socialize. Check it out below 👇
Magzine is one of the ideal themes for any kind of website! It comes with tons of features for community, member-focused, and review sites. However, this theme requires Elementor to work, which is used to build the site templates so you can customize everything on the website.
With Magzine, you can build any kind of community. With member profiles, activity streams, user groups, direct messaging, and more!
Also, you can build a membership site, with features that allow you to restrict content, and manage member subscriptions with free, one-time, or recurring payments. The regular license for this template costs $69
Olympus is one of the most advanced WordPress community themes out there! It requires no coding skills and its installation takes only a few seconds.
Apart from the classic community template features, Olympus provides builders with some added tools such as post reactions, related posts, and social share extension. The regular license for this template costs $68.
Anesta is a modern, refreshed, and clean WordPress community theme. Users who’ve bought the Anesta template highlight its performance and usability features.
It’s built to improve communication inside an organization. Therefore, it’s great to build a community in a remote workspace). Also, it helps provide easy and user-friendly access to corporate data and other relevant information. The regular license for this template costs $69.
Cera is an intranet and extranet community theme whose main features include member and group directories, a user dashboard, e-learning tools, private messaging, and private forums.
It also allows you to build a paid and free membership access group, set an activities wall, create collaborative documents, and host community events. You can try Cera’s demo for free!
Cirkle is one of the best WordPress community themes. Firstly, it’s based on BuddyPress, the top plugin for WordPress community websites.
Also, it has plenty of features you might need if you’re looking to build a successful online group. These include customization, social networking, user-user interaction, user-website interaction, site creation, ease of use, and accessibility. The regular license for this theme costs $39.
Himer WordPress community theme allows users to create a group site for open discussions and knowledge sharing. It is a good-looking, professional, and flexible social Q&A WordPress theme designed specifically for online communities. The regular license for this template costs $59.
Last but not least, Kleo’s one of the most popular WordPress community themes in BuddyPress, with more than 16,000 customers. It allows builders to create a professional blog, an e-commerce store, or an online community for your brand or product. The regular license for this template costs $59.
How to Create a Community or Social Website on WordPress?
A community website allows users to create profiles, post content, and join groups. In summary, a site that enables user interaction. These kinds of websites can be used to build an online community around any topic or interest.
For example, you could create a site that helps people find jobs by connecting them with other users who are looking for help. Or you could create a website that helps people learn about finance by connecting them with other users who want to share their knowledge.
You can use almost any WordPress theme to create a community website. However, there are some themes whose features are specifically designed for building communities (such as the ones we mentioned before).
#1: Configure the WordPress Community Theme of Choice
Once you’ve selected the desired theme for your community website, install the plugin. If it’s e.g. BuddyPress a tab will appear in your dashboard under Settings. Click on it and then go to Options.
On this tab, you’ll find some of the main template settings, including the option to allow users to upload profiles and cover images. Allowing both gives your community members the ability to design their own pages.
Then scroll down to find two more options. One allows you to enable activity stream comments on your regular blog posts (allow this to boost user engagement). You can also make new items appear in the main activity stream without requiring users to reload the page.
#2: Set Up Your Community Pages
Before you can invite users to join your WordPress community site, you need to decide which pages you want to include. To do this, go to the Settings tab and click BuddyPress > Components.
The following section will display a list of all the components or pages you can add to your community, including profiles, activity streams, private messages, and community guidelines to name a few.
So, where to start? Well, it’s pretty simple. Your ultimate goal is to find a WordPress community theme that accurately reflects your site and your group’s values. Whether it be a blog, a brand community, or a forum.
Apart from the basic features we mentioned before, you can also check all of the other tons of tools that these kinds of community templates have to offer: support options, and user roles. The possibilities to customize your community are endless!