The benefits of including a forum functionality on your WordPress or ClassicPress site are huge. It can strengthen brand presence and in doing so draw in new customers. It could also improve a company’s relationship with its existing customers by gaining trust through support and online activity, contributing to building brand loyalty. It can also create a passionate community that will help its members and ease some of the burden that would be placed on the company’s customer support service.
With a forum, you can open the floor to any topic that would be of interest or create value for the users. The topics can focus on a business’s products or services, provide customer support suggestions, spotlight latest events or developments, and provide an overview of customer testimonials. A forum can bridge the gap between a company and its customers or to put customers in touch with one another; it’s up to the business to decide how best to put it to use.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best forum WordPress themes out there. The following list contains themes designed for a variety of industries (gaming, journalism, etc.) that, due to their nature would all benefit immensely from a forum.
- Eldritch – Epic Theme for Gaming and eSports
- Newsroom – Newspaper Theme
- Godlike – Game Theme for WordPress
- Lynk – Social Networking and Community WordPress Theme
- Disputo – Epic Theme for Gaming and eSports
- Kleo – Pro Community Focused BuddyPress Theme
1. Eldritch – Epic Theme for Gaming and eSports
Eldritch is a visually stunning theme aimed at gamers and businesses in the video game industry. It comes with six entirely different and fully flexible home page layouts covering areas from eSports to concept art and eCommerce.
Whichever area suits your business, the forum can be molded to support it. This theme comes with a forum template that possesses an all categories overview (All Forums), an individual category’s page (Single Forum) as well as having predefined pages for threads (Topic). This makes a solid base for you to start building your online community. Any customization efforts will be helped along by this theme’s compatibility with the bbPress plugin as it will let you set up discussion boards or introduce new topics easily.
Beyond the forum functionality andsuperb visual design, Eldritch is equipped with a large collection of shortcodes and a great variety in terms of portfolio options so you can show off artistic skills or display products to their best advantage. This theme also comes with parallax effects – a must when appealing to the visually-rich video game industry.
You can rely on the Contact Form 7 plugin compatibility to see you through smooth forum registrations or newsletter subscriptions. Keeping visitors engaged is key and Eldritch is great at achieving that.
As an aside, if you choose to have a commercial component to your website, this theme is compatible with WooCommerce and comes with an e-shop template already included.
Features that make Eldritch a great WordPress theme:
- Content Entry and Image Zoom Animations
- Large Collection of Custom Shortcodes
- WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress Included (current value $45)
- Social Media Widgets
2. Newsroom – Newspaper Theme
The Newsroom theme is there for everyone interested in running their own contemporary newspaper or magazine.
The forum functionality comes with a classy toned-down template with a minimalist backdrop that will let the content come to the fore. It is compatible with the bbPress plugin which is lightweight so it won’t slow down your website. You can use the theme’s settings, aided by the plugin, to open a discussion of the news, have visitors suggest topics for future articles to cover or let people pose questions. Any of these might help your publication with engagement and forming a supportive, inclusive community of readers and followers.
Newsroom comes with six different homepage layouts and is mobile-ready so readers can easily keep up with articles and posts on the go. If you want to make multimedia posts, this theme lets you createstunning galleries or embed audio or video files to accompany anything you publish on the site.
And, given that news ought to spread fast, this theme has an integrated social share functionality as well as social feed widgets that help the readers do their bit to circulate information. Moreover, Newsroom is WPML plugin compatible. This means you can easily create a multilingual site and turn it, as well as your forum, into a place where international visitors can come together.
Features that make Newsroom a great WordPress theme:
- Compatible With bbPress and AccessPress Social Counter
- Responsive and Retina Ready
- Numerous Widgets (Social Media, Weather, Recent Comments…)
- Child Theme Included
3. Godlike – Game Theme for WordPress
Godlike is a powerful gaming theme that lets you promote a game, sell related merchandise, form a social network, and more. Its makers are quick to point out this theme need not be relegated to gaming alone as it is very customizable.
The Godlike theme comes with a comprehensive forum template. It is compatible with two different forum plugins (bbPress and BuddyPress), so you can choose the one you’re more comfortable with. Either will let you shape the forum into multiple sub-forums, let users create their own content or allow them to create profiles and groups in a social media-like setting… The important thing is that the visitors who use your forum will be your site’s organic traffic and, potentially, promoters of your product or brand.
This theme comes with many inner pages, covering everything from blog posts to the Shop, 404, and Coming Soon pages. The layout comes with an animated background and several options for site navigation to choose from. There is also a great selection of header options, including a header with video (YouTube and Vimeo videos are both supported) or no header at all. Any of those can beeasilycustomized with the simple integrated drag-and-drop page builder if the large number of existing options doesn’t satisfy you.
Additionally, this theme is retina ready, so you can be sure your users will always be presented with sharp, hi-definition images.
Features that make Godlike a great WordPress theme:
- Age Check (Age Verifier) for Pages and Posts
- MailChimp Integration
- Twitter and Instagram Feeds
- Four Navigation Types
4. Lynk – Social Networking and Community WordPress Theme
Geared towards society at large, Lynk is a WordPress theme built with social in mind – it can serve as the basis for a directory, social network, magazine, shop and more.
Therefore, when you set out to build your online community Lynk will have your back. This WordPress theme is BuddyPress plugin compatible, and you can use it to set up a community website forum of any kind, with user groups, message exchanges, member profiles, and activity streams. It’s good to note that this plugin has components that let it “cooperate” with other plugins (e.g. bbPress) so you can pick and choose the appropriate features from the two plugins that would work best for making the forum streamlined. This can improve user experience and engagement, ultimately benefitting the enterprise behind the site.
Lynk also comes with a couple of useful features, such as the business directory which you can use to create a database of shops and companies, allowing users to quickly find out their location and contact info. There is also amagazine page that can be turned into a news or feed page to keep visitors up to date with any changes or upcoming events.
And you can make a shop of your own – this theme is fully compatible with the WooCommerce plugin.
Features that make Lynk a great WordPress theme:
- Built-in Ajax Mega Menu
- Seven Different Header Types
- RtMedia Ready
- MailChimp Compatible
5. Disputo – WordPress bbPress Forum Theme
It’s clear that it’s all about forums with Disputo. This is a theme designed to bring the bbPress plugin to life. It includes four different home page examples to choose from. You can present your forum topics in a carousel slider as laid out in demo 2. Or you can use demo 3 which has forum topic overview in a table-like layout; the first few threads in that forum topic are visible within the table.
The overall design of this theme is clean and modern. You want to avoid your forum coming across as a vast jumble of hard-to-parse information. And Disputo’s trimmed down design and temperate colorscape will help keep everything looking neat.
Additionally, you can label topics as closed if they are concluded, or mark topics as fixed/sticky. As for individual topic posts, your users can, besides text, post external images or embed videos from YouTube.
There are a couple of quirky design details in Disputo. One can be found when logging into the forum. Failed logins include an animation that lets the username and password boxes move side-to-side as if shaking their heads. Another comes in the form of member verification and green checkmarks that are displayed on the icons of verified users.
Naturally, social sharing is very important for any website, especially one that relies on the flow of people for content creation. So, Disputo includes a social share functionality and social media icons. There is also the option to follow a topic or thread on vk.ru as well as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Features that make Disputo a great WordPress theme:
- Ads Manager
- User Blogs
- Built-in Facebook Comments
- Live Search
6. Kleo –Pro Community Focused BuddyPress Theme
Kleo is a theme designed around Buddypress . It includes nearly a 30 layouts to choose from. You can present your forum topics in a huge variety of ways and themes, and even as an eCommerce layout
The overall design of this theme is ultra modern. You want to avoid your forum coming across as a vast jumble of hard to read information. And Kleo’s epic features will help keep everything looking great.
Kleo is built for speed, with interactive guides, Buddypress design and shortcodes, Multilingual and RTL, Geo Directory, Facebook login, Sensie, RT Media, Go Pricing, Profile search and much more.
Features that make Kleo a great WordPress theme:
- RtMedia Ready
- User Blogs
- Built-in Facebook Comments
- Geo Directory
- Lots more goodies
So, to wrap it all up, if you are looking to start your gaming career or just take it to the next level one of these 6 gaming WordPress themes will definitely help you achieve your goals. Want to form clans, schedule your matches, and create a whole community of gamers? No problem! Each and every one of these themes will let you do that and make you stand out from the crowd. No need to wait any longer, grab your perfect theme straight away! If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on 5 Top WordPress or ClassicPress Gaming Themes!