Is there anything greater than building a community around a common interest? Participating in one can be incredibly rewarding as well. But in order for a group to thrive online, it requires an accessible and robust website that can handle a variety of functions.
I’m talking about sign ups, memberships, status posts, forums, and a variety of other interactive elements that need solid infrastructure. Most people are not going to want to build out those sorts of features from scratch.
That’s why finding and using the best community website templates can be so helpful. You see, WordPress themes for community groups either include or work with plugins and tools that help you build out a forum, membership site, or social network site with just a few clicks.
WordPress Themes for Community Groups on ThemeForest
There’s no reason to struggle when searching for a community WordPress theme. Especially when ThemeForest offers so many in a convenient fashion. ThemeForest is actually a part of the Envato Market, which offers a wide range of materials for people to use in their projects and business ventures.
ThemeForest specializes in website templates across a spectrum of subjects from real estate to resumes. Understandably then, you’d be able to find a variety of community WordPress themes as well that fulfill the needs of many different sorts of people.
You’re likely to find themes that cater to fundraising groups, charitable endeavors, and activism as well as community groups centered around hobbies or areas of interest.
20 Best Community Website Templates and Community Themes for 2020
This collection of the best community website templates covers a wide range of subjects and interests. This list has options for office intranet, gaming, social media, directories, food, video, and more. Let’s get to it!
1. Cera – Intranet and Community WordPress Theme
Cera is an intranet and extranet WordPress theme that allows people in a workplace to communicate with one another seamlessly. It includes private forums and messaging, paid and free membership support, community events, a dark mode, and collaborative documents.
2. Thrive – Intranet and Community Theme for WordPress
Or perhaps you’d make better use of Thrive. This intranet or community theme for WordPress makes it easy to build a collaborative community around a specific topic, interest, or workplace. It has support for social networking features, project management, and e-commerce as well.
3. Arcane – Gaming Community WordPress Theme
If you’re looking to build a gaming community, Arcane would be a great choice. This theme allows you to create tournaments, team pages and colors, user pages, custom backgrounds, and more. The theme itself is fully responsive and extendible with premium themes as well.
4. Aardvark – Community, Membership, and BuddyPress Theme
Aardvark is another WordPress theme centered around community. This time, it’s made to be used with BuddyPress. This theme is ideal for creating a forum, online course, membership site, or any other kind of virtual community you can think of. It comes with tons of demos, relies on a page builder, and you can customize it however you see fit.
5. BuddyApp – Mobile First Community WordPress Theme
BuddyApp is a community WordPress theme that’s truly mobile first. This responsive theme is designed for building any sort of private mobile community. It supports live notifications, Ajax search, has a live customizer, live chat, a knowledgebase, and so much more.
6. Blackfyre – Create Your Own Gaming Community
Blackfyre makes it a snap to create a gaming community in WordPress. It supports front end forms, makes it easy to set up clan wars, and provides for custom user pages. There’s tons of admin controls, support for BuddyPress and page builders, and WooCommerce integration, too.
7. Klein – A Nitty-Gritty Community Theme
Here’s another theme that works with BuddyPress and bbPress that makes creating a community site easy. It comes with color presets, the ability for users to set up profiles and send private messages, and other traditional social media features as well.
8. Seeko – Community Site Builder with BuddyPress SuperPowers
Or you could opt for Seeko, a community WordPress theme that allows you to build a custom site using Elementor. It also works with Gutenberg and BuddyPress for easy WYSIWYG editing and forum integration. Use this theme to create a dating site, a mentor’s portal, a creative site, and more.
9. Gorgo – Community BuddyPress Theme for Writers and Readers
Gorgo is a lovely and simple WordPress theme that works with BuddyPress for creating a community site for writers and readers, alike. Add author profiles, select from two demos, set up memberships, blogging communities, social networks, and more.
10. goWatch – Video Community and Sharing Theme
Create your own video sharing and community website with goWatch. This WordPress theme allows you to create a robust community of people looking to share videos in a visually appealing and interactive way. It includes a one-click demo installer, a responsive design, custom columns, and full support.
11. Listopia – Directory and Community WordPress Theme
Set up a community directory website with Listopia. You can easily customize it with Elementor and visitors can use live “near me” search. You can also configure custom taxonomies, events, create single listings using a drag-and-drop interface, and more.
12. Gwangi – Pro Multi-Purpose Community Theme
Gwangi is a multipurpose WordPress theme but can be used to create a robust community website. It works with Elementor and you can use it to set up subscriptions, paid features, member geolocation, ads, and more to create a community for anything you like, from dating to sports.
13. Monarch – Innovative WordPress Community Theme
Monarch is still another option to consider as a WordPress theme for your community website. It works with BuddyPress so you can easily create a community website or social network for a niche topic, an office or school network, a sports team, or community group. It supports messaging and you can configure a timeline-style homepage.
14. Besocial – Social Networking and Community WordPress Theme
Besocial, as its name would suggest, is a great choice of theme for creating your own social network. It’s designed for BuddyPress and bbPress, has WooCommerce integration, and allows you to establish social media features like connections, user profiles, private messages, streams, and more.
15. Lynk – Social Networking and Community WordPress Theme
Another option for building your very own social network is Lynk. This community WordPress theme works with BuddyPress, is responsive, and comes with demos for creating a variety of site types, from online publications to event calendars to directories.
16. Slimvideo – Video WordPress Community Theme
If video is the focus of your content, Slimvideo is an excellent community WordPress theme to consider. It allows you to create a video centric community website with support for custom video, gallery, and event posts. It also has support for mega menus, custom widgets, as well as a variety of article, post, and video layouts.
17. Syncope – Photo Sharing Community WordPress Theme
On a related note, if photos are the focus of the community you want to build, Syncope is an excellent choice. This photo sharing community WordPress theme allows for user registration, front-end submissions, built-in post ratings, and filter effects to make for a truly integrated community experience.
18. VaperGuru – Vapers Community Store Theme
If you wish to build a community around vaping, the VaperGuru WordPress theme is an obvious choice. It offers a stylish design with all the modern site features you need like responsiveness and SEO optimization as well as community support and WooCommerce integration.
19. Foodbook – Recipe Community WordPress Theme
Foodbook is a lovely choice for creating your very own recipe and food community. This theme is responsive, retina-ready, and optimized for speed and SEO. Plus, it includes recipe sliders and cards, front-end submissions, custom profiles, a like system, widgets, and more.
20. Beehive – Social Community WordPress Theme
Beehive is another great way to build a custom social network on your own website. It includes all the standard social features like news, photo, and video feeds, friends lists and groups, likes, comments, notifications, and private messages.
5 Free WordPress Themes for Community Websites
If you’re needing a community theme now and don’t have the funds to invest in a premium option, a free one from the WordPress theme directory could work, too.
1. Membershiply – Free WordPress Theme
Membershiply offers a powerful option that’s responsive, SEO-friendly and interactive. It works with the ProfileGrid plugin that allows visitors to create user profiles, establish groups, and set up memberships.
2. Inx Game – WordPress Theme for Community Websites
Build a gaming community with the Inx Game WordPress theme. It’s designed with the gambling and casino crowd in mind and integrates memberships and affiliate marketing with ease.
3. SKT Activism Lite – WordPress Theme for Community Organizers
Or you could opt for SKT Activsm Lite, a multipurpose theme that’s primary intention is for use for activist and protest websites. It works with Elementor, WooCommerce, the SKT Donation plugin, and many more popular plugin options.
4. ExS – WordPress Theme
ExS is a fast and minimal WordPress theme that is easy to customize and can be used for alongside WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads. It includes bbPress and BuddyPress support as well, so creating a community around any topic is a breeze. It includes support for the WP Job Manager plugin as well, so you can create a job directory or offer other listings, too.
5. SocialMag – Magazine and Community Theme
Though SocialMag is intended for use for magazines, it has compatibility with BuddyPress and BBPress, making it a great free social community WordPress theme you can use to build a forum or community group around a publication.
5 Ways to Create More Engaging Community Websites
Even with a fantastic theme in your toolkit you still need to have an idea of how to create more engagement on your site. This is especially important for community-focused sites. Here are a few tips in that regard.
1. Offer Exclusivity
What will a visitor get for signing up for your community? Offering some element of exclusivity can really bring people in. On YouTube, people who become a member of a channel will sometimes get custom emojis to use in chat or other freebies. Sometimes they’ll get access to content the general public can’t see a la Patreon. Think of a way to attract visitors in this way.
2. Provide Perks
Similar to the above, offering perks to your community members is a fantastic way to boost engagement over the long-term. Perhaps coupon codes to affiliated sites are sometimes available for members? Maybe members can access content a few days before it goes live publicly?
3. Directly Engage
Don’t leave your community unattended. This is especially important when it’s new and there’s not a ton of activity. Make community members feel valued by engaging with them directly in comments, messages, or in any other way your site supports.
4. Streamline the Login Process
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Use a reliable plugin or system for creating and supporting your community or forum. In WordPress, that usually means installing BuddyPress or BBPress. Both are fine options and both take the guesswork out of building the infrastructure required to hold up a community site.
5. Recruit Moderators
As your community grows, you’ll need help to moderate comments and posts. Recruiting trusted members of your community (usually those who are most active already) can be a fantastic way to keep it a safe space for all without causing you to become overburdened.
Launch Your Site with a Social Community WordPress Theme
Building a community website can be a massive undertaking. But you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, having the best community website templates, the right plugins, and the right assistance can make the process quite easy.
Hopefully this collection of WordPress themes for community groups help ease the burden of searching for the right theme a bit. And remember: ThemeForest has one of the widest selections of themes and site templates around. Best of luck to you!
More WordPress Community Themes and Plugins
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BuddyPress18 Best BuddyPress WordPress Themes: To Make Social & Community Sites
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Author: Brenda Barron