Are you looking to create a vibrant community website? WordPress, coupled with the powerful community-building plugin bbPress, provides an excellent platform for building an engaging online community.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of starting a community website using WordPress & bbPress. Whether you want to create a forum, discussion board, or social network, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge & tools to get started.
Let’s dive in!
Why Choose WordPress for Your Community Website?
WordPress is a versatile & user-friendly content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of websites on the internet. Its flexibility, extensive plugin ecosystem, and active community make it an ideal choice for building community websites.
Here are some key reasons why you should consider WordPress for your community website:
- Ease of Use: WordPress offers an intuitive interface, making it accessible for beginners without coding knowledge.
- Customization Options: With thousands of themes and plugins available, you can easily customize your community website to match your vision & requirements.
- Active Community: WordPress has a large and supportive community of users and developers who can provide assistance when needed.
- SEO Benefits: WordPress is built with SEO best practices in mind, helping your website rank higher in search engine results.
- Absolutely Free: The WordPress CRM is 100% free & open-source. So it doesn’t add anything to your website cost.
- Security: WordPress is a secure platform. It is regularly updated with security patches to protect against malware and other attacks.
- Scalability: WordPress is a scalable platform.
- Mobile-friendly: WordPress websites are mobile-friendly. This means that your website will look good and be easy to use on smartphones and tablets.
Additionally, we’ve chosen to work with a dedicated WordPress bbPress community theme to create our website. A dedicated community WordPress theme like – AMA – bbPress Forum WordPress Theme, will provide all the necessary design elements, features, pages, & custom widgets to create & operate a functional community forum website.
Why Choose AMA WordPress bbPress Theme
Well, its to simply our community forum website-building process. This popular WordPress bbPress theme is packed with all the necessary features that are required for running an active community forum website. For example, having features such as dedicated topic boards, topic filter, signup forms, user account/profile functions, topic & reply voting systems, etc.
All of these must-have features are included & are easily configurable with the AMA bbPress theme.
And you’re not just limited to AMA when it comes to WordPress, if you want some additional theme options WordPress is your best bet with hundreds of options.
Here are our Best bbPress Community WordPress Theme picks for 2023. And more options can be found on the Envato ThemeForest Marketplace.
Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Community Website
There are several ways that you can use WordPress to create your website. In the step-by-step guide below we’ll be showcasing one of the most easy ways that you can create your forum website.
However, if you’re completely new to the process, it’s understandable that getting started can be quite intimidating. Don’t worry the process is quite simple, just simply follow along with each step.
How to Create a Job Board on WordPress
- Install the Advanced Accordion Gutenberg Block Plugin
- Create a New FAQ Page
- Edit Each Accordion with Content & Media Files
- Accordion Block Customization
Step 1: Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Provider
When creating your first service website, such as a banking or financial platform, it’s crucial to carefully select your domain name and web hosting provider.
We recommend choosing a reputable provider like Bluehost, HostGator, Hostinger, or GoDaddy. These providers are known for their excellent customer service and reliable hosting services.
It’s also advisable to opt for a provider that offers domain name registration services. This simplifies the process by dealing with a single service provider.
For the purpose of this tutorial, we will use Bluehost as our domain hosting service.
Choose Your Bluehost Subscription Plan
To get started, visit Bluehost’s website and click on the “Get Started” button.
Next, select the subscription plan that best suits your website’s needs.
Pick Your Domain Name
You will then be directed to the Bluehost domain registration page. Enter your desired domain name to check its availability.
Please note that Bluehost offers free one-year domain registration for first-time subscribers. This free domain registration is valid for .com, .net, .org, and .biz domain extensions.
After choosing your domain, proceed to the checkout to complete the transaction.
If you already have a domain registered with a third-party registrar, you have the option to continue using it instead of creating a new one.
Select the “Use a domain you already own” option and follow the provided instructions to transfer your domain to Bluehost.
Step 2: Setup WordPress on Bluehost
After successfully registering with Bluehost, you will receive a confirmation email containing your login credentials. Use this information to access your Bluehost account. Once logged in, you will find step-by-step instructions for installing WordPress.
Alternatively, you can navigate to your Bluehost dashboard and click on “My Sites” followed by “Create Site” to initiate the WordPress installation process.
You have the option to manage themes and plugins either from the Bluehost dashboard or directly from the WordPress dashboard.
By following these steps, you have successfully acquired a domain name and chosen a web hosting provider. Additionally, you have set up WordPress on Bluehost, allowing you to proceed with building your website.
Remember to refer to the specific instructions provided by your chosen web hosting provider for detailed guidance throughout the process.
Step 3: Get AMA bbPress WordPress Theme
Now head over to ThemeForest marketplace and search for AMA bbPress Forum Theme.
Visit the theme page read the theme details, preview the demos if you want to, add to cart, and move to the checkout.
Once you’ve finished your transaction, download the AMA theme file on your desktop.
Step 4 Install & Activate the WordPress bbPress Theme
Now to install AMA, log into you’re WordPress dashboard & head over to the Appearance menu. From here, click Add New & Upload Theme.
Choose your downloaded AMA theme file and click the Install Now button.
Please wait for the installation process to complete, and Activate the theme.
And you’re done.
Step 5: Import AMA Demo
Now that you’ve successfully installed the AMA forum theme, head over to WordPress Dashboard Appearance Import Demo Data
Now that you’re on the demo page select the appropriate demo for your website and click Import Demo and wait for the process to end.
Before that make sure to install & activate all the required & recommended plugins for AMA. The One Click Demo Import plugin is required to import and install AMA demo data.
Step 6: Customize Your Forum Website
One of the key reasons why we choose AMA for our forum is its flexible customization options. Which makes it easy to rebrand, and organize, and its ability to add some community engagement characteristics.
Adding a Logo to WordPress Website
This is a fairly simple process just head over to the AMA theme settings menu from the dashboard. And click on Header. From here, you’ll be able to add all the necessary logo items to your website.
You also get the option to adjust the logo dimensions by adjusting the margin/padding parameters.
Enabling Search Function on Your Forum Site
Having a functional search box on your forum site is a must-have feature for easy navigation & topic search. With AMA you can easily enable this search box function for your website. You can also enable search by topic/keywords as well.
To enable this function, scroll down on the AMA theme settings and click on the Search Banner menu. Now simply toggle Show to enable the search function & toggle Yes for Focus Search by to allow users to search for content with keywords.
Step 7: Creating bbPress Forum Topic & Topic Tree
By importing one of the AMA preset demos, you already have a forum page created for your website. You can choose to create forum topics for that page or create a new one and customize it from scratch.
To add a new forum topic make sure that you’ve both bbPress & BBP Core bbPress extension addon plugin installed. Now to create the topics head over to WordPress Dashboard BBP Core & click Add Forum.
Give it a topic title and click Ok.
Now that you’ve created your topic you can now create unlimited forum treads under the said topic by clicking on the ( + ) icon. Each topic page can be customized with icons, images, custom URLs, category tags, content tags, etc.
Customizing bbPress Forum Threads
The BBP Core bbPress extension plugin comes with some excellent must-have features for forum websites that you should enable right away.
Content Voting System:
Let visitors verify & vote on topics, threads, and comments that they find helpful & unhelpful by voting from the forum page.
to enable this feature, click on BBP Core Settings from here you can toggle ON to allow visitors to start voting. You also have the option to change the vote option location, label, hover effect & so much more.
Customizing Forum Attachment Parameters
Another must-use feature with BBP Core is that you can adjust attachment parameters such as who can upload attachments to your forum, attachment count & size, thumbnail resolution, etc.
Make sure that you go through all the possible options to get an optimal experience.
WordPress coupled with the powerful community-building plugin bbPress is an excellent choice for creating a vibrant community website. With its versatility, user-friendliness, and extensive plugin ecosystem, WordPress provides a solid foundation for building engaging online communities.
Also, by utilizing a dedicated community WordPress theme like AMA – bbPress Forum WordPress Theme, you can easily create and operate a functional community forum website with all the necessary features and customization options.
This comprehensive guide has provided a step-by-step process for starting your community website using WordPress and bbPress, from choosing a reliable web hosting provider to installing the theme and customizing your forum website.
With these tools and knowledge at your disposal, you’re well-equipped to create an engaging and successful online community.