It’s somewhat unusual for WordPress theme developers to take bbPress into consideration when building themes. Styles and templates for bbPress compatibility usually constitute unnecessary weight for users who don’t have the plugin active on their sites. One smart way to add bbPress support to a theme is through a plugin.
This is exactly what Justin Kopepasah did for his free Eighties theme, which we featured a couple of weeks ago. Eighties has already been downloaded more than 22,000 times and will soon be added to WordPress.com’s collection of free themes. Today he released the Eighties bbPress plugin, which adds bbPress styles and templates to the theme.
The styles for forum topics fit beautifully into the Eighties color scheme:
The forum index page lists all available forums on the site. The subscription page displays the user’s avatar, profile info, topics started, replies created, and favorites.
I asked Kopepasah what motivated him to add bbPress compatibility to his theme. “A few reasons,” he said. “The biggest is reason is that I know bbPress does not get the appreciation it deserves as a forum software. Adding a new, modern ‘default’ template for bbPress is now on my list.”
Check out a live demo of the bbPress add-on in action on the Eighties theme website. You can further customize the bbPress templates by copying a template file from the add-on over to your theme or child theme. This will override the template file in the add-on. All of the bbPress template files can be found in eighties-bbpress/templates/bbpress.
If you’re using the Eighties theme and want to add forums to your site, this bbPress add-on is an excellent option. It’s also a prime example for theme authors who want to learn how to add bbPress compatibility to their themes without forcing all the extra weight for non-bbPress users. Download the Eighties bbPress add-on for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory.