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Installing & Activating A bbpress Theme

  • thirtyfivemill


    Guys, I’ve searched goodness knows how many threads, read the two standard documentation posts and I cannot for the life of me fathom how to activate a simple bbpress theme. Every thread I read tells of others with the same problem or notes that the documentation is out of date.

    Has anyone written a concise and easy to follow step my step instruction post on how to install and activate a theme using the current release of bbpress? Or a video? I just can’t figure how I can spend an entire day googling and searching the site for something which virtually every new user would look for within the first phase of bbpress installation and setup? Have a I missed it?

    As far as I’m aware I’ve done everything asked for in these two posts:

    yet having followed them to letter as best I could I can’t quite see how the newly installed “blue static” is to be called into play as functions.php is calling for the default theme?

    The two posts above seem to get you about 90% there and then fail to explain the last few steps required to actually make everything work. Or it could be I’m going senile very early in life, in which case please for give me but could someone help me anyway? 🙂

    Many thanks in advance for any help you might offer.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

  • Robin W


    Yes, and I totally agree, the documentation is woeful, unfortunately those that know the answers won’t update, and the rest of us work out bits that function, but are never sure whether these are the best ways.

    Anyway onto your question.

    bbPress is a plugin, and out of the box it works well with twentyten, and I understand twentyeleven.

    Beyond that you’ll need to style it.

    This consist of two elements :



    I create a page called “forums”, and then put whatever forum text at the top followed by the forum shortcut [bbp-forum-index]

    See for an example

    Then loading a plugin called bbPress WP tweaks adds a forum sidebar to your widgets area.

    I have loaded this with a login widget, forum list, recent topics and recent replies, as well as some other stuff from my website. See link about for what is in there.

    This then gives you a basic forum area.

    Then onto

    bbPress using the default bbpress.css as it style doc unless you tell it otherwise

    You can customise look and feel – fonts, colours, background quite easily by using one of two methods, knowing what to change is the hard part !

    If you have an existing child theme, you can override the bbpress default for elements by adding them to your own child theme style.css BUT you need to put !important into them to prevent the bbpress plugin from loading later and overwriting them with the default

    As an example if you wanted to change the font-size of the forums list you’d put the following into your css

    #bbpress-forums .bbp-forums-list li {
    	font-size: 11px !important;

    The alternate method, and perhaps better if you want to make lots of changes, is to copy the default bbpress.css from /wp-content/plugins/bbpress/templates/default/css
    to /wp-content/themes/%your-theme%/css/

    you can then edit it there to your hearts content, and you don’t need the !important bit.

    OK so how do I know what to edit?

    You’ll need to get familiar with using something like firebug with firefox. This lets you examine sections of your website and see precisely what css element is styling it. gives the start of a tutorial on this

    When I get a moment, I’ll start to add this to the bbpress documentation.

    I only started with WordPress and bbPress in March, and am still learning the basics !



    Robin, that’s very kind of you and thank you for the thoughtful reply, it’s appreciated. I’m basically familiar with tweaking the css for styling, so that bit will be fine once I get the new theme installed. What I’m struggling with is getting the newly downloaded bbpress theme (the main theme will stay as is, this theme is solely for the forums and will work within the main theme) to function.

    This is the theme I’m trying to install and activate:

    At some point they had a link to an installation guide but does that link work now? 🙂

    Stephen Edgar


    That theme you are trying to install ‘Static-Blue-BB’ is for the old standalone version of bbPress and will not work with the current version of bbPress 2.x Plugin for WordPress.

    bbPress now use’s your WordPress theme, i.e. your ‘main theme’, if you want to tweak the templates of your theme click the ‘themes’ link at the top of this page and follow the link there.



    There isn’t any Good Tutorial available to install a new Theme in bbpress 2.X.
    However, I found its much easier to customize the default theme other than installing a new one. The structure of the default theme is good to use, but somehow I needed to include its stylesheet into my site’s main style.css file because it was picking all styles from my website’s stylesheet and there was no structure and layout formatting at all.

    Here is a quick and easy way to customize the default theme and apply it:

    1. Copy “bbpress” folder from wp-content/plugins/bbpress/templates/default into your websites theme root folder.

    2. Create a folder called “css” (if you dont have one) into your website’s theme folder and copy bbpress css file from wp-content/plugins/bbpress/templates/default/css/bbpress.css to this folder.

    3.Open your themes style.css and include bbpress.css file. (@import url(“css/bbpress.css”).

    4. You can start customizing bbpress.css and now you will see the default sturcture of bbpress theme.

    Hope that helps.


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