Make Your bbPress Forums Index Look Like Other Forum Software

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Make Your bbPress Forums Index Look Like Other Forum Software

bbPress is our favorite forum software, simply because of how well it integrates within WordPress. bbPress appears to be a bit outdated, however there are ways you can improve the appearance of the plugin within your theme.

In traditional forum structure, the forum category appears at the top and below are the forums.

Changing bbPress Forums Index

bbPress has support for forum categories out of the box and it’s forums can be arranged in a hierarchical structure.

Therefore, all that needs to be changed is the loop of the forums index. This is exactly what we have done in the below code.

This file can be uploaded to the root directory of your child theme. It can also be uploaded to your primary theme (as well as in a bbPress/forum specific folder).

You can download the loop-forums.php file by going to our GitHub or just by copying and pasting the below code into your own loop-forums.php

To explain the logic behind the code, you need to set a forum category. Then you need to have the forums set as children of that category. In the event that you do not do this, the default category will be placed and then it will place the rest of the forums under that.

Give it a try on your own website and let us know what you think!

By |2018-02-11T00:19:44+00:00February 11th, 2018|Categories: WordPress Tutorials|Tags: , |5 Comments

About the Author:

Scott Hartley is a WordPress Developer who focuses on website performance optimization, SEO, and security. He can't tell you what a color wheel is but he knows the intricacies of making a website load quickly.


  1. Waqass May 2, 2018 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Wonderful. Works exactly what is says. Why haven’t you created a plugin for it. I have incorporated this feature on my website

    • Scott Hartley May 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      It’s on my list of things to do, I am in the middle of rebuilding this website to be more modern, and with it will come new features, a forum, an easier format to find my videos & guides and a section of various plugins that I will write.

      However, part of the reason this wasn’t a plugin is the way that bbPress templating works but I will look into it more in the future and see if I can add this as a plugin as well!

      • Waqass K. May 5, 2018 at 1:37 pm - Reply

        Good to hear that….once you made a plugin do update me…would love to try that.

  2. Daniel October 29, 2018 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Notice: Undefined variable: bbp_forums_noheader in /var/www/html/xxxxx/wp-content/themes/xxxxx/bbpress/loop-forums.php on line 17

    My fix:
    if (bbp_is_forum_category() OR !isset($bbp_forums_noheader))

    • Scott Hartley October 31, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      Good catch, this solution assumes your theme is using the default bbPress template/style however some themes modify this, therefore, you will have to take that into account.

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