bbpress(plugin) Theme Compatibility


There are many threads on bbpress forum where people are almost frustrated with the problem of making their theme work with the new bbpress plugin version.

Particularly, they have this problem with making a theme, child-theme and applying it to the forum.

Ex: Your blog has sidebar and you don’t want to have sidebar in your forum.

I had the same problem, and solved it after trying it for a long time. Now I feel like, why the hell did I spend so much time on this simple thing 🙂


Without much delay: In this example I’ll illustrate by keeping the official “bbPress (Twenty Ten)” theme in mind, which is present in /wp-content/plugins/bbpress/bbp-themes/bbp-twentyten folder by default when you install the bbpress plugin.

1. Move twentyten theme from /wp-content/plugins/bbpress/bbp-themes/ to /wp-content/themes/.
Note: You can rename the folder with any name you like.

2. Now get into twentyten theme and edit style.css file. Add Template: yourWordpressThemeFolderName (yes add the folder name of your present wordpress theme) to your style.css files comment section, as shown below.

If your WordPress theme name is MyTheme. You have to add Template: MyTheme to style.css file of twentyten bbpress theme.

* Theme Name: bbPress (Twenty Ten)
* Theme URI:
* Description: Adds bbPress forums to the Twenty Ten theme
* Author: WordPress and bbPress teams
* Version: 1.2
* Tags: bbpress, black, blue, white, two-columns, fixed-width, custom-header, custom-background, threaded-comments, sticky-post, translation-ready, microformats, rtl-language-support, editor-style
* Template: MyTheme
* This file intentionally left blank. Styles are enqueued in functions.php
* 1 – ./css/bbpress.css

3. Now you have made the twentyten theme a child theme of your present WordPress theme.
4. Now log into your WordPress dashboard. Goto Appearance, and activate the child-theme.

To remove the sidebar:
Goto the child theme, inside that bbpress folder and comment these line of code /* < ?php get_sidebar(); ?> */ in page-front-forums.php and page-front-topics.php files.

If this method does not work, then create a file called sidebar.php and drop it inside your main theme folder. sidebar.php must be blank.

Now Reload your forum :p

8 thoughts on “bbpress(plugin) Theme Compatibility”

  1. I am having the EXACT same problem with bbPress. I have followed your fix exactly, plus I have read the 5 page forum discussion on the topic as well. I like the way bbPress is looking, I just want to hide the side bar on the topics page. So, I don’t understand why I need to create a child theme. Is there a way to get rid of the side bar without going through all of the child theme stuff?


  2. @Brain, yes. There is a way.

    Simply go into /wp-content/plugins/bbpress/bbp-themes/bbp-twentyten/bbpress/ folder.

    Then comment these line of code /* < ?php get_sidebar(); ?> */ inside
    page-front-forums.php and page-front-topics.php files.

    That’s it. Let me know, if it worked

  3. Thanks for your quick reply!

    There is no page-front-forums.php or page-front-topics.php files inside of the /wp-content/plugins/bbpress/bbp-themes/bbp-twentyten/bbpress/ folder. Those files exist in /wp-content/plugins/bbpress/bbp-themes/bbp-twentyten/ I edited those and it didn’t make any change.


  4. @Brain, I need to know more details to suggest changes.

    Have you created child-theme? If not, create one. It’s so easy. Follow the steps mentioned in the article.

    Once you create a child-theme, create a file called sidebar.php and drop it inside your child-theme. Over rite if already exists. That might solve the problem.

    ps: Our new bbpress service

  5. I have not created a child theme. Every time I try, it wipes out the theme I have setup (yoko). I have even looked up Child themes on the page and followed those instructions. I will try again….


  6. Hello again, I was able to figure out how to customize the look of my forum, thank you! I have one more question. I know you offer custom bbPress setups for a fee, and I will pay you if necessary, but I’m hoping this one will be easy.

    Right now within a reply, a user’s avatar links to a nonexistent bbPress profile page. Can I change that link to show the “website” link that the user typed into their WordPress profile?

    Thank you,

  7. Hello, thanks for the article however I have NO IDEA what you mean by “comment this code”… The code is already there so do you mean delete that code… Or you saying to place that code there? Which if you are then its already there so its not working!

    Now Satish Im using a Themeforest Theme called Dynamix which comes with a Child Theme and already has most of this done. Still nothing!

    Would love your thoughts!

  8. @Brain, I haven’t done this. But I’m sure this can be done. As website url will be stored in DB, you can retrieve it and replace the profile link with the url link. Nice idea.

    @Kevin, comment means, those commented lines will not be executed by PHP engine. That is, those commented lines will be skipped from being executed.

    I know those code already exists, so you have to comment it like I have shown in above article. By doing so, you’ll be making those commented lines of code not to be executed. hope I’m clear.

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