5 easy to install WordPress themes for chambers & associations

Of course we recommend the Chamber Beautiful and Chamber Inspired themes, because they are build especially for use with our plugin collection. But if you are looking for a free theme to get you started, we’ve picked out a few that we really like, all of which work great with our membership plugins of course!

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Criteria for selecting ‘easy to install’ themes

For each theme on our list of recommendations, we have included a link to download the theme and a link to their documentation for home page setup. Our criteria for selecting these themes is:

  1. Gorgeous Themes: They look gorgeous with Chamber Dashboard plugins installed.
  2. No Conflicts: We have already tested our collection of plugins on these themes so you don’t have to!
  3. Popular WordPress Themes – The themes on this list have a solid user base. This makes it highly likely that they will be around and well-maintained for a while.
  4. Simple Setup: Theme installation is easy. We know you want to get your site up and running asap. Not have to sort thru so many options that you forget why you started building a site in the first place.

If you are like most of us, no matter what type of site you are building, you just want a theme that is easy to install so you can get started asap. Especially for those of you building a chamber or membership association website…we know you’ve got work to do.

So stop wasting time installing themes with too many features, that are difficult and time consuming to set up. Here are 5+ easy to install WordPress themes to get your site up and running today so you can focus on growing your membership.

What is the easiest WP theme to use?

A theme that installs itself of course! Obviously, the more familiar you become with WordPress, the easier it is to install and set up a WordPress theme. However, if you are building a website for your business networking or chamber of commerce site, you may not have time to spend learning all the ins & outs of WordPress themes. After all, you have members to recruit and events to plan.

We know you are busy. We selected the themes below because they are easy to use. Most of them include a demo content option that will give you a huge head start and all are fairly simple to set up. If you know of a theme we missed, let us know so we can add to the list. 

What makes a theme easy to install?

Demo content gives you a big advantage, especially if it is your first time building a WordPress website. But demo content is just a starting place. Your theme should have the features you need, but not so many features that it is overly confusing to get started or make updates. Selecting a minimal theme will save you time, not only during the setup process, but also when making edits and updates in the future.

Want an even bigger head start? Both the Chamber Beautiful and Chamber Inspired themes not only include a choice of layout and demo content, they also include automatic installation of membership features. 

Simply select your layout, run the installation wizard and you are already ¾ of the way to a complete membership site, including member signup form, event calendar, members-only content and more. WordPress doesn’t get any easier than this.

WordPress themes with demo content

Let’s face it, there are thousands of WordPress themes out there.  How many times have you seen a gorgeous looking theme demo site, but once you have the theme installed…wah wah… it looks super boring?

Themes that include demo content can make your life much easier because once you have installed the demo content, all you need to do is edit it to meet the needs of your association.  

4 out of 5+ recommended themes on this list include a theme demo setup wizard. A setup wizard lets you easily install demo content, which can save you a ton of time.  

NOTE: Theme demo content works best when installed on a fresh install of WordPress before any other themes or plugins have been added to the site.

How long does it take to install a WordPress theme?

The good news is, installing a theme that includes demo content should only take a few minutes, assuming you already have a self-hosted WordPress installation to work with.

However, once you have the demo content installed and looking good, you will still need to add your own content that is specific to your organization. For example: a benefits of membership page, an about us page, a meet the team page, a directory page, a newsletter archive page, etc. Using a theme that includes demo content leaves you more time to focus on your own content and less time to spend fighting with your theme to make it look good. 

Why simple is the best WordPress theme design there is

  • Theme Usability – The more options a theme has, the more complicated they tend to be.
  • Ongoing Management – Whether you are using staff, volunteers or both to run your association, you’ll want them to be able to make updates to the site as needed.
  • User Experience – Of course you want to include the essential elements, but it also makes sense to make it as easy as possible for your members to find what they need on your site.

Recommended easy to install themes

Full disclosure, the first two on the list are our own themes. We may certainly be biased, but we believe that our demo layouts will make your life sooooo much easier, that we would be remiss by not including them. All of the other themes on this list are free WordPress themes that can be found in the WordPress theme repository. Either way, any theme you select from this list will be instrumental in helping you build a professional looking membership site in no time.

Chamber Beautiful

This theme was built specifically for associations with members to manage. It is perfect for: chambers of commerce, business networking, merchant associations, visitor bureaus, and more.

This simple-yet-beautiful theme makes it easy to create a responsive, easily editable site that includes everything you need to start growing your membership right away. With as little as a Paypal account and a few quick setup steps; choose a layout, run the setup wizard and you’ll be on your way to signing up new members in no time. 

Plugins Used

  • Business Directory – a free, searchable directory of member listings. Includes logo gallery block.
  • Member Manager – free member payment and renewal form. Automatically creates new listings in Business Directory.
  • Events Calendar – free event calendar plugin that connects to the member submitted events feature in the Member Updater plugin.
  • Formidable Forms – easy contact us and newsletter signup forms.

As you can see, this theme includes some of the best tools that work really well for membership organizations… not to mention they look great doing it.

Take your site to the next level with our premium plugins

Pre-Formatted Pages

  • Directory Search – includes alpha search, category filtering and search by keyword.
  • Single listing pages – each Business Directory listing automatically includes a single listing page. Option to display, website, contact email, social media links, Google Maps and more.
  • Meet the Team page – uses free CRM plugin
  • Member Account page – new members are automatically registered as WordPress users and can login to review their connected Business information.
  • Event Calendar – every association site needs an easy option to display upcoming events! 
  • About Us – easily customize the about us page to meet your organization’s needs.
  • Contact Us – complete with a contact us form.
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Chamber Inspired 

This theme was built specifically for associations with members to manage. It is perfect for: visitor bureaus, arts council sites, chambers of commerce, business networking, and more.

This lovely theme design will inspire you to quickly build a responsive, easily editable site that includes everything you need to start growing your membership right away. With as little as a Paypal account and a few quick setup steps; choose a layout, run the wizard and you’ll be on your way to signing up new members in no time. 

Plugins Used

  • Business Directory – a free, searchable directory of member listings. Includes logo gallery block.
  • Member Manager – free member payment and renewal form. Automatically creates new listings in Business Directory.
  • Events Calendar – free event calendar plugin that connects to the member submitted events feature in the Member Updater plugin.
  • Formidable Forms – easy contact us and newsletter signup forms.

As you can see, this theme includes some of the best tools that work really well for membership organizations… not to mention they look great doing it.

Take your site to the next level with our premium plugins

Pre-Formatted Pages

  • Directory Search – includes alpha search, category filtering and search by keyword.
  • Single listing pages – each Business Directory listing automatically includes a single listing page. Option to display, website, contact email, social media links, Google Maps and more.
  • Meet the Team page – uses free CRM plugin
  • Member Account page – new members are automatically registered as WordPress users and can login to review their connected Business information.
  • Event Calendar – every association site needs an easy option to display upcoming events! 
  • About Us – easily customize the about us page to meet your organization’s needs.
  • Contact Us – complete with a contact us form.
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Accelerate

Accelerate is one of the most popular simple business WordPress themes. It includes an easy install wizard so you can recreate the demo site in just a few clicks. Stick with the free version to start or upgrade to Accelerate Pro for even more features. 

We included the Accelerate theme on our list not only because of its professional design, responsive, well-coded structure and solid documentation…but also because it works great for building membership sites. 

This theme works beautifully with the Chamber Dashboard collection of membership plugins. Download the entire suite here and start building your visitor bureau, chamber of commerce, business networking website today.

Suggested Plugins

  • Business Directory – a free, searchable directory of member listings. Includes logo gallery block.
  • Member Manager – free member payment and renewal form. Automatically creates new listings in Business Directory.
  • CRM – use this handy free plugin to track member contacts and create a ‘meet the team’ page.
  • Events Calendar – free event calendar plugin that connects to the member submitted events feature in the Member Updater plugin.
  • Formidable Forms – easy contact us and newsletter signup forms.
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Astra

Astra is a lightweight theme, compatible with major page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder and of course Gutenberg. Astra includes a variety of demo content layouts for you to choose from based on your page builder of choice. Easily recreate a demo site in just a few clicks and start customizing to build your site. Upgrade to Astra Pro for even more features. 

We have included the Astra theme on our list not only because of its lightweight design and wide variety of gorgeous demo templates…but also because it works great for building membership sites. 

This theme works beautifully with the Chamber Dashboard collection of membership plugins. Download the entire suite here and start building your merchants association, chamber of commerce, business networking website today.

Suggested Plugins

  • Business Directory – a free, searchable directory of member listings. Includes logo gallery block.
  • Member Manager – free member payment and renewal form. Automatically creates new listings in Business Directory.
  • CRM – use this handy free plugin to track member contacts and create a ‘meet the team’ page.
  • Events Calendar – free event calendar plugin that connects to the member submitted events feature in the Member Updater plugin.
  • Formidable Forms – easy contact us and newsletter signup forms.
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Sydney

The Sydney theme is the only theme on our list that does not include a demo content import. That being said, it is a lovely theme that looks great right out of the box and is pretty easy to set up.  Although Sydney does work with page builders (Sydney theme is recommended by Elementor), you won’t need a page builder to get your membership site started.

We have included the Sydney theme on our list because of its beautifully simple design and of course…it works great for building membership sites. 

This theme works beautifully with the Chamber Dashboard collection of membership plugins. Download the entire suite here and start building your merchants association, chamber of commerce, business networking website today.

Suggested Plugins

  • Business Directory – a free, searchable directory of member listings. Includes logo gallery block.
  • Member Manager – free member payment and renewal form. Automatically creates new listings in Business Directory.
  • CRM – use this handy free plugin to track member contacts and create a ‘meet the team’ page.
  • Events Calendar – free event calendar plugin that connects to the member submitted events feature in the Member Updater plugin.
  • Formidable Forms – easy contact us and newsletter signup forms.
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Business Directory pg.
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