How to Create a Reddit-Like Website with WordPress

Published on 21. June, 2022

Do you want to create a Reddit-like website with WordPress?

Reddit is one of the largest online communities on the internet with more than 52 million active users. Making your own site like Reddit can help you build your own successful online community.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily create a Reddit-like website with WordPress.

Here is an overview of the topics we’ll cover in this guide.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Why Make a Reddit Like Website with WordPress?

Reddit is the 9th most visited website in the world with a massive daily active userbase of more than 52 million users.

It is a popular news aggregation, content curation, and social networking platform. It is home to many user-managed communities called subreddits on almost every topic under the sun.

Reddit front page

If you are building an online community, then Reddit can be used as an example of how to build user engagement and grow your WordPress website.

You can add user engagement features like upvoting and downvoting, discussions, content submission, social sharing and more to your WordPress website to create a Reddit like community.

Since Reddit is custom-coded by a team of professional developers, you may not be able to create an exact Reddit clone. However, you can copy all the features that make Reddit so engaging and apply them to your own website.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily build a Reddit like website with WordPress.

What You Need to Build a Reddit Like Website with WordPress

First, you need to make sure that you are using the right website builder platform to build your website.

There are two types of WordPress software. First there’s WordPress.org, which is also known as self-hosted WordPress. Then you have WordPress.com, which is a website hosting service.

You need WordPress.org because it gives you instant access to all the tools you’ll need to make a Reddit-like website. For more details, see our guide on the difference between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.

To get started, you’ll need the following items:

  • A web hosting account (this is where your website files will be stored)
  • A domain name (this will be your website’s address e.g. wpbeginner.com)
  • Community building addons for WordPress (discussions, post submissions, upvoting, badges, and more)

Normally, a web hosting account costs $7.99 per month (usually paid annually) and a domain name costs $14.99 per year.

Plus, you’ll need to buy premium plugins which may cost from $47 to $300 depending on which features you want to add to your website.

Now that’s a lot of money to start your Reddit-like website, particularly if you are just starting out on a limited budget.

Luckily, folks at Bluehost have agreed to offer WHOOPS.ONLINE users a generous discount on hosting with a free domain name. Basically, you can get started for $2.75 per month.

Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

To sign up, simply visit the Bluehost website and click on the Get Started Now button.

Bluehost website

Next, you will be asked to choose a hosting plan.

Many beginners start with Basic or Plus plan.

Choose plan

Click to select a plan and continue.

On the next screen, you’ll be asked to choose a domain name for your website.

Choose domain name

Next, you will need to finalize the package by choosing how many months you’d like to purchase up front.

We typically recommend unchecking the extra addons since you can always add them later if needed.

Finalize package

After that, you can enter your payment information and finish the purchase.

You’ll then receive an email with a link to log in to your hosting account dashboard.

Login to your WordPress website

You’ll notice that Bluehost has automatically installed WordPress for you.

You can simply click on the ‘Log into WordPress’ button to enter your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress dashboard

Choosing a Theme for Your Reddit-Style Website

The default WordPress theme does not look anything like Reddit.

However, there are several WordPress themes that you can use to create a WordPress blog that looks similar to Reddit.

It’s important to know that WordPress themes are responsible for how your website looks, but it’s not responsible for all the functionality. It is ok to use a theme that doesn’t have any of Reddit’s community engagement features because we’ll use plugins to add those features.

When you’re choosing a theme, it’s best to focus on the style and layout instead of any included features.

Choosing a theme similar to Reddit

Now, there are a ton of premium and free WordPress themes to choose from. This abundance of choices can make it a bit overwhelming for a new user to pick one.

We recommend looking for a simple theme with lots of white space. This allows you to easily customize your theme.

Our top recommended theme is Astra because it’s fast-loading, customizable, and comes with dozens of starter templates you can use to customize your design.

Or, if you already have a specific layout in mind, you might want to consider creating a custom WordPress theme (no code method) using the drag & drop SeedProd builder.

It comes with 400+ pre-made layouts that you can use to get started, but it also has a custom theme builder that lets you build a fully custom website without any code.

Need more inspiration? Take a look at our staff picks for the best WordPress themes:

Need help picking up a theme? See our tutorial on how to choose the perfect theme for your website.

Adding Upvotes and Downvotes like Reddit in WordPress

WordPress comes with a built-in comment system. Similar to Reddit’s discussions, it allows users to easily leave comments on a post.

However, the default WordPress comment system is quite basic and doesn’t have any of Reddit’s user engagement features like upvotes or downvotes, social sharing, gamification with badges and rewards, and more.

Let’s change that by adding all the missing functionality with one plugin.

First, you need to install and activate the Thrive Comments plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon signing up, you’ll be able to download Thrive Downloads Manager plugin. It is a tool that will help you easily download and install Thrive Comments from your WordPress dashboard.

Install Thrive Comments

After installation, the plugin will automatically connect and validate your license.

Next, you need to visit the Thrive Dashboard » Thrive Comments page to configure your comment settings.

Comment settings

You’ll see comment options organized under different sections in the left column with a preview of comments in the right column.

You can start by clicking on the General Settings tab and enabling Thrive Comments across your website.

Enable Thrive Comments

Next, you would want to enable comment voting and badges functionality. Click on the Voting and Badges tab to expand those sections.

First, you need to choose what kind of voting you would like to display. The plugin allows you to choose from up and down vote, up vote only, or no voting options.

Comment voting option

Below that you can set up badges for active commenters. Similar to Reddit’s badges, these are rewards for your most active community members to encourage them to contribute.

Click on the Add New Badge button to select a badge.

Comment badges

The plugin comes with a built-in icon set that you can use for comment badges.

You can also upload your own icons if you prefer.

Choose badge

You can reward badges based on number of comments, comment replies, featured comments, or upvotes received.

Want to customize the comment box style and appearance? Simply switch to the Customize Style tab where you can choose your own colors, default blank avatar, and date and time settings.

Comment style and customization

Thrive comments is a powerful plugin. You can review all the different options under the plugin settings and configure them however you like.

Once you are finished, you can go to any post or page on your website to see the new comments in action.

Comments preview

Now in order to run a successful online community, you would want to actively moderate comments.

Thrive Comments come with a comment moderation dashboard too.

Moderate comments

Unlike default WordPress comment moderation tools, this interface helps you quickly answer comments, assign them to team members for follow-ups, feature a comment, and more.

Need help getting more comments on your Reddit like website? See our tutorial on how to get more comments to your blog posts in WordPress with tested and practical tips.

Allowing Users to Post Content on Your Website

Another important functionality of Reddit that you can easily add to your WordPress website is allowing users to submit content.

Luckily, WordPress has some excellent tools that make it super easy for you to manage user-submitted posts.

We’ll be using WPForms here, which is the best WordPress form builder plugin on the market used by over 5 million websites. It comes with user-submitted posts add-on that makes it super easy to accept user-generated content on your website.

Plus, it has login and user registration forms addon which allow users to login from the front-end of your website.

First, you need to install and activate the WPForms plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Note: You’ll need at least their Pro plan to unlock the user-submitted posts feature.

Upon activation, you need to visit the WPForms » Settings page to enter your plugin license key. You can find this information under your account on the WPForms website.

Enter Your WPForms License Key

Next, head over to the WPForms » Addons page and look for the Post Submissions addon.

You can use the search or scroll down to the addon and then click on the Install Addon button next to it.

Install post submission addon

WPForms will now install and activate the Post Submission Addon for you.

After that, go to WPForms » Add New to create your content submission form. First, you need to provide a title for your form and then choose the Blog Post Submission Form template.

Choose template

WPForms will now load the form builder interface with all the required fields to create a blog post submission form.

You will see your form preview in the right column. From here, you can simply click on any field to edit it or add new fields from the left column.

Edit post submission form

Once you are satisfied with the post submission form, you can switch to the Settings tab.

From here, you can map form fields to the blog post fields. You can also set up notifications for yourself and users informing them about the next steps.

Form settings

Once you are satisfied with the settings, click on the Save button to save your form and exit the form builder.

You can now create new post or page where you want to add the form. You can also edit an existing post or page.

On the edit screen, simply add the WPForms block to the content area and select the form you created earlier in the drop down menu.

Add form to a post or page

After that, you can continue editing the page. For instance, you can add tips and guidelines for users about what kind of content they can submit.

Once you are finished, don’t forget to publish or update to save your changes. You can now preview this post or page to see your submission form in action.

You can now add a link or button to your WordPress navigation menu so that users can easily submit articles and stories to your website.

Submit story page

Allow Users to Vote and Rate Posts

Reddit allows users to upvote a story, link, or item. Then it shows the top-rated content in more prominent locations.

This enables Redditors to participate without creating content, while also curating different content areas based on what’s trending.

You can bring some of that functionality to your WordPress website as well by adding a post rating feature.

First, you need to install and activate the Rate My Post plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Rate My Post » Settings page to configure the plugin settings.

Post rating settings

To automatically add post ratings to your posts, turn on the ‘Add rating widget to all posts’ and ‘Add result widget to all posts’ option.

After that, you can review other plugin options. The default settings would work for most websites.

Don’t forget to click on the Save Settings button to store your changes.

You can now visit your website and the plugin will show post rating stars next to each article.

Ratings preview

You can also manually manipulate post ratings to build the initial momentum before your website gets very active.

Simply edit a post and scroll down below the post editor. In the ‘Rate my Post Ratings’ box, you can enter your own rating to start with.

Manipulate post ratings

The plugin also comes with a Top Rated Posts widget.

You can add it to a sidebar or any widget-ready area.

Top rated posts widget

You can choose number of posts, minimum rating and votes in widget settings. Don’t forget to Update and save your widget settings.

Here is how it looked on our test website.

Top rated posts

Once your site has active members, you might also want to display your most commented posts or show recent comments in your widget areas.

Growing Your Reddit-Like Website to the Next Level

The best thing about WordPress is that there are a ton of free and paid plugins that you can use to add more Reddit-like features to your website.

Here we’ll mention additional tools and plugins that you can use to grow and take your Reddit like website to the next level.

1. Create Members-Only Content and Sell Subscriptions

Just like Reddit Premium, you can also create a premium subscription plan on your WordPress website by using MemberPress. It is the best WordPress membership plugin and allows you to easily sell online subscriptions.

With powerful access control, you can limit certain areas of your website to members only.

2. Add a Forum to Your Reddit Clone

You can use bbPress to add a lightweight forum to your online community. See our article on how to create a forum in WordPress.

3. Track User Activity Across your Website

Want to see where your users are coming from and what they do on your website? MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin on the market.

It allows you to easily view your top content and track conversions and user engagement on your website.

4. Improve Your Website SEO from Day One

SEO (search engine optimization) plays a key role in the success of websites with tons of user generated content. You need to start optimizing your website for SEO from day one if you want to get the most traffic possible and grow your userbase.

For this, you’ll need All in One SEO for WordPress. It is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market and helps you easily optimize your website like a pro.

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