How to Install a WordPress Theme (With Pictures)

Install a WordPress Theme

So you’ve started a WordPress blog and found that the default look is not so good. You want to have an awesome design for your blog. Then you need to change your theme.

To change your theme, you will have to install a new WordPress theme. In this post, I will be sharing How to Install WordPress theme. I will cover 4 different ways to install a theme.

Before going further, I’d like tell you where you will find best WordPress themes. There are two options –

  1. WordPress Theme Directory (Best choice for the personal blog)
  2. Premium WordPress Theme Clubs (Best choice for the professional blog)

I’d suggest you to go with a premium theme as it offers supports, regular updates, unique design, custom options panel and many more. Now let’s see how to Install a theme.

Install Free WordPress Theme from Dashboard

You can install free WordPress.org themes from your WordPress dashboard. Just follow these simple steps.

1. At first, login to your WordPress Dashboard.  (Login URL: http://yourdomain.com/wp-login.php)

2. Then Go to Appearance > Theme.

WordPress Themes

3. Once you are on the ‘Manage Themes‘ page, you’ll find all installed themes there. To install a new theme, simply click on ‘Add New‘ button at the top.

Add New WordPress Theme

4. On the next page, you can select a free WordPress theme from Featured, Popular, Latest & Feature Filter Tab or you can search for a specific theme.

In Feature Filter Tab, you can search for a theme with specific features. For example, you can search for a Blue & White, Two Columns theme with Custom Header. Simply check those boxes and click on ‘Apply Filters‘. You’ll see all the themes with your requirements.

Filter WordPress Theme

Now we assume that you are going to install a specific theme named “GeneratePress” from WordPress directory. Enter the name ‘GeneratePress’ on search box.

When you see the theme that you want to install, move your mouse to that theme and Details, Preview and Install button will be popped up. Click on ‘Install’ button.

Install WordPress Theme

WordPress will download and install the theme for you. Now click on ‘Activate‘.

Activate WordPress Theme

Then you may redirect to the theme options panel.

Install Premium WordPress Theme from Dashboard

Note: Premium themes are only available for self-hosted WordPress.org users. If you are using WordPress.com, it won’t allow you to upload  premium themes. See the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

Previous method only allows you to install free themes that are listed in the WordPress.Org directory. But if you want to install a custom or premium WordPress theme from companies like ThemeForest, StudioPress, MyThemeShop etc, then you need to upload your downloaded theme file.

Here’s how to install a purchased WordPress theme.

1. At first, download the .zip format file of the theme from your theme provider.

2. Now login to your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Theme.

WordPress Themes

3.  Once you are on the ‘Manage Themes’ pageclick on ‘Add New‘ button at the top.

Add New WordPress Theme

4. On the next page, click on ‘Upload Theme‘ at the top.

Add New WordPress Theme

5. Now click the ‘Choose File‘ button and select the zip file that you’ve downloaded earlier. And click on ‘Install Now‘ button.

Upload zip file

6. It takes some time to upload the theme. Once the theme is installed successfully, click on ‘Activate‘ button.

Activate Premium WordPress Theme

Then you may redirect to the theme options panel.

That’s it. Now go to your site and see the newly activated theme.

Install WordPress Theme Via FTP

As you saw it is very easy to install a WordPress theme from dashboard, so why do you need to use FTP?

Here  is the answer.

Sometimes your server security may not allow you to install themes from dashboard or it may show error while you are trying to upload your theme. At that time, you have to use FTP Server to upload your theme file. Besides if you want to upload several themes at a time then FTP is the best option for you. You can also call it manual WordPress theme installation.

To use FTP method, you have to set up a FTP client like FileZilla. Once you’ve connected with FTP client, you will find your computer files on the left side and server files on the right side. Your core self-hosted files will be on  public_html file.

Before uploading theme file to the FTP Server, you have to extract the theme file. Most of the time, your theme file will be a zip file. To extract the file you can use WinRAR.

Once you’ve unpacked the file, now login to your FTP manager.

Assuming that, you have a WordPress theme file on your desktop and you want to upload it to your server theme folder. At first, select Desktop from Local site (Upper left)  and then you will find all files under desktop on lower left box. Now go to public_html > yourdomain.com > wp-content > themes and select ‘themes’ file from Remote site (Upper right)you will find your all installed themes there. Just drag the theme file from the desktop and drop it with other themes. It will take some time to transfer your file.

Once your theme file has been transferred, go to WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes. You will see the list of your installed theme.

Click on ‘Activate‘ to activate the uploaded WordPress Theme.

Install WordPress Theme from cPanel

cPanel is UNIX based web hosting control panel. Most of the Hosting Providers like HostGator, BlueHost, DreamHost, GoDaddy etc offer cPanel to their customers.

Sometimes you may not be able to login your WP dashboard because of faulty theme or plugin. That time you can use cPanel to upload or install a theme. Here’s how to install WordPress theme from cPanel.

1. At first, login to your cPanel. Most of the time, your cPanel link will be something like http://yourdomain.com/cpanel. Hosting provider also provides a cPanel login ink. You can use that link too.

2. Once you are in cPanel, click on ‘File Manager‘ under files.

File Manager cPanel

3. Then click on ‘public_html‘. If you have multiple sites on the same server then at first you have to select the determined site folder.

Public html

4. Go to wp-content > themes and click on ‘Upload’ at the top.

Upload cPanel

5. Select the file from your computer. It will start uploading to your server.

Now login to your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Themes. You will find your uploaded theme there.

Click on ‘Activate‘ to activate the uploaded WordPress Theme.

Hope this step by step guide helped you to install WordPress theme on your server. I’d suggest you to install WordPress theme from your dashboard unless you face any problem in dashboard.

To learn more about WordPress, you can check our WordPress Guide for Beginners.

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Istiak Rayhan
 

Istiak Rayhan is the founder of RoadToBlogging.com, a blog that aims to make bloggers' journey easier. Istiak loves to help newbie bloggers to build a better blog. Here's more about him.

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