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How to Install a WordPress Theme (With Pictures)

Istiak Rayhan
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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 default theme.

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

I’d suggest you 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.

Installing A Theme From WordPress Repository

If you want to install a theme from repository, you can directly do that from your WordPress dashboard. Just follow these simple steps.

At first, go to WordPress Dashboard and click on ‘Themes’ from Appearance.

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Then click on ‘Add New’ button.

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On the next page, you can see Featured, Popular, and Latest themes. You can choose a theme from there.

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Or if you want to install a particular theme, you can search for it and then install and activate the theme.

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That’s it. You are done.

Installing A Premium WordPress Theme

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

Previous method only allows you to install free themes that are listed in the directory. But if you want to install a custom or premium WordPress theme, 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 go to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Themes.

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Then click on ‘Add New‘ button.

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On the next page, you need to click ‘Upload Theme’ button and choose the theme file from your computer. And finally click on ‘Install Now’ Button.

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It may take some time to upload the theme. Once it’s done, click on ‘Activate’.

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After activating the theme, you need to enter the theme license key. You’ll find the options under your theme setting options.

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

Installing A WordPress Theme Via FTP

As you’ve seen it’s 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 > > 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.

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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.

Installing A Theme From Your Web Hosting 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 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.

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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.

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

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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.

If you’ve found the post useful, feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

written by

Istiak Rayhan

Istiak Rayhan is the founder of, 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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  1. Hi dear brother,
    an awesome and step by step guide you have shared with us. It will be really very helpful to all of the WP newbies to pro’s.

    Thanks for the article.

  2. Hello Istiak,

    This is really a comprehensive post on how to install a theme on a WordPress blog. I am sure that this will definitely help the newbies. Thanks for sharing this helpful post.

    Vishwajeet Kumar

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