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3 Different ways to install WordPress Themes

3 Different ways to install WordPress themes (Beginner’s Guide for 2019)

Are you looking to install a WordPress theme? As a beginner, you probably have heard about tons of available free and paid WordPress themes. But, What is a “WordPress theme”, exactly?

Fundamentally, the WordPress theme system is a way to “skin” your weblog. Yet, it is more than just a “skin.” Skinning your site implies that only the design is changed. WordPress themes can provide much more control over the look and presentation of the material on your website.

Source – WordPress Codex

It’s pretty easy to understand, right? In short,WordPress themes play a critical role in your site. They create the look and feel of your entire site in just a few clicks, with no coding required.

Quality WordPress themes are designed to make people’s lives easier, but for some, the trickiest part is getting them installed and operational. Here, We will cover three different ways to install a WordPress theme and they are:

  • Installing WordPress themes using official theme directory
  • Installing WordPress theme by upload
  • Installing WordPress theme using FTP

Method #1: How to Install WordPress themes using official theme directory

You can find thousands of free themes on official WordPress themes directory. First thing you need to do is login to your WordPress admin area then follow the steps below to install a WordPress theme.

Step 1: Go to Appearance -> Themes

Login to your WordPress admin area then go to "Appearance" and "Themes"

Step 2: You are on a page where already installed WordPress themes are listed. Hit “Add New” button to access WordPress theme directory.

Hit "Add New" button to access WordPress theme directory

Step 3: Go ahead and find a good looking theme. “Feature filter” allows filtering themes by color, layout, features and subject. Alternatively, you can browse featured, popular themes or use search field.

Feature filter allows filtering themes by color, layout, features and subject. Alternatively, you can browse featured, popular themes or use search field

Step 4: Based on your search, you will see a single theme or a list of themes that met your criteria. In our case, we searched for the blogging theme “Blogzine”.

If you have found the right theme, press Install button

If you have found the right theme, press “Install” button.

Step 5: Once the installation is complete, press “Activate” button to set the theme as default one. Alternatively, you can hit “Live Preview” to see how the theme looks on your blog.

Press "Activate" button to set the theme as default one

That is it! The new theme has been successfully installed and activated.

Method #2: How to install WordPress theme by uploading a Zip file

The first method that we covered only allows you to install themes that are available in the WordPress.org theme’s directory. But what if you want to install a commercial “premium” WordPress theme from companies like Themeforest, Fab Themes, Elegant Themes, GitHub WP theme search etc.

Well in this case, you would need to install the theme using the upload method from your WordPress admin.

Step 1: Go to Appearance -> Themes

Login to your WordPress admin area then go to "Appearance" and "Themes"

Step 2: Hit “Add New” button to access WordPress theme directory.

Hit "Add New" button to access WordPress theme directory

Step 3: Press “Upload Theme” button which is located at the very top of the page then hit “Choose File” button.

Locate the Zip theme file from your computer. After it, click “Install Now” button to install the theme.

Installing WordPress themes manually

Step 4: A new page will open, giving you three options

  • Live Preview: This feature allows you to see how selected theme looks on your blog.
  • Activate: Finish installation and activate theme.
  • Return to Theme Page: Click it to return to the previous page.
If you like how your website looks with a new theme, press "Activate" button to finish the installation

If you like how your website looks with a new theme, press “Activate” button to finish the installation.

Method #3: How to install WordPress theme using FTP

Another way to install WordPress themes is to use FTP client. Although it’s pretty straight forward, you should know how to setup and use FTP client before starting.

Follow these steps in order to upload and activate WordPress theme manually.

Step 1: Download a theme archive to your local computer and extract it.

Download a theme archive to your local computer and extract it

Step 2: Use FTP client like Filezilla to connect to your hosting account and navigate to public_html -> wp-content -> themes.

Use FTP client to connect to your hosting account and navigate to themes directory 

Step 3: Upload extracted theme directly to “themes” directory.

Upload extracted theme directly to themes directory

Step 4: Login to WordPress administrator dashboard and navigate to Appearance -> Themes

Login to your WordPress admin area then go to "Appearance" and "Themes"

Step 5: You should see the theme that you uploaded listed there. If you want to preview the theme first, press “Live Preview” button else press “Activate” button.

Press "Activate" button

Conclusion

There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes. Everyone can find a theme which is suitable for their needs. By finishing this tutorial you learned how to install and activate WordPress themes in three different ways.

You can now replace default WordPress theme. Everybody loves good looking blogs! If you notice that there is something missing, then feel free to let us know.

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Sunil Pradhan

Sunil is a front-end developer, illustrator and an online entrepreneur. He is the founder of "Hello Sunil" where he shares his love of technology with the world. He loves to write technical how-tos and tutorials. He is open minded and willing to explore beyond his knowledge.

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