How to Install a WordPress Theme

How to Install a WordPress Theme

How to Install a WordPress Theme

In this article, we will explain how to install a WordPress theme on your website. There are two main methods you can use to install a theme, depending upon whether  you are getting the theme directly from the WordPress repository or a third party developer.  We’ll discuss both these methods here, giving you step by step instructions.

If you haven’t yet decided which theme you are going to install, we suggest you check out our last article, How to Choose a WordPress Theme, first.

Installing a theme from the WordPress repository

If the theme you have chosen is from the WordPress.org repository, then the most efficient way to install it is by using your WordPress admin. To install the theme using this method, follow these instructions:

  1. Login to your WordPress admin area.
  2. Scroll down and click on Appearance » Themes.
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  4. When the theme page opens, click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.
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  6. This page enables you to search for or browse the themes that are available from the WordPress repository.As you can see from the image below, the menu at the top lets you search through Featured, Popular and the Latest WordPress themes. If you have previously selected themes as favourites, you can find them under the Favourite menu item.How to Install a WordPress Theme -wp10 3If there are specific features you wish your theme to have, you can use the Feature Filter option to narrow down your search. The Feature Filter lets you look for themes with specific colours, layouts and other features. There is also a search tool you can use if you have come across a theme you are interested in when researching.
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  8. When you have found the theme you are interested in, hover over it with your cursor. When you do, a number of options will appear. Clicking on these will let you find out more details about the theme and even let you preview it in your browser.If you wish to install the theme, simply hover over its image and click on the blue ‘Install’ button.
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  10. Once you click the ‘Install’ button, WordPress will begin to install the theme. Installing doesn’t make it the current theme your website uses. To make your theme live, you need to activate it. As you can see, below, you can do this by clicking on the ‘Activate’ link which appears after the installation has been completed.
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  12. Once activated, your theme is ready to use. Before beginning to create any content, however, you will need to configure the settings, which you wish to use in your theme. Depending on your theme, you can do this by accessing Appearance » Customise or Appearance » Theme Options.

Installing a third party WordPress theme

If you wish to install a third party WordPress theme which is not available from the WordPress repository, then you will need to use an alternative installation method. Just like the method above, this is a simple process and here we’ll give you the instructions of how to do it.

  1. The first thing you will need to do is to purchase the theme from the third party developer and download it to your computer. The file you download should be a .zip file. This means that the theme has been compressed inside the file to make it smaller. You do not need to unzip the file on your computer.
  2. After you have logged into your WordPress admin panel, scroll down and click on Appearance » Themes.
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  4. When the theme page opens, click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.
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  6. When the next screen opens, you will see an ‘Upload Theme’ button at the very top of the page. Click on it.
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  8. When the upload screen opens, click on the ‘Choose File’ button. This will open a dialog box that will let you find the theme’s .zip file on your computer. Select the file and click open. Once you have chosen the .zip file, click on the ‘Install Now’ button.
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  10. As with the previous installation method, you need to remember that although this installs the theme, it does not make it the live theme on your website. To make your theme live, you need to activate it by clicking on the ‘Activate’ link which appears after the installation has been completed.
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  12. Once you have activated, your theme is ready to use. However, do remember to configure the settings prior to creating any content. These can be found by accessing Appearance » Customise or Appearance » Theme Options.

Delayed activation

When you install your theme, you do not need to activate it straight away. If you wish to activate it at a later time you can do so by doing the following:

  1. Navigate to Appearance » Themes in your admin panel.
  2. Find the theme you wish to activate and hover over its image with the cursor. When you do this, an ‘Activate’ button will appear. Click on it and the theme will activate.

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Conclusion

From reading this article, you should now have a clear understanding of how to install themes directly from the WordPress repository and how to upload and install third party themes which you have acquired from other developers. You should also know how to find and activate themes you have previously installed.

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