How to download and install a WordPress theme?

Are you looking to install a WordPress theme? As a beginner, you probably have heard about tons of available free and paid WordPress themes. As you’re starting out, you may want to try out a few themes on your site until you find the right one that meet your needs. In this beginner’s guide, we will provide you with detailed step by step instructions on how to install a WordPress theme for beginners. We will cover three different ways to install a WordPress theme.

#Install a Theme using WordPress Search

If you’re looking to install a free WordPress theme from the WordPress.org themes directory, then the easiest way is by using the WordPress admin theme search functionality.

The first thing you need to do is login to your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearance → Themes. Then click on the Add New button at the top.

Install a new WordPress theme
Install a new WordPress theme

On the next screen, you will have the ability to select from Featured WordPress themes, Popular WordPress themes, Latest WordPress themes, search for a specific theme, or search for themes with specific features.

Search for WordPress Theme

Based on your search, you will see a single theme or a list of themes that met your criteria.

When you see the theme that you want to install, simply bring your mouse on top of the image. This will reveal the install button, preview button, and details button. Go ahead and click on the install button.

Install a WordPress Theme

WordPress will now install your theme and show you a success message along with the link to activate or live preview.

Activate a WordPress Theme

Click on the Activate link, and you’ve successfully installed and activated your WordPress theme.

Note: Depending on the theme, it may add additional settings options that you may need to configure either through the theme customizer or through a separate options panel.

#Install a Theme by using Upload Method from WordPress Admin

The first method that we covered only allows you to install free 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 or GretaThemes, etc.

Or what if you want to install a custom theme? Well, in this case, you would need to install the theme using the upload method from your WordPress admin.

Start by downloading the .zip file of the theme that you purchased from a marketplace or a commercial theme provider.

Next login to your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearance → Themes. Then click on the Add New button at the top.

 

Add new theme

On the next screen, click on the Upload Theme button at the top.

Upload a new theme

You will be prompted to choose the zip file that you downloaded earlier. Select the file and click Install Now.

Upload and install new theme

 

Once your theme is installed, you will see a success message along with the link to activate and preview the theme.

Activate a WordPress Theme

Click on the Activate link, and you’ve successfully installed and activated your WordPress theme. Depending on the theme, it may add additional settings options that you may need to configure either through the theme customizer or through a separate options panel.

In a specific case, you want to download and install a theme purchased from ThemeForest, this screenshot below covers all steps you need to follow:

install WordPress theme from ThemeForest

Note: The theme upload functionality is only available for self-hosted WordPress.org users. If you’re using WordPress.com, then you will not see this option because it limits you. In order to use custom theme upload feature, you would need to use self-hosted WordPress.org.

#Installing a WordPress Theme using FTP

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to take it to the next level, then you can learn about installing WordPress themes using FTP. Remember, this is not for true beginners because it is a little bit more advanced.

Now that you have read the article above and installed and setup your FTP program, connect to your host using FTP. You would need to go to the path (/wp-content/themes/). Once you’re there, simply upload your theme’s folder there.

Remember you must unzip the folders before you upload a theme using FTP. Once you have uploaded the theme, you would need to go to your dashboard and click on Appearance → Themes.

You should see the theme that you uploaded listed there. Bring your mouse on top of that theme and click on the activate button.

We hope this step by step guide helped you install a WordPress theme on your site. If you notice that there is something missing, then feel free to let us know.