Installing a theme is so much similar to installing a plugin.
Just like plugins, you can install a theme in three different ways, by search, by upload, and by FTP.
And today, we will learn all of those three techniques.
Let’s start it…
How to install a WordPress theme by search?
When you are just starting up with blogging, chances are high that you won’t go right away for a premium theme. First, you would want to understand the platform, how it works.
So it’s obvious that you will start your blog with a free theme.
The best way to install a free theme is, login to your WP dashboard and go to > Appearance > Themes>
Here you will see the default themes that are already installed. It’s highly likely that you are not going to use any of the defaults; so, first delete* all the default themes.
*Note: you cannot delete the theme that is currently active on your blog; so, first find a new theme and then come back here and delete the default.
Here are the steps to find and install a theme from the WP Dashboard.
Step 1: Once you are on the themes page, click on the Add new button on the top left after the title “Themes”.
You can also click on the big plus sign next to the installed themes.
On the next screen, you will see some themes under featured section; these are the ones that are promoted by WordPress. On the right to it, you will have the options to filter out the latest themes, the most popular ones, your favorite ones and then the advance filtration option to filter out the themes as per your requirement.
The latest and the popular sections are easy to understand; it simply shows you the latest themes that are added and the most popular ones.
The favorite section simply allows you to see the themes that you have favorited while browsing through themes at wordpress.org.
To take advantage of this feature, you will have to use wordpress.org as you cannot favorite a theme from inside the WP dashboard.
You will first have to create an account at wordpress.org.
Go to >wordpress.org, create a new account, confirm your email id and you are good to go.
Now you can browse through all the themes available at wordpress.org and you can favorite the ones that you like and would want to refer back later, before finalizing the theme for your blog.
Note: You have this feature for plugins as well; I forgot to mention that in my last post “How to install a plugin in WordPress?” The feature works exactly the same for both. So, next time when you read about some plugins or themes that you would want to try, just make a search in wordpress.org (given it is not a third party plugin or theme) keep it favorited and you can always come back later to test it for yourself.
To see the themes that you have favorited, navigate to Appearance>Themes>Add new>Favorites and type in your user name and click on the button that says “Get Favorites”; it will list down all the themes that you have loved so far.
Next, you have the Feature Filter section; here you have the advanced options to narrow down your choices.
Simply select what type of layout you want, what features you want and select the subject of your blog and click on “Apply Filters”; it will list down all the themes that have those features you have just checked off.
Finally, if you have already researched and decided your theme, then just type in the name of it in the search box to the right side on the filter bar.
Step 2: Navigate to the theme you want to install. When you hover over the theme thumbnail the “Install” and “Preview” buttons will appear.
Click on “Install”
Step 3: Now, once the installation is finished, the “Install” button will turn into “Activate” and the “Preview” button will change to “Live Preview”.
You can activate or have a live preview of your blog from by clicking the respective buttons or you can go back to the installed themes page and activate the theme from there.
That’s it! go ahead and customize your blog the way you want.
How to install a WordPress theme by upload?
This option will be useful when you want to install a premium theme or a theme that you have downloaded from wordpress.org or some third party websites.
Here’s how to do this:
Go to > Appearance > Themes> Add New
This time, instead of searching for a theme you will click on the “Upload Theme” button seen next to “Add Themes” on the left-top of the page.
A new section will appear above the filter-bar.
Click on “Choose File” and locate the theme’s zip folder on your computer.
Once you have selected the right zip folder, click on the “Install Now” button.
As soon as you click on the install now button it will take you to a new window and the installation process will start up.
Once the installation is completed successfully, an Activation link will appear along with two other links.
Just click on the “Activate” link and the theme should be activated on your blog instantly.
Or you can alternatively click on the link that says “Return to Themes Page” and from there, you can activate the theme as well.
Now, you can proceed with the customization.
How to install a WordPress theme by using an FTP?
In my experience, users of FTP is very rare; most people won’t go for FTP unless there’s any issue with the WordPress Dashboard if it is not allowing you to use the above-explained ways for some reason.
Anyways, situations might come and you might be left with the only option is to use an FTP to install your theme. So, this section is dedicated to such unfortunate situations. 😉
Login to the FTP Client (I am using FileZilla here) using the FTP user ID and password you created yourself or got from the server administrator.
Once connected to the server, go ahead and locate the theme folder on your computer.
And on the server side, go to /public_html/yourdomain.com/wp-content/themes
Once the theme files are located make sure the files are not in .zip format, if they are, first extract them and locate the right theme folder and right click on it and then click on upload.
The transfer should start now. look at the Server/Local file section found below the FTP client.
Once the transfer is finished, you can close the FTP and head back to the WP dashboard.
Navigate to >Appearance >Themes;
If everything so far has been done accurately then you should be seeing the newly installed theme inside the themes page.
Congratulations! You have just installed your first theme through FTP; go ahead and give yourself a treat, you deserved it.
Now you know how to install a plugin or a theme on WordPress with all the available ways; so, go ahead and experiment it for yourself.
Recommended Read>> How You can start a Blog Today?
P.S. This was the second part of my last post, “A beginner’s guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress“. If you haven’t read it yet then go ahead and read it.
P.P.S. I have tried to explain the post as simple as I could. So, If you have found the post helpful, please share it with your friends and family who you believe would benefit from this.
Have any queries or suggestions? please feel free to put it in the comment section below and I will surely get back to you asap.
I will see you next Thursday!