How to Install a WordPress Theme

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How To Install WordPress Themes

After installing WordPress, you will likely want to change what your website looks like. A WordPress theme is what controls the visual layout of your WordPress site. A well designed theme that matches your brands identity will enhance your brand. The steps below teach you how to install a WordPress theme on your WordPress website.

The design of your WordPress website is extremely customizable when using a WordPress theme. You can more or less achieve whatever you like with your sites design as long as your theme supports your desired look. Alternatively, if you have the ability, you can create your own theme and customize it however you like.

Video tutorial
You can install your WordPress theme following along with this step by step video guide.

If video is not your thing or your need to read then continue reading.

Themes are interchangeable and you can change it very easily. You can find thousands of themes on the WordPress directory or other premium themes from places such as ThemeForest. Make sure to also check out our WordPress theme called Trisense.

This guide teaches you how to install a WordPress theme.

Before you begin, it is important to know that when you change your theme, it will completely change the look and functionality of your website. Keep this in mind to make sure you have created a backup in case you need to revert back. You may also lose functionality if certain features are baked into the previous theme.

To activate a new theme you need to log in to the WordPress admin area.

Once you have logged into your websites backend, you should see the Appearance menu in the left hand sidebar.

Note: If you do not see the Appearance menu, then you might not have sufficient privileges to install WordPress themes. If this is the case, you will need to ask an admin user of your site to increase your access privileges so that you can install them.
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This guide covers the three most common methods for installing themes:

Install a Theme using WordPress Theme Search

By far the simplest and most straightforward way of installing a theme is by searching the built in WordPress directory in the backend of your website.

The WordPress theme directory has well over 5,000 themes freely available for you to use. If you are just beginning, it is likely that you will find the theme you are after in the WordPress theme directory. The downside to using the theme directory is that it does not include all of the other premium theme providers such as ThemeForest or our own Trisense theme in the list.

If you have a theme from an external source or downloaded one then you will have to use one of the other install methods.

Success!
Your new theme is installed and ready to start using.

From here, you should be able to customize your theme using the Appearance > Customize page. Some themes will include their own theme options pages usually in the Appearance sub-menu.

Setting up and using your theme varies on a per theme basis so you will have to scout out the next steps for yourself. Good themes will have tutorials and documentation to truly dig into it.

Install Theme via WordPress Admin Theme Upload

Premium and other third party themes are not in the WordPress theme directory. This means you are unable to search and install them as instructed in the previous section.

So you will have to install them from the theme upload area in the admin panel. This part of the tutorial teaches you how to install themes from your computer using the upload theme field.

Your theme needs to be on your computer in a .zip file format. All reputable theme authors will provide their themes in a zip format for you so all you need to do is download it ready for upload.

Success!

Your new theme is installed and ready to start using.

From here, you should be able to customize your theme using the Appearance > Customize page. Some themes will include their own theme options pages usually in the Appearance sub-menu.

Setting up and using your theme varies on a per theme basis so you will have to scout out the next steps for yourself. Good themes will have tutorials and documentation to truly dig into it.

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Manually Install a WordPress Theme using FTP

In some cases, your WordPress hosting provider may have certain restrictions that prevent you from being able to upload the theme through the admin area.

If this is the case, then you can install your theme by uploading it using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program so you can manually copy it directly to the server.

FTP’ing into your server is the least easiest way to install a theme for beginners but is fairly straight forward when following these steps.

Your theme needs to be on your computer in a .zip file format. All reputable theme authors will provide their themes in a zip format for you so all you need to do is download it ready for upload.

You will also need an FTP application such as Filezilla to be able to connect to your WordPress hosting.

Success!

Your new theme is installed and ready to start using.

From here, you should be able to customize your theme using the Appearance > Customize page. Some themes will include their own theme options pages usually in the Appearance sub-menu.

Setting up and using your theme varies on a per theme basis so you will have to scout out the next steps for yourself. Good themes will have tutorials and documentation to truly dig into it.

Conclusion

Installing a WordPress theme is super easy in WordPress when you know how. Hopefully this tutorial helped you gain a good understanding on how to install a WordPress theme for yourself if you did not know how already.

The next step after installing your theme is to tweak it. If you find there is a certain function you are trying to achieve that is not built into your theme then you may need to install a WordPress plugin to get what you are after.

Learn how to install a WordPress plugin here and then check out our top recommended WordPress plugins for any site owner. If you are wanting to grow your website then you will not want to miss out on installing our favorites.

Need help with installing a WordPress theme on your website? Let us know what help you need in the comments below.

We also have WordPress video tutorials on YouTube and you can stay up to date with our latest posts on our Facebook page.

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