How To Install A WordPress Theme

The third step to create a WordPress site is by installing a WordPress theme. A WordPress theme is a collection of files which work together to modify the appearance and design of the website. In simple term, a WordPress theme is the skin for the website.

How To Install A WordPress Theme

There are three ways to install a WordPress  theme. It is by direct install through admin theme search, using upload method, and using FTP client.

Direct Install Through Admin Theme Search

The first method to install a WordPress theme is by installing directly through the admin theme search. This is the easiest way if you plan to use a free theme from the WordPress theme directory. Moreover, there are tens of thousands of free themes available to pick.

Please note that you cannot install premium themes using this method since it is not available in the directory. To get started, first, login to your WordPress admin area. And next, navigate to Appearance » Themes. Please refer to the image 1 below.

How To Install A WordPress Theme
Image 1.

Next, click on the "Add New" button at the top of the theme page.

How To Install A WordPress Theme
Image 2.

After that, you will see a new page where several featured themes are listed. In which, you will find a menu with categories like Featured, Popular, Latest, and Favorites. Furthermore, there are also search bar function and option to filter themes. So feel free to find any theme that might suit your need.

For the sake of this article, I will use Lawyer WP theme as an example. To start installing this theme, simply hover your mouse on this theme which will reveal the "Install" button. Please take a look at the image 3 below.

How To Install A WordPress Theme
Image 3.

After you install the theme, next, click on the "Activate" to activate the theme. Once your theme is activated, finally, navigate to Appearance » Customize to start customizing your theme.

Installing Via Upload Method

The second method to install a WordPress theme is by installing using upload method. In contrast to the previous one, this method allows you to install any theme including premium theme you purchased.

Assume you already have your theme (.zip) file, let's start our installation by navigating to Appearance » Themes.

How To Install A WordPress Theme
Image 4.

Similarly, click on the “Add New” button at the top of the theme page to add your new theme.

How To Install A WordPress Theme
Image 5.

Unlike the previous method, in this step, we will click on the "Upload Theme" button. Please kindly refer to the image 6 below.

How To Install A WordPress Theme
Image 6.

Once you clicked on the "Upload Theme" button, you will be prompted to choose your theme (.zip) file similar to the image 7 below. Select your theme (.zip) file and click "Install Now" to start the installation.

How To Install A WordPress Theme
Image 7.

After the installation finished, next, click on "Activate" to activate your theme. Please take a look at the image 8 below.

How To Install A WordPress Theme
Image 8.

Finally, now you can start customizing your active theme by going to Appearance » Customize.

Installing Using FTP Client

Another way to install a WordPress theme is by using FTP client. However, this is not recommended for a beginner. Still, using this method still, have some advantages.

For instance, this method allows you to backup your current theme before updating it to the latest version. It also allows you to revert it back to the previous version.

To start installing a WordPress theme using FTP, first read how to upload files using FTP. Assuming you have understand how to setup FTP client, next, go to /wp-content/themes/ and upload all your theme files and folders in the directory. Please note that you need to extract (unzip) your theme file before uploading it or otherwise, it won't work.

Once your theme finishes uploaded, login to your WordPress admin area and navigate to Appearance » Themes. You should see the theme(s) you have uploaded there. Simply hover your mouse on top of the theme and click on the "Activate" button. You now can start to customize your theme.

Installing Via WP-CLI

This probably the easiest and fastest way to install a WordPress theme. Not only you can install any theme directly from the WordPress directory, but you can also activate it with just a single line of command.

Let's say, for example, you want to install twentyseventeen theme, it can be done by entering the following line. Nonetheless, if you prefer to install without activating the theme, please remove the --activate. You may also be interested in reading how to set up and use WP-CLI.

Recommended WordPress Theme

There are so many themes available for WordPress users. From free themes in WordPress theme directory to premium themes sold by various companies. For your convenience, we have listed some of the best WordPress themes that might interest you. Please take a look at the list below.

Other Things You Need To Know

Now, you already know how to install a WordPress theme. However, I would like to remind you on few things:

  1. Always use the most recent version of the theme. The latest version is most likely has less or no bug than the previous one, yet also have the possibility for incompatibility issue.
  2. Do not forget to backup before updating your theme. In the event of a worst case such as an incompatibility issue, you can simply revert back to the previous version.
  3. Never test your new theme on your live site. Instead, consider to get a staging feature or use a dummy/demo site so it won't affect the user experience of your visitors.
  4. Do not modify your theme core files if you need to do advanced customization. Instead, create a child theme because all your customization on theme core files may disappear after your theme updated.
  5. If your current theme is no longer updated by the developer for a long time, please consider changing to a new theme. It may no longer be supported in the future because WordPress always evolve as well as web hosting companies always updating their hardware.

Footer Note

As shown above, there are few ways to install a WordPress theme. I hope this article will assist you to install your theme. Besides, I also hope that our list of themes will help you find your dream theme.

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