How to Install a WordPress Theme

Written by Pressable on
A woman installing a WordPress theme.

Ready to install a WordPress theme?  Great!  There are tons of resources online when it comes to themes. We recommend themes from the WordPress.org Theme Directory.

If you’re looking for a Premium theme we recommend WooThemes or any company in the WordPress.org Premium theme Directory. If you plan to purchase a Premium theme see if the author has a free version you can try before purchase.

 Step 1: Access Theme Menu:

To install a theme from the WordPress.org Theme Directory or Upload a theme log in to the WordPress Dashboard. Next, visit Appearance > Themes. This path will lead you to the Theme menu, where you can get started.

Appearance Themes Dashboard menu
Note: if you have installed a theme, activating it will change the way your content is displayed and your sites functionality.

 Step 2: Select Add New

Once you’ve clicked on Themes you’ll be brought to the Theme Menu.  Here you can select Add New and you’ll then be able to choose from featured WordPress themes, search for themes that have certain features, or browse the most popular WordPress themes to see if they fit what you’re looking for.

Add new WordPress Theme button.

24/7 WordPress Support

from real WordPress experts

LEARN MORE

Note: The first theme in listed is the currently active theme on your site.

WordPress theme menu showing a preview of all downloaded themes.

Step 3: Search and Re-search

Not a type-o, really do some research on your theme! Before purchasing a theme that might display the way you want your site or WooCommerce store to look, read up on the features and see if it’s the right solution for your needs.

Step 4: Install theme

To install a theme from the WordPress Theme Directory use the search box on the right to find your theme. For this tutorial we’ll install “Twenty Twelve”. Once you’ve found your theme, click on the Install button to begin the install process.

Screenshots of a user installing a new WordPress theme.

If you downloaded a theme from another location use the Upload Theme button to start the install process.

Upload theme button.

Now click the  Browse button  to select your .zip file from the theme author.

Your theme will now be installed, you’ll see a success message when the download concludes. You will see something similar to the image below:

Theme menu with an Activate button for activating an already installed WordPress theme.

Note that this is just a notification of the download progress, your theme is not activated and displaying on your site yet.

Step 5: Activate your  theme

When you’re ready to change your theme and update your site— you’ll have to select Activate.  Once you’ve downloaded the theme, you’ll have in listed in your Theme Menu and you’ll be able to view all of your downloaded themes there.

Screenshot of a user activating an installed WordPress theme. Once you’ve clicked on the Activate button, you’ve successfully installed and activated your new theme!  The next step is to ensure that all of your sites content is in working order, you may need to reconfigure some settings depending on your theme.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to submit a ticket to our HelpDesk!

Tags: , , , ,

Web Performance

Load time matters! Do you know how fast your site is?
Take our test to find out.

TAKE TEST
An Automattic Invention A family of WordPress solutions.