Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to install a WordPress theme efficiently. If you’re new to WP or just want an easy-to-follow step-by-step overview, you’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through the fundamentals of installing themes, compare different methods, and explore the benefits of self-hosting. With our guidance, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to create a successful and visually appealing website. So, let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to a seamless WordPress theme installation process.
1.) Installing from WordPress.org
Installing themes from WordPress.org is easy and recommended for beginners. The repository offers a collection of free and secure high-quality templates approved by volunteer reviewers. You can sort themes by popularity, rating, and date, and download them directly from the dashboard or WordPress.org directory.
- Log in to your dashboard and navigate to Appearance → Themes.
- Click the “Add New” button to access the theme listing.
- Browse templates by category or use the feature filter to narrow your search by subject, feature, and layout.
- Once you find a theme you like, click “Install” and then “Activate” to set it as your default template.
For first-time users, popular options include Neve, OceanWP, Joyas and YITH Wonder. Using WordPress.org themes allows you to check demo data, backend functionality, and front-end design, all without any cost under the GPL license. It’s a smart way to familiarize yourself with admin area and customize your website with ease.
2.) How to Install Themes Manually
Installing a WordPress theme using manual upload offers various benefits. Firstly, it provides more design flexibility, allowing you to use custom themes not available in the WP repository, making your website stand out.
Secondly, you can install premium themes purchased from third-party marketplaces like ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, or Colorlib, offering advanced features and support.
Lastly, uploading or manually installing a theme can be faster than searching in the WordPress.org repository, especially if you already have the theme file downloaded on your computer. Plus, developers often choose this method for installation and better customization on localhost.
To get started, ensure the downloaded installations file is in .zip format. Then, follow a few simple steps to upload and install the theme on your WordPress website.
- Go to Appearance → Themes, just like before.
- Click on the “Add New” button.
- At the top of the page, you’ll see the “Upload Theme” button. Click on it.
- Next, click on the “Choose File” button and select the theme file from your computer.
- Once you’ve selected the file, click on the “Install Now” button to install the theme.
- After the installation process is complete, you’ll see a page with two different buttons: “Activate” and “Live Preview.” Click on the “Activate” button to make the theme your default.
Congratulations, you have now successfully uploaded and installed a theme manually.
3.) How to Install a WordPress Theme Using FTP:
Installing a theme using FTP has benefits such as overcoming file size and server restrictions, faster installation, and greater control. However, it requires technical knowledge and may not be suitable for beginners. The process involves connecting to the website’s server, navigating to the theme folder, and manually uploading the files with correct file structure and naming conventions.
To install a theme manually via FTP or file manager, you’ll need the path to your site provided in your hosting control panel, such as cPanel, CyberPanel for Lightspeed, or CloudPanel for NGINX. Here are the steps using FTP:
- Download an FTP software like FileZilla or WinSCP and set it up on your local machine.
- Log in to your server using your FTP server URL, FTP username, and FTP password.
- Navigate to the wp-content/themes/ folder (if you can’t find it, contact your hosting company for assistance).
- Upload the unzipped template’s folder from your computer to the server’s wp-content/themes/ folder. In FileZilla, you can do this by dragging and dropping the folder from your computer to the server.
- If there are multiple files and folders to upload, wait patiently for the upload to complete.
- Once the upload is completed, go to your WP admin area and navigate to Appearance → Themes to activate the theme.
- Search for the theme you uploaded and click on the Activate button. You can also preview the theme live.
If you’re unsure about FTP upload, watch the helpful video below:
Happy creating your personal blog, eCommerce, business, portfolio, and curriculum vitae websites!
There are multiple ways to install a WordPress theme or template, such as using the dashboard interface, manually uploading it via FTP or SFTP, or using a third-party plugin. Each method has its own pros and cons.
The manual setup process, as discussed earlier, can be easier than using certain plugins like WooCommerce, Elementor, or Jetpack. Moreover, selecting the right theme is crucial as it can simplify the development process with features such as demo import and pre-built blocks.
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