How To Install A WordPress Theme

One of my favourite WordPress features is the ability to quickly and easily change the design of your website with themes. WordPress themes are extremely versatile in terms of design and function. Whether you’re a minimalist with a love of lots of white space or you want bold colours and patterns – there is something to fit your needs.

The hardest part can often be choosing a theme from the 1,000s that are currently available. If you are struggling to find a theme, check out my ‘How To Choose The Best Theme For Your WordPress Blog‘ post, it has a few tips to help.

Before I jump into how to install a WordPress theme, I’m gonna share a few of my favourite themes to find premium themes.

Let’s get to the tutorial on how to install a WordPress theme.

There are two ways you can install a theme on WordPress – through FTP or from your WordPress dashboard.


The easiest way (especially for beginners) to install a theme is through the WordPress dashboard. You can access the theme settings by going to ‘Appearance > Themes’ from the left-hand menu.


On the theme page, you will see thumbnails showing the default themes installed with WordPress.  The first image depicts the theme currently active on the website.


If you’re happy to keep using that theme but want to make a few changes, say to the logo and header image, you can do so by customizing the options.

Hover over the thumbnail to display the blue ‘customize’ button and you will be taken to a section with the theme options.

However, if you want to install a different theme, click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of the page.

WordPress Theme Directory

The themes shown on the ‘Add Themes’ page are from the free WordPress Theme Directory. You can filter through the various options to find a theme that you like straight from your dashboard.

After finding a theme, hover over the thumbnail image to view the full theme details and a preview of how it looks.

The click the ‘Install’ button to install the theme.


Upload A Theme

If you have bought your theme from a provider, you can upload the files straight to your website by clicking the ‘Upload Theme’ button located at the top of the page.


To upload the theme, it must be in .zip format. Click the upload button and then choose your file then select the ‘Install Now’ button.

Once uploaded you will be shown a success message along with the options to ‘Activate’ the theme. By activating the theme will become live on your website.


The next step is to configure the theme settings to your requirements. Premium themes typically allow you to customize the theme to suit your branding.

The options will depend on your chosen theme but you can usually find these on the ‘Appearance > Customize’ section or by hovering over the theme thumbnail image, a blue ‘customize’ button will be displayed.


The customization options will be shown on the left-hand side and you can go through each of these to edit the theme.



If you have access to the FTP for your website, you may want to upload your file that way. Uploading your theme through FTP is a little bit more complex than doing so through the WordPress dashboard.

Firstly, you will need to install an FTP program onto your computer. I use Filezilla, which is free to use on both mac and windows.

After connecting to your website through FTP, you will have access to the files and folders that make up your website.

The themes can be found by going to /wp-content/themes/. Simply upload the unzipped theme into the ‘themes’ folder .

Head back to ‘Appearance > Themes’ on your WordPress dashboard and you will now find your uploaded theme. Hover over the thumbnail image for the theme and click the ‘Activate’ button.

Not sure how to install a theme? Here is a step-by-step guide on installing a #WordPress theme. Click to Tweet


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