How to install WordPress theme

Once you have WordPress installed on your hosting account (see this article), it is time to change that ugly default theme to something nicer. Let’s try to install a nice free theme from WordPress.

First visit the site and download current version (button on the right). You should get file named (or similar if there’s new version). Now there are few ways to install it.

How to upload zipped file to WordPress

This is the simplest method, but sometimes may not work with paid themes which have some extra files inside their zip directories.

Login into your WordPress blog (by accessing yourdomain/wp-admin) and select Appearance from menu on the left. You should see Themes Manager page:

WordPress - Theme Installation - Theme manager
WordPress – Theme Installation – Theme manager

Please notice there are already three default themes at the bottom – you can Activate them, see their Live Preview, Details or Delete them (you cannot go restore them after deletion so be careful!). Now select Install Themes at the top tabs and you should get to Install Themes page:

WordPress - Theme Installation - Install Theme page
WordPress – Theme Installation – Install Theme page

On this page you can search for free themes online, but we already got one so choose Upload from the top and on next page press Browse and select file.

WordPress Theme installation - Install Themes page
WordPress Theme installation – Install Themes page

Then press Install Now, which will upload and install theme to your WordPress blog.Once it is finished, you may Activate it or return to Themes Manager.

WordPress - Theme installation - Success
WordPress – Theme installation – Success

And that’s it – you successfully installed your first WordPress template. Congratulations!

How to upload uncompressed directory to WordPress

Sometimes when you get premium templates they come zipped with other files which WordPress may not recognize. In this case you should unzip this folder somewhere on your drive, then find main theme folder inside – usually it has theme name and there are images and styles directories inside together with lots of .php files (header.php, index.php etc).

WordPress Theme files example
WordPress Theme files example

All you have to do is to upload whole theme directory(!) to your hosting account into your_blog_directory/wp-content/themes/

Simplest way to do it is to use FTP client – there are hundreds of them on the web. Once you do it, go to you Appearance menu and new theme should be listed there.

If you wonder where can you find excellent templates, please check my Resources page. Have fun!

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