How to Install a WordPress Theme

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When setting up a WordPress website for the first time, the first priority is to sort out the theme. After all, until you get the window decoration, you can’t decorate the site with all the bells and whistles like plugins. Assuming you have already found your theme, how do you install the WordPress theme next? It’s easier than you think, and we’re here today to guide you.

Read more: What is WordPress and should you use it?


To install a WordPress theme, you can either install it directly through the WordPress backend on your domain or download the zip file from the WordPress theme directory. Both are equally easy and equally fast.


How to install a WordPress theme from the Themes tab

Both methods of theme installation are equally easy, but if you’re already digging into your website’s WordPress backend, you can also install the theme from there (assuming it’s in the WordPress directory) .

Go to Appearance -> Themes.

install wordpress theme

You will see the currently installed theme on the page. To install a new one, click Add new at the top.

wordpress theme add new

If you know the name of the theme, you can enter it into the search engine and it will appear. But it must be in the WordPress themes directory for it to appear. Third-party themes do not appear here. If you still don’t know which theme you want, you can use the Features filter to specify what you are looking for.

wordpress theme search

The features filter breaks down themes by topic, features, and layout. Check the ones you need, click Apply filtersand the page results will give you matching results.

wordpress theme filter

Once you find the theme you want, hover over it and some options appear. If you are sure you want the theme, you can go straight ahead and click on the Install button. However, if you want to do a final check, click Insight.

wordpress theme selection

Insight gives you a preview of what your page will look like, without the theme actually installed. However, the theme’s features won’t be enabled, so you’re just looking at a rather simple page. Once you’ve decided you want it, click Install.

wordpress theme live preview

To activate the theme and display it on your website, now click on Enable.

activate wordpress theme

If you now click away from this page and go back to the themes page, you will see the new theme in the first place. The old theme will be deactivated and sit rather alone at the back. I recommend you keep it though, because if your main theme fails, it will need a theme to fall back on. You can now visit your site to check if the theme is installed correctly.

wordpress theme installed

How to Manually Download and Install a WordPress Theme

wordpress.org themes

If you downloaded a theme directly from the WordPress theme directory or purchased a paid theme from a third-party developer, you will end up with a zip file on your computer. Now you need to upload it to your WordPress backend. Do not unzip the folder and extract the files!

Go to Appearance -> Themesand click Add new at the top.

wordpress theme add new
wordpress download theme

Click on Choose file and navigate to the location on your hard drive where the zip file is located, and choose it. You can also use your mouse to drag and drop the zip file onto the Choose file button. Both work equally well.

wordpress theme choose file

When you see the theme name appear in the box, click Install now.

selected wordpress theme

WordPress will now tell you that the zip file is being unzipped and the files are being installed. When it has been done successfully, you will see a success message and a link to preview the live theme or activate it. Choose one. Until you activate the theme, it will not appear on your site.

installed wordpress theme zip file

How to Delete a Theme in WordPress

In addition to the active main theme, you should have a secondary theme as a backup in case the first one fails for some reason. Sometimes a bug in an update can cause the theme to crash, and if you don’t have a backup, your whole site will be a mess.

Anything beyond two themes should ideally be removed, in the interest of site speed. To delete a theme, make sure it is not the currently active theme. Once the theme you want to remove is disabled, hover over it and click the thumbnail.

list of wordpress themes

In the lower right corner you will see a Wipe off button. Click on it and you will be asked to confirm. Once you do, the theme is gone.

delete a wordpress theme


It all depends on the purpose of your site. If you are building a small personal website as a hobby, paying a lot of money for a theme may not be worth it. However, if you run a business and are looking for sales, having a paid theme can pay off in the long run.

The clue is in the name. A one-page theme is a single-page theme. People use them to advertise themselves online or for product landing pages.

Yes, every year WordPress releases a new default free theme named after the year it was released. You can of course delete this theme and install another one if you wish.

A responsive WordPress theme is a theme that works well regardless of the type of screen on which the site is viewed. Whether on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device, a responsive site will detect the type of device being used and always position page elements correctly. You should always aim for a responsive theme.

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