How to Install a WordPress Theme (a.k.a. template)

By: nirvaris  |  July 20, 2020
Confused on how to set up your new WP template?


Folks the world over (from writers and bloggers to influencers, artists, small business owners and everyone in between) are creating their own websites these days. Having a website to showcase your business, your art or your resume is pretty much a prerequisite to success in almost every industry; having a ready-made place on the web for people to go to check out who you are and what you’re about is a great idea.

However, many find it difficult, tricky or time-consuming to design their own website. Unless you know HTML and are a great graphic designer, it’s not easy to make a polished, professional and artistic website from scratch. Luckily, if your web hosting provider is WordPress, you can browse a huge variety of both free and inexpensive themes for websites of all types, and they’re as easy as clicking a few buttons to install and integrate. You’ll have a great-looking, functional website in no time at all.
Some users find WordPress templates to be a little tricky, though – there can definitely be a learning curve to it. But once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be breezing through themes in no time. Check out this quick step by step guide to installing a WordPress theme below, to get you started:

Before you Begin
Before you choose and install your theme, you need to keep a few things in mind. For starters, you need to understand that the theme may change the look and functionality of your already-existing website. Check out how features can differ with a theme change and make sure you save any settings or features that you don’t want to lose. You may have to re-sync up things like social media widgets or plugins.

If you’ve got a brand new site, this won’t be an issue.

To install a theme, first you’ve got to select one.

1. Log in to your WordPress account;
2. Go to the WordPress themes directory;
3. Click Appearance;
4. Click themes;
5. Click on Add New;
6. Choose from the categories of your choice to select the theme you like, or;
7. Search according to certain keywords to find a specific theme;
8. Hover over the theme of your choosing;
9. When the buttons appear, click on Install.

Once the theme is installed, WordPress will give you the option to click on “Activate” or Live Preview”. It is advisable to choose the “Live Preview” button to look around at your website and ensure that the theme fits with your content and preferences. Give it a detailed look before choosing to “Activate”. If you don’t care to use this theme, repeat the process from above over until you’ve found the theme you wish to use.

Once activated, you now have a new WordPress theme. However, you may still have some configuring and adjusting to do. This includes editing and adjusting plugins and widgets, choosing specific font choices and colours through the customisation features, and more.

Themes from Third Parties
The aforementioned setup process applies only to WordPress themes. However, you can install themes from other sites and creators. The process is somewhat different and creates more issues with functionality/changes within your site. But as long as you know the risks and follow proper setup, you can install these themes easily.

To begin:

1. Log in to your WordPress Admin;
2. Download a .zip file of the theme you wish to use;
3. Unzip and extract the file and save it to an easy to find folder;
4. In WordPress, go to the Appearances page;
5. Click Themes;
6. Click Add New;
7. Click Upload Theme;
8. Insert the theme file you have saved on your computer;
9. Click Install Now.

Once the theme is installed, if the theme was uploaded correctly, you will get the same option to “Activate” or “Live Preview”.


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