As a beginner, you probably have heard about tons of available free and paid WordPress themes. As you’re starting out, you may want to try out a few themes on your site until you find the right one that meet your needs. In this guide, we will provide you with detailed step-by-step instructions on how to install a WordPress theme.
Installing a WordPress theme is easy. But keep in mind that when you activate a new theme, it will change how your existing site's look and function.
Install a Theme using WordPress Admin Theme Search
First thing you need to do is login to your WordPress Admin Dashboard. After you've logged in click on Appearance » Themes. Click the Add button to add a new theme.
On the next screen, you will have the ability to select from: Featured WordPress themes, Popular WordPress themes, Latest WordPress themes, search for a specific theme, or search for themes with specific features.
Based on your search, you will see a single theme or a list of themes that met your criteria. When you see the theme that you want to install, simply click on the theme. This will reveal the install button, preview button, and details button. Click on the install button to install the theme.
WordPress will show you a success message along with the link to activate or live preview after the theme has finished installing. Click on the activate button, and you’ve successfully installed and activated your WordPress theme. Depending on the theme, it may add additional settings options that you may need to configure either through the theme customizer or through a separate options panel.
Install a Theme by using Upload Method from WordPress Admin Dashboard
The first method that we covered only allows you to install free themes that are available in the WordPress.org theme’s directory. What if you want to install a commercial "premium" WordPress theme that you already purchased from companies like ThemeLab, StudioPress, iThemes, etc. In this case, you would need to install the theme using the upload method from your WordPress Admin Dashboard.
1. Start by downloading the .zip file of the theme that you purchased from a marketplace or a commercial theme provider.
2. Next login to your WordPress Admin Dashboard and click on Appearance » Themes.
3. Click on the Add New button at the top of the page.
4. On the Add Themes page, click on the Upload Theme button.
5. You will be prompted to choose the zip file that you downloaded earlier. Select the file and click Install Now.
6. You will see a success message along with the link to activate and preview the theme once the theme has successfully been installed.
7. Click on the activate button, and you’ve successfully installed and activated your WordPress theme.
Depending on the theme, it may add additional settings options that you may need to configure either through the theme customizer or through a separate options panel. Note: If you’re using WordPress.com, then you will not see this option because it limits you.
There are other ways to installing a WordPress theme (i.e., FTP)... but we did say that this is a beginners' guide on how to install a WordPress theme.