You probably have just started a new website or blog on WP platform and wanna try something different style by installing a new WordPress theme.
But you don’t how to make those changes.
Well, in this WordPress theme installation guide, you’ll learn about how to install a WordPress theme into your website by using any of the four different methods.
But wait wait wait …
If you don’t know what a WordPress theme exactly is …
Here’s an easy definition:
What is a WordPress Theme?
A WordPress theme is a chunk of files, which work together to regulate the way a website’s elements (images, text, videos, colors etc.) are displayed to the users.
So a theme is all about styling or presentation of your website, just like you paint up your own house to decorate.
Now you have at least a basic idea about what WordPress themes are.
Now let’s move to the different methods that you can use to install themes in your WordPress CMS (Content Management System)
Install from the WordPress Theme Directory
To install a theme from the WordPress’s theme repository:
I. Login to your website’s administration panel (the dashboard) e.g. http://www.example.com/wp-admin/
II. Hover your mouse over the Appearance option located in the middle of the left pane and click on Themes
There you’ll see a few already installed themes with the Twenty Seventeen already activated by default (this default theme keep changing every year and is named according to the current year).
III. Now click on Add New (You can also use the search bar if you already know your favorite theme name.)
In that theme arsenal, WordPress will give you 5 different options to find your desired one.
They are …
- Featured (this is default and preset by WordPress)
- Feature Filter (most powerful)
IV. Click on Feature Filter to sort out the themes as per your need
Feature Filter is divided into three categories; viz Layout, Feature and Subject or Type of the website.
V. Click the boxes in accordance with your requirements, it will return a plethora of WordPress themes.
VI. Hover your mouse over the thumbnail of the theme, which is most appealing to you and click on Install (You can also click on the Preview button to take a demonstration of the theme).
Wait for a few seconds while the theme is being installed.
VII. After the theme successfully installed, click on Activate.
Now you are done installing your WordPress theme and your website’s front-end has been transformed!
Install WordPress Theme by Uploading Through Dashboard
Nothing so much different …
First, download a WordPress theme (It’s definitely okay if you’ve already downloaded).
There are many websites out there, to download a variety of themes
To name a few …
And … lots of.
Just follow the first three steps as method #1
Now click on Upload Theme
Click on Choose File
Locate the theme file (in .zip format) on your PC, choose that and click Install Now
Wait till WordPress unpacking and installing your theme successfully
And then click on Activate
Now you’re done. It’s that simple
Install WordPress Theme via cPanel
To use this function, make sure your hosting provider allows access to cPanel.
I. Login to your cPanel with the Username and Password.
These login credentials are provided by your hosting provider. Ask them if you don’t know or just check your email archives sent by your hosting provider at the time of purchasing your plan.
After you successfully log in to your cPanel.
II. Click File Manager
III. Now you have to locate the themes folder or directory.
If you’ve installed your WordPress in the document root folder, you’ll find it in the:
If you’ve installed WordPress in a subfolder, you’ll have to navigate it like the following path:
IV. After you are in there, click on Upload located in the top menu bar.
V. Click Select File and upload your theme.
VI. After completing the upload process head to the themes folder and single click on the theme’s .zip folder. On the top menu bar click Extract. (You can also extract it on your local machine before uploading)
VII. Go to your WordPress dashboard and then Appearance>Themes
VIII. Find your newly uploaded theme and click on Activate.
Install WordPress Theme Using FTP Client
An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client is a software or desktop app builds to access files of a web server.
It gives you the freedom to access the files of your website without actually log into the cPanel.
There are many FTP many different clients out there, such FileZilla, WinSCP, Cyberduck etc. And I’ll be using FileZilla to upload a theme.
If you haven’t installed it yet, download FileZilla before proceeding.
I. First, extract your compressed theme file.
II. Open FileZilla and fill in your login credentials
Host: Your domain name or your website’s IP address (e.g. yourdomain.com)
Username: Your cPanel username
Password: Your cPanel password
Port: Put either 21 (Plain FTP) or 22 (Secure FTP/SFTP)
III. Click on Quickconnect
IV. On the next screen after successful login, two different panes will appear. On the left pane, it’ll show the files on your local machine and on the right pane it’ll show the files of your WordPress site (the remote server).
Navigate the themes folder as mentioned in the cPanel tutorial.
i.e. public_html/wp-content/themes (if WordPress is installed in the document root folder)
or public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes (if WordPress is installed in a sub-folder)
Now drag your extracted theme folder to the WordPress’s theme folder.
Wait for a few seconds …
And you are done uploading your WordPress theme.
V. On your WordPress dashboard locate to Appearace>Themes and there you’ll see your newly installed theme. Move your mouse over and activate it.
But there are also some WordPress themes which are called Child Themes. The child themes come with theme frameworks (Especially the Genesis Framework by StudioPress. And many out there) which need an additional installation procedure.
Keep reading …
Installing child theme is a little bit different than installing a generic WordPress theme.
What is a WordPress Child Theme?
A child theme is a theme dependent of another theme. The theme on which the child theme depends is called a framework or parent theme.
A child theme inherits all of the codes and files from the parent theme. It gives you the freedom to change the style, colors, and layouts of your theme to avoid losing your customization if you update your parent theme in the future. (Yes, a theme update causes replacing your own codes with the defaults.)
Here’s a super easy example of how a child theme works:
If your parent theme holding a CSS code to define the Theme’s page background color as white, then you can go to your child theme’s CSS file to add a code for a different background color.
This way the Child Theme will ignore the Parent Theme’s page background color to define the color of your choice.
Let’s move to the child theme installation process.
How to Install a WordPress Child Theme?
All of the WordPress Child Themes come with a Parent Theme.
You need to install the Parent Theme before installing the Child Theme (Since the child inherits the properties of the parent and work together).
Installing the Framework/Parent Theme:
- Sign in to WordPress dashboard
- Hover the cursor over Appearance option & select Themes
- Click on Add New
- Now click on Upload Theme button
- Click on Choose File option & select the parent theme file
- Press Install Now upload
After your parent theme successfully uploaded, it’s time to upload your child theme.
Installing the Child Theme:
- Log in to WordPress administration panel
- Place the mouse over Appearance, select Themes
- Click Add New
- Click on Upload Theme
- Click the Choose File button
- Select your child theme and click on Install Now.
- After the installation is completed, click on Activate
One more thing to remember is that it is also possible to use the parent theme alone, but you’ll lose your customizations whenever you’ll update them.
Did you successfully install WordPress theme? Or are you getting any problems installing your theme? What are your thoughts regarding this article? Put your impressions in the comment box.