How To Install A WordPress Theme

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The theme you choose for your WordPress website will affect your site’s overall look and aesthetic, so you do want to choose carefully. Luckily, there are thousands of both free and paid themes available, so you’ll be able to try out a few different types before you commit to your final program. What makes WordPress so great and easy to use is that you can switch between themes relatively quickly once you know how to do it.

Even if you have no coding experience, installing a new WordPress theme can be done with a few clicks of the button. Here are three different methods so you can choose whichever one works best for you.

Before You Get Started

Before you do anything to your site, it’s always a good idea to backup your website. While you might not expect something to go wrong, you will want to have a clean copy of your site saved, just in case.

Install A Theme Using The WordPress Themes Directory

One of the easiest ways to install a free WordPress theme is using the theme search functionality. To find it, go to your WordPress admin area. Click on the Appearance → Themes page and select the “Add New” button.

Now, you’ll be able to search every theme available, including the most popular, featured, or the latest themes. If you are looking for a specific type of feature, you can use the “Feature Filter” to narrow down your search. Search for themes by subject (blog, entertainment, e-commerce, news, photography, etc.), specific features (custom header, editor-style, full-width template, etc.), and layout (grid layout, number of columns, and sidebar location).

Once you have discovered the theme you want to use, click “install” and then “activate” to have it go live on your WordPress site. That’s it!

Install A Theme Manually

Sometimes, you might not want a theme from the themes directory. You can also search for a paid or free theme from an external website. You’ll have to do this manually, but it is still very simple and requires just a little effort on your part.

To get started, you will need to get the zip file from your theme developer’s website. No need to unzip or extract the file; just make sure it is saved on your computer.

Go to your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance → Themes. At the top, you’ll see “Add New” and then click “Upload Theme.” Here is where you will upload that zip file of your theme. Just like before, you’ll click “Install Now” and then “activate” so that the theme will be uploaded and live to your website.

Install A Theme Using FTP

One final way of getting a new WordPress theme on your site is by using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This method is the most risky because you might accidentally modify or delete files, causing problems for you if you don’t have a backup of your site available.

We only recommend that advanced users who have some experience working with WordPress use this method because of this added risk.

You must have an FTP hostname, username, and password, and an FTP client to get started. One way to do it is through FTP client Filezilla. Once you have launched Filezilla, login and click “Quickconnect.” Select the option /rootdirectory/web/content/wp-content/themes out of the Remote Site and root directory options. Once the Local Site window has opened up, you’ll upload the folder that contains the zip file of your desired theme.

Your theme will now be uploaded to WordPress, so you will follow similar steps as methods one and two. Visit your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance → Themes. You can activate your new theme from there.

Applying Templates to Specific Pages

Now that you have used your preferred method to get a WordPress theme, the next step is to check it out and make sure it fits your needs. Sometimes, a theme won’t be as customizable as you had hoped or requires a little bit of editing before it is perfect.

You also might want to apply specific templates to pages in your WordPress. For example, you might want to use both a blog template and an e-commerce template. To see if your WordPress theme has these specific templates, go to the WordPress Page Editor. If these specific types of themes are available, you can find them in the Page Attributes box on the righthand side. After selecting a template, you can preview it before publishing it.

Keep Your Themes Updated

Once you find the perfect theme for your website, your work is almost done. You should be keeping your themes up to date to ensure that all new features including SEO and security have been added to your site.

The good thing about changing your theme is that it is so easy to do! You can keep your website fresh with a new design as often as you’d like, with minimal work on your end.

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