WordPress is the most popular Content Management System we have today. There are millions of websites that have been designed with WordPress due to its stability, flexibility, and ability to support any size of a website. There are notable big name brands such as The New Yorker, BBC America, Sony Music and MTV News that use WordPress for their websites. That tells you how effective WordPress is.
When using WordPress for your website, you do not have to start from scratch. There are thousands of themes that have already been designed for you, and that can match almost any type of website that you need. But how do you install the WordPress themes? In this post, we are going to discuss three steps through which you can install a WordPress theme. They include;
- Installing from the WordPress admin panel.
- Manually uploading a zip file of the theme.
- Using an FTP client.
Installing from the WordPress Admin Panel
This is the easiest way of installing a WordPress theme. If the theme you want to install is available on the WordPress collection of themes, then this is the best method for you to use.
The first step is to log in to the WordPress admin dashboard and then navigate to Appearance > Themes on the left-hand side of the screen.
You will be taken to another screen that shows you a list of all the themes that you have already installed as well as those that come with a WordPress installation. Since we are installing a new theme, click on the Add New button on the top left of the screen.
This takes you to another screen with a list of WordPress themes that you can install. If you know the name of the theme that you want to install, you can type it in the search field and a list of all themes that match your search criteria will be shown.
You can also choose from the tabs at the top – Featured, Popular, Latest, and Favorites – or use the filtered search to get the theme that matches all your requirements.
When you get the theme that you are looking for, move the mouse over it and select preview to make sure that the theme meets all your requirements. If it does, then click on the Install button on the theme as shown below;
Depending on how fast your internet is, the step above might take a moment while the theme is installing. After the process completes, click on the Activate button just below the theme you have just installed.
The theme is now successfully installed and activated.
Manually Uploading a zip File of the Theme
This is the most common method of installing a WordPress theme especially when the theme is not available in the WordPress directory of themes. It is easy and straight forward.
The first step is downloading the theme’s zipped file to your computer. You could be downloading the theme from WordPress or from the very many other platforms that have WordPress themes for sale or even for free such as ThemeForest. In this tutorial, I will be installing Blox By CyberChimps from WordPress directory.
After downloading the theme to your computer, log into your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Themes.
You will be taken to another screen that shows you a list of all the themes that you have already installed as well as those that come with a WordPress installation. Since we are installing a new theme, click on the Add New button on the top left of the screen. On the next screen, click on the Upload Theme button on the top left of the screen.
The next step involves uploading the theme we downloaded. After clicking the Upload Theme button above, you are taken to this screen here to upload the theme from your computer. Click on the Choose File button and navigate to where you have the theme stored in your computer. Select the theme then click on the Install Now button as shown below;
Depending on the speed of your internet connection, this might take a moment. WordPress will notify you when the process completes. Once the process is complete, click on the Activate link shown below to activate the theme.
The theme is now successfully uploaded and activated.
Installing a WordPress Theme Using an FTP client
The other way of installing a WordPress theme is by using an FTP client. There are several FTP clients that you can use, but in this tutorial, I will be using FileZilla FTP Client. You can download FileZilla from here.
The first step when installing a WordPress theme using an FTP client is downloading the WordPress theme to your computer. Once that is done, proceed to the next step.
The next step involves creating an FTP account on your host. This step might vary depending on the host you are using. My host uses the normal cPanel that is common with many other hosting companies.
To create an FTP account on cPanel, navigate to the Files section after logging in and click on FTP accounts as shown below;
You will be taken to another screen where you will need to fill in a few details to create the FTP account. Make sure to use a strong password. When you fill all the required fields, click on the Create FTP Account button at the bottom of the screen.
Some hosting providers come with FTP accounts already created. If you want to use those, scroll down to see a list of the already available FTP accounts and check the details to use to log in through FileZilla. The password is the same password you use to log in to the cPanel if you use the cPanel details.
Launch FileZilla. You will need to log into your web hosting server through the FileZilla client. To do that, you will need to fill in the host, username, password, and port as shown below. These are the details you used to create the FTP account in Step 3 above.
FileZilla will connect to your server if the credentials are correct. Sometimes, you might get an error that although a connection was established, FileZilla could not retrieve the directory listing. To bypass this error, follow the following steps;
- Click File on the top menu panel in FileZilla then select Site Manager.
- Add the site you are trying to connect to by clicking on the New Site button at the bottom of the window that pops up.
- Add the hostname, change the encryption to Only use plain FTP, change logon type to Normal and then enter the username and password.
- Click the Connect button at the bottom to establish a connection.
In this step, I will be installing the Melos Magazine theme from WordPress. I downloaded this theme in the first step above. We are now going to unzip the theme file on the computer. Make sure that you are doing all this on the computer, not on the server.
Having established a connection to the server on FileZilla, the next step is to navigate to the folder on my computer where I have the unzipped theme folder. I am doing this on the left-hand side of FileZilla.
On the right-hand side of FileZilla, navigate to public_html > wp-content > themes. This is the folder that has all the other themes that are already installed on your WordPress installation. Click on the extracted theme folder in step 6 above then drag the folder to the themes folder.
FileZilla will notify you when the upload completes.
The final step involves activating the theme. Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Themes. Here, you will get a list of all installed themes. Navigate to the theme we have just installed, move the mouse cursor over it and click on the Activate button.
The theme is now successfully installed and activated.
Installing a WordPress theme is very easy as seen above. If one of the three methods does not work for you, then you will definitely find one of the other two working for you. Have you faced any issues installing and activating a WordPress theme using any of the methods above? Please share in the comment section below and we will help you.