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How to Install a WordPress Theme – A Beginner’s Guide

How to install wordpress theme

If you are looking for guidelines on how to install a WordPress theme, you have come to the right place. In the following, we will elaborate on how you can install a WordPress theme on your website and launch it. Installing a WordPress theme is easy if you knock on the right door. Let’s have a look at how to install a WordPress theme. 

You can install WordPress themes in two ways:

  1. Uploading a previously downloaded theme
  2. Installing theme from WordPress admin dashboard

Uploading a WordPress Theme

Let’s get to the details of how to upload a WordPress theme

Step 1: Download WordPress theme

The first step of installing a WordPress theme is to download the theme. There are many sources from where you can download WordPress themes. These sources include free and paid sources alike. In order to download a free WordPress theme, is the most suitable place to look in.

To search and download WordPress themes, go to is the most popular source for WordPress theme

You can navigate through the popular, featured and latest themes to find the theme of your choice. Use the search bar with different keywords to look for your required theme. The best thing about WordPress themes is they are the biggest source of free themes. If you are on a budget and looking for a free theme, WordPress should be your go to option. Navigate through the details of the themes, and use the “Download” button to download the theme on your PC or device. 

WordPress is perfect for paid themes. If you want to purchase premium themes there are other options for that. There are many theme shops and developers from whom you can purchase themes. ThemeForest is the most prominent source for themes. Along with that there are many developers who also sell themes. You can also check out the WordPress themes we are selling.

Before you set your mind on what theme to pick, there are few things you can consider. 

  • Type of the theme: Your theme should be compatible with your objective. For example: you are planning to launch a website of car rental. You can pick a theme that is bespoke and suitable for car rental service only. On the other hand, if you download a blog focused theme then there is no relevance with car rental. To begin with, the first focus should be on the compatibility of your requirement and the theme. 
  • Features: Even if the WordPress themes are free but there are many features and options you can enjoy. However, the paid themes come with a wide variation of features. Instead of fixating on too many features, focus on the most needed features only. Also look at the plugins that are coming along with the theme. As website loading time is an integral part of any website, make sure too many features aren’t slowing down your website. 
  • Rating and review: Before finalizing your decision, go through the ratings and reviews of the themes. It resonates the quality of the theme and shed lights on the usefulness of it. Skim through the entire reviews to get a comprehensive idea on the quality of the theme.
  • Support: Last but not the least, the support that comes with the theme is also very important. Free themes might have limitations in customer support. However, paid themes offer more support to  the customers. Please check the extent of customer support they are providing. Support from your theme provider may include live chat support, email and phone calls. In addition, ensure there is proper documentation coming along with the themes. The documentation will enable you to set up the website without any hassle.

If all these are ensured, you can go ahead with the theme that has the most compatibility. 

Step 2: Upload your WordPress theme

This option is mostly used in case of paid themes. However, you have the liberty to upload free themes too. In order to upload the WordPress theme, login to your WordPress dashboard. From the WordPress menu click on Appearance > Themes.

You can get the theme upload option in the Appearance section on the wrodpress dashboard

After clicking on the Themes button, it will lead you to a new page. Click on the “Add New” button on the top left corner.

Click on the add new option to add a new theme

On the top left side of the page you will see the “Upload Theme” button.

You will get theme file upload options here

By clicking the “Upload Theme” button you will get to choose a file from your PC or device. Please note that WordPress themes should always be uploaded in .zip format. Make sure you do not upload anything but .zip format file.

After the upload is successfully completed, you will see a “Install Now” button. Click on the button to complete the installation of your theme.

After completing the file upload then just click on install now botton.

Once it is installed you will see an “Activate” button. Click on the button and your theme will be installed in your website.

Just click on the activate button to activate the theme

After your theme is properly installed on your website, you will see the option to customize it.

You can customize your theme from the theme customize option

Click on the customization button and design your website just the way you like. 

If you follow the above mentioned steps, you can easily upload a previously downloaded theme on your website. 

Now, let’s have a look at how to install a WordPress theme from the dashboard.

Installing Theme from WordPress admin dashboard

This is the easiest way to install a theme on your website. You just need literally a handful clicks to install a theme on your website. Let’s have a look at the step by step guide on how to install themes from the WordPress admin dashboard.

Step 1: Login to WordPress dashboard

Use your login credential to access the WordPress admin dashboard. 

Step 2: Click on Appearance > Themes

Click on the Appearance > Themes options to install theme

Step 3: Click on “Add New” button on the top left side of the page

Click add new options to get all the themes library

After clicking on the add new button, it will take you to a new page with all the available themes. This “Add Theme” page will showcase the themes offered by WordPress.

You can navigate through the featured, popular, latest and favorite section to look for your website. The featured section showcases the themes that are trending recently and are rising in popularity. Popular section puts a spotlight on the themes that are popular among users and has good reviews. In the latest section you can have a look at the most recent themes that are available. Along with that, the feature filter option allows you curate and filter out themes based on your requirements,

The feature filter option allows you curate and filter out themes based on your requirements,

Last but not the least, you can always use the search bar to put in keywords to find out the theme of your preference. You can type in the category of business or service you are in or also mention theme names.

For example: you are planning to build a website for car rental. Just type the word car rental in the search box and it will show you related themes. 

Step 4: Have a look at theme details and preview

WordPress provides all necessary information for a theme. It also includes a preview and live demo of how the website will look like after the theme is installed. Navigate through the details and preview to have a clearer idea on the website and its design. If you are purchasing a paid theme, give a more in depth look at the details.

Step 5: Install WordPress theme

Once you have decided which theme you will pick, click on the “Install Now” button to start the installation of your theme. 

Install WordPress theme

Step 6: Activate WordPress theme

Once the installation is completed, it will show an “Activate” button. Click on the activate button and your theme installation will be completed. 

If you follow these above mentioned steps, you can easily install WordPress themes on your website. 

Pro Tips on Choosing Theme: 

  • One click demo import: One of the best features that comes with WordPress themes is the one click demo import. The one click demo import feature enables you to import a premade demo from the themes. If you like any of the premade demos that are included with the theme you can set this up on your website. 
  • Customization: Once you have installed the theme on your website, now it is time to customize it. You can click on the “Customize” button on the theme you have installed and customize accordingly. 
You can click on the “Customize” button on the theme to customize the theme

Along with that, premium themes come with many page builders such as Elementor, WPBakery etc. These page builders help you to edit, design and customize your website. You can use these page builders to design your website just the way you like it.

By following these steps and guide, you can easily set up WordPress themes on your website and get started. However, if you want to delete the current theme and give a new start, take note of the following steps. 

How to Delete WordPress Theme

Deleting WordPress themes is not a tough nut to crack. Let’s have a look at the steps to take to delete an unwanted WordPress theme. 

Step 1: Login to your WordPress admin dashboard

Step 2: From the tab on the left hand side, click Appearance > Themes 

Step 3: In the Add Themes page, navigate through and find the unwanted theme

Step 4: Hover over the theme image and click on “Theme Details” button

Step 5: From the pop up displaying the details, click on the “Delete” button 

These are the steps you need to take to delete an unwanted WordPress theme. Note that you cannot delete an active theme. Firstly, you need to finalize the theme you will be using.

Secondly, by using the WordPress dashboard you can activate the theme you have your eye on and then delete the unwanted theme. 

Pro Tips: Checklist of Installing WordPress Theme

  • Be clear about your requirements
  • Decide if you want free theme or premium theme
  • Do research on your theme
  • Thoroughly go through the review and rating
  • Have a detailed look at the live previews
  • Check support details of the theme
  • Customize the theme after installation
  • Do not forget to update your theme once in a while

We hope after reading this you will be one step closer to starting your own website. 

If you are looking for WordPress themes for your website, check out our quality themes here

To have more ideas on plugins that will make your website extraordinary have a look at the top 20 plugins of 2022.