How Do I install a WordPress theme?

Tips, Trick and Resources to Learn WordPress
For Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Users

Different ways to install Your WP Themes

Updated: September 5, 2023
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff

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WordPress Installing Themes

WordPress Themes

Are you looking to install a new WordPress Theme?

The default theme included with your WordPress might work for some. but you can install your own WordPress theme to change the look and style of your site. You may want just want to try out a few themes on your site until you find the right one that meet your needs.

How to Install a WordPress Theme

WordPress Theme

This method allows you to install free themes that are available in the theme’s directory. Browse from more than 10,000 free themes.

To install your themes, click on Appearance » Themes in the WordPress Dashboard.
Once on the "Themes" page, click on the "Add New" button at the top. On the next screen, you will be able to select from;

  • • Featured WordPress Themes
  • • Popular WordPress themes
  • • Latest WordPress themes
  • • Search for a specific theme
  • • Search for themes with specific features

When you see the theme that you want to install, simply bring your mouse on top of the image. This will reveal the install button, preview button, and details button. Click the "Activate" button, you have installed and activated your WordPress theme. Depending on the Theme, it may have additional settings and or options that you may need to set up either through the theme customizer or through a separate options panel.

To upload a WP Theme

If you want to install a commercial “Premium” WordPress theme, Or what if you want to install a custom theme. To upload, just click the "Upload" tab. You will be prompted to choose the zip file that you downloaded earlier. Select the file and click "Install" or "Activate". You will now see this theme listed as your current active theme.

Adding Themes With cPanel

If the Theme files are in a .zip or .gz archive, follow these instructions
Download the Theme .zip file to your local machine
In the cPanel File Manager, navigate into your "Themes" folder. If your WordPress is installed in the document root folder of your web server. You would navigate to "public_html/wp-content/themes", and if you have WordPress installed in a sub-folder called wordpress. You would navigate to "public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes".
Once you have navigated to the Themes folder in cPanel File Manager, click on Upload file(s) and upload that .zip file
Once the .zip file is uploaded, click on the name of that file, then in the panel to the right, click on "Extract File Contents", and that .zip file will be uncompressed
Follow the instructions below for Selecting the Active Theme.

Adding Themes Manually with FTP

For themes from, clicking Download on any theme will save the .zip file to your computer.
If you or a developer you hired created your own custom theme, save it as a .zip file.

After downloading the Theme archive and extract the files it contains. You may need to preserve the directory structure in the archive when extracting these files. Follow the guidelines provided by your Theme author. Using an FTP client to access your host web server, create a directory to save your Theme in the wp-content/themes directory provided by your WordPress website.
For example, a Theme named "rsh-theme" should be in wp-content/themes/rsh-theme
Your Theme may provide this directory as part of the archive. Upload the Theme files with the FTP program to the new directory in your website. Follow the instructions below for Selecting the Active Theme.

Selecting the Active Theme

To select a Theme for your site. Log in to the WordPress Administration Panel. Select the "Appearance" panel, then Themes. From the Themes panel, roll over the theme thumbnail image for the Theme you are interested in to see options for that theme. You can view more information about any theme by clicking "Theme Details". A live preview of the Theme can be seen by clicking Live Preview. To activate the Theme, click the Activate button.

WordPress Themes Plugins

Theme Editor

Theme Editor allows you to edit theme files, create folder, upload files and remove any file and folder in themes and plugins. By mndpsingh287

Theme My Login

The ultimate login branding solution! Theme My Login offers matchless customization of your WordPress user experience. By Theme My Login

Child Theme Configurator

When using the Customizer is not enough – Create a child theme from your installed themes and customize styles, templates, functions and more. By Lilaea Media

Create Block Theme

A WordPress plugin to create block themes. By

Theme Check

A simple and easy way to test your theme for all the latest WordPress standards and practices. A great theme development tool. By Theme Review Team

Easy Theme and Plugin Upgrades

Easily upgrade your themes and plugins using zip files without removing the theme or plugin first. By Chris Jean

Theme Switcha

Easily switch between themes for development and testing. By Jeff Starr

Download Theme

Download any theme from your wordpress admin panel's Appearance page by just one click. By Metagauss

Theme Inspector

A developer's inspector to illuminate the WordPress Template Hierarchy and help with building WordPress Classic themes. By Melissa Cabral

Generate Child Theme

Create child themes of any WordPress themes effortlessly with Generate Child Theme. By Catch Plugins

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