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How to install a WordPress Theme

I love WordPress so much. It’s what I have used to create most of my websites and those of clients also. I do know that WordPress can appear overwhelming, so I decided to start creating mini tutorials. One question I got asked recently was related to themes. I thought it would be a good idea to show you how to install a WordPress Theme.

When you purchase themes, quite often, the authors offer an installation service, but this service may not be an option for everyone financially. This quick tutorial will show you how to install your theme and get started right away without having to hire anyone to do it.

There are plenty of themes out there, and if you do not know where to start, I am about to create an awesome guide of themes I think you should check out (I will update this blog post once it’s done).

Right now, let’s get you started with your new theme. Just to remind you, I will be helping you install a theme on your self-hosted WordPress site. I will not be showing you how to install themes on your hosted site.


Once you have chosen your awesome new theme, you will need to download it. When it’s downloaded, make sure that the folder is downloaded as a zip file. If your file is not downloaded as a zip, you will need to do this manually. If you run Windows on your PC, you can find out how to compress and uncompress files (zip files) directly from the Windows sites.

If you are a Mac lover like me; you can follow the following instructions. It’s super easy. You will need to find your theme file you have just downloaded. Once you have done this, right-click on the file and press ‘compress (file name)’. Voila, you’re all done. It’s that simple.

How To Install WordPress Theme Compress File


If this is a new install of WordPress, you need to log in to your admin area. If you have no idea where that is; default settings for WordPress are www.( Your screen should look like this.

How To Install WordPress Theme Step 1

Enter the details you were provided when installing WordPress to your hosting account. Once you’re logged in, you should see your Dashboard. It can seem overwhelming at first, but I will help you demystify your WordPress dashboard in future posts.

You will see many options but to install your WordPress theme, you only need one menu option. What You then need to do is find your ‘Appearance’ tab which can be found on the left-hand side menu. This is the menu with the dark background.

How To Install WordPress Theme Step 2


Once you have found this menu option. A submenu will appear. Select ‘Themes’ and you should be taken to a page that looks like the following. When you look at this page, you will see themes that have already been uploaded. These are free standard themes that come with WordPress. If you want a more attractive theme and are not ready to start with a paid theme, you can select one of these themes. All you’ve have to do is change some of the default settings and colours and add your pictures to match your brand.

To install your WordPress Theme, next to the ‘Themes’ page title, you will see a box which says ‘Add New’. This is the button we need. I need you to go ahead and click this option.

How To Install WordPress Theme Step 3

When you select this theme, you will see a page with even more themes! These are themes you can select from and activate straight away. For now, let’s focus on installing your perfect theme. At the top of your page, next to the menu, you need to select ‘Upload Theme’. The picture below shows what you should be looking for.

How To Install WordPress Theme Step 4

You will then be presented with a screen that looks like the one below.

How To Install WordPress Theme Step 5

Notice how the ‘Install Now’ button has been greyed out. This is because there is no file to upload as yet. Select choose file and browse your computer for the theme you would like to download. Once you have selected the theme, you will see your zip file appear next to the choose file button and you will now be able to select install now.

How To Install WordPress Theme Step 6

Once the folder has been uploaded, WordPress will then begin installing your theme. Your next page should look like the following page.

How To Install WordPress Theme Step 7

Onc the theme has been installed, you will be informed that it has been installed correctly. If not, it will tell you it has not been and why. Once this has been done, you will have three options. You can preview the theme live without activating it. Once you have viewed it live, there will be an option to activate it. You can then decide to activate it immediately and then view it afterwards, or just return to the themes page without seeing and taking action. Select the option most suitable to you and you are all done!

I hope this tutorial was useful and enjoy your new theme 🙂

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Hi, I'm Rose.
Your Digital Marketing Strategist + Media Buyer.

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