How to Install a WordPress Theme – Beginners Guide

How-to-install-a-WordPress-theme (1)

Do you want to install a WordPress theme?

There are thousands (both free and paid) to choose from. If you are a beginner, you may want to take a chance with a few of them on your website before finding the right one for you.

The following instructions will explain how to install a WordPress theme step-by-step for beginners. This article will walk you through three different methods of installing a WordPress theme, so you can find the solution that works for you.

What You Need to Know Before Installing a WordPress Theme

It is easy to install a WordPress theme. However, if you activate a new theme, your WordPress website will look and function differently.

We have a checklist of things you should do before changing WordPress themes if you’re switching from an existing theme.

Whenever you create a new WordPress website, you should install a theme first.

Here are the three methods below how you can install a WordPress theme easily on your WordPress site.

  • Using WordPress Admin Theme Search Option
  • Using the Upload Method from WordPress Admin
  • Using FTP to Install a WordPress Theme

Method 1 – Using WordPress Admin Theme Search Option

You can browse the themes directory from your WordPress dashboard if you are looking to install a free WordPress theme.

Simply log into your WordPress admin area and explore the theme directory. Go to Appearance > Themes and click on Add New.

new-wordpress-theme (1)

There are three options on the next screen: Popular, Latest, and Favorites.

Simply type in the theme’s name into the ‘Search themes…‘ field if you already know the theme you wish to use.

featured-wordpress-themes (1)

When you click on ‘Feature Filter,’ you will be able to sort themes according to their characteristics.

Themes can be sorted by subject, feature, or layout.

feature-filter-theme (1)

A list of themes meeting your criteria will be displayed according to your search. For this search, we chose the popular theme.

By hovering your mouse over the image of the theme you want to install, you can get the installation process started. This will reveal the Install, Preview, and ‘Details & Preview’ buttons.

Go ahead and click on the Install button.

install-astra-theme (1)

WordPress will now install your theme.

WordPress will display a success message when your theme is ready.

installing-new-theme (1)

Additionally, the WordPress Dashboard shows a button for ‘Activate’ and ‘Live Preview‘.

By clicking the Activate button, you can begin using this theme on your WordPress site. Congratulations! Your WordPress theme has now been installed and activated.

When you visit your site, the new theme will be visible.

You may need to make adjustments to some themes.

Some themes may ask you to install some essential plugins, download demo data, review the theme’s settings, and so on.

Simply follow the instructions onscreen. There is a new section called ‘Astra Options’ in the Astra theme.

astra-options-menu (1)

Additionally, the WordPress theme customizer can be used to edit your theme.

You can access this from Appearance > Customize.

wordpress-customizer-theme (2)

Method 2 – Using the Upload Method from WordPress Admin

With our first method, you are limited to installing free themes from the theme directory.

However, you may want to use custom themes. Well, you need to upload the theme to your WordPress account in order to install it in this case.

Begin by downloading a copy of the .zip file from the theme shop (e.g, ThemeLooks) or marketplace (Themeforest) where you purchased your theme.

Then, click on the Add New button at the top of the Appearance > Themes page in the WordPress admin area.

You will then be taken to a list of free themes displayed on the Add Themes page.

Simply click the upload theme button to upload the theme you already have.

Install a WordPress Theme

Now, you need to click on Choose from for selecting the. zip file that you already have on your computer.

Once done, simply click on the Install Now button to install the theme.

Once the theme installation completes, you’ll get a notification message ‘Theme installation successfully‘ text.

It will also provide links for you to preview and activate the theme. When you click Activate you will be able to use the theme on your WordPress site.


You should now be able to see your new theme on your website.


Based on your theme, you may need to make additional adjustments. These changes might need to be made in a theme’s customizer or an additional theme options panel, depending on your theme.

You can upload themes only if you are using on your own server. This option is not available on because it restricts you.

For users of self-hosted, the custom theme upload feature is not available. Check out our comparison of vs. for more information.

Method 3 – Using FTP to Install a WordPress Theme

You can learn how to install WordPress themes using FTP if you’re feeling adventurous.

You shouldn’t use this method if you’re not an experienced player because it’s a bit more advanced.

To install the theme on your computer, you must download the .zip file. Once it is downloaded, it must be unzipped.

It creates a new folder under the theme’s name on your computer. Here is the free version of the Hestia WordPress theme.

unzipped-wordpress-theme (1)

The theme files are now ready to be uploaded to your website.

For this, you will need an FTP client so you can connect to your WordPress hosting account.

Upon connecting, you should go to the folder ‘/wp-content/themes/’. On this page, you’ll find a list of themes you have installed on your website.

filezilla-themes-folder (1)

By adding it to the ‘wp-content/themes’ folder, you can upload your new theme.

Find and click the theme folder you unzipped on your computer. Afterward, drag and drop this theme folder into the ‘themes’ folder of your website.

filezilla-themes-folder (1)

Switch back to your WordPress dashboard after you have uploaded the theme. From the Appearance > Themes post, click on the Themes link.

Upon clicking on the link, you will see the theme you just uploaded.

Click on the theme you wish to use and hover your mouse over it. When it appears, click Activate.

adding-theme-ftp (1)

Final Words

We hope this post was useful to get a full insight into how you can install a WordPress theme very easily. You can go with any of the methods. But if you’re a complete newbie, then you should avoid the last method.

What if you need to uninstall or delete a WordPress in any case, see our guide on how you can delete or uninstall a WordPress theme. Or you may look at how you can use the default theme customizer like a pro.

If you like this post, be with ThemeLooks and subscribe to our WordPress video tutorials on YouTube. We may also be found on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

  • Comments are closed