We are extending our WordPress guide and here we are going to give you a complete guide on installing WordPress theme. Like WordPress plugin installation, WordPress themes can be installed from Dashboard or from FTP software. We will give you the guide for both the methods & before we move ahead, I would like you to read following guide, which will help you to get started with WordPress.

Before we move ahead with this guide, here are some of the resources from where you can download WordPress themes.

You can also use Theme test drive plugin to make changes in your WordPress theme live without showing new theme to your readers.

Guide to Install WordPress theme:

By now, I assume you have downloaded WordPress theme from the official repo. Usually most of premium theme clubs offer Themes in .Zip format, which you can use to install WP theme directly from dashboard. So lets assume, you have downloaded Thesis theme from DIYThemes and you want to install it on your self hosted WordPress blog.

  • Login to your WordPress dashboard
  • Navigate to Appearance> Themes > Install Themes> Upload
  • Click on browse, select & locate your .zip file for theme and click on Install now.

Here is a screenshot for the procedure:

Once you click on Install now, your theme will be uploaded and will be installed on your server. On the next screen, you will see an option to activate the theme like this:

Before you activate the theme, you can preview your site with new design by clicking on Preview.At times, preview might not give the exact preview and will show some error, it usually happens. So, if it’s not your live site, you can activate and see the theme live on your site.

How to Install WordPress theme using FTP:

This is one method which I prefer when installing multiple themes or editing themes. FTP method is useful when your server security doesn’t allow you to install theme and plugins from dashboard. When installing themes from dashboard is throwing some error. More over, FTP method can be consider as manual WordPress theme installation.
To get started with FTP method to install theme, you need to have a FTP software like FileZilla or your cPanel should offer FTP access from web panel. Apart from FTP, you need to have a software like WinRAR to unpack .zip file.
In FTP method, we unpack the theme and upload it directly to your themes folder. WordPress themes folder is located under WP-content folder of your WordPress directory.

Unpacking the theme:

As I mentioned above, most of theme club pack the theme in .zip format as WordPress supports .zip compression at this time. So, you need to unzip the theme folder. If you don’t have any such software installed, download the free version of WinRAR from official site and install it. Once installed, right-click on .zip folder of theme and select unzip.

Now login to your FTP manager and locate to wp-content/Themes folder or your WordPress installation and upload the unzipped folder directly. So in case, I will directly upload Unzipped Thesis_182 folder to my server.

That’s it and now your theme is upload on your server. Now it’s time to preview and activate the theme.

How to activate WordPress theme:

One you done with the theme installation using dashboard or FTP method, you can always browse all installed themes from your WP dashboard. Go to Appearance> Themes and you will see a list of all installed themes on your blog. You can Preview or activate the theme directly from here.

How to delete/uninstall WordPress themes:

So by now we have learned how we can install WordPress theme. Now, it’s time to delete unused WordPress themes. Similar to WordPress theme installation, there are two ways by which you can delete WordPress theme.
As shown in above picture, you can browse to Appearance> Themes and click on delete to remove any theme. I suggest, never delete your live theme directly. Switch to another theme first and then delete existing themes.
You can also login to your FTP Manager and locate to wp-content/Themes and delete the theme which you would like to delete. Personally, I find dashboard method is the best way to get rid of unused themes.
Note: If you are switching from any Wp theme whose SEO features you are using, don’t forget to export and import it to your new theme. Or you can alternatively, use many plugins like WordPress SEO to import SEO settings from current theme.
Anyways, I hope this Install WordPress theme guide will help you to move one more step to WordPress. If you have any particular query related to WordPress, don’t forget to let us know on our Fan page. Also, a quick reminder for WordPress newbies to subscribe to our Email newsletter to keep receiving more topics related to WordPress.