How To Install WordPress Themes Manually

Learn how to install WordPress themes manually in this tutorial.

WordPress TutorialThis tutorial was created using an earlier version of WordPress and may contain outdated information. Please bookmark this page as we will be updating this tutorial soon! To be notified of updates to our content, subscribe to our updates list (see sidebar), or Like our Facebook page.

***

Typically, when purchasing premium WordPress themes, you will download a zip file containing the theme that requires uploading to your WordPress installation directory before you can activate and use it.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to upload and install WordPress themes manually on your website or blog.

To learn more about using WordPress themes and the benefits and advantages of choosing WordPress themes over traditional web design templates, see the tutorial below:

To learn how to upload and install a WordPress theme using the WordPress Dashboard, see the tutorial below:

How To Install A WordPress Theme Manually: Step-By-Step Tutorial

Before installing a theme on your WordPress site, download the theme’s zip file to your hard drive.

You can download Premium WordPress themes from commercial theme developers, or visit the WordPress Theme Directory to download free themes to your hard drive …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Tip

Create a folder on your hard drive to store all of your WordPress-related files (e.g. updates, plugins, themes, etc …). This will help you keep things organized and save you time managing your site.

If you need a compression utility to download and extract zip files, go here:

***

Download the theme you want to install into your WordPress Themes folder …

How To Install WordPress Themes

After the zip file has downloaded, extract the theme files into your WordPress Themes folder …

How To Install WordPress Themes

You should now have two versions of your theme files:

  1. The original zipped (compressed) files
  2. The unzipped (uncompressed / extracted) files

How To Install WordPress Themes

In the section below, you will learn two different methods to install WordPress themes manually to your site, which require using either the compressed or the compressed theme files, depending on which installation method you choose …

How To Install WordPress Themes

The first method described below shows you how to use FTP to upload your theme files to your server. The second method is faster and uses cPanel File Manager.

Note: If you need help understanding how to use FTP or cPanel to upload files to your server, please see this tutorial.

How To Upload A WordPress Theme Using FTP

Open up your FTP client and select the theme folder you want to upload to your site …

How To Install WordPress Themes

With your theme folder still selected, connect to your server (1). In your server window, navigate through the folders until you find the “themes” folder inside the “wp-content” directory. Select this folder as the destination directory (2).Click the upload button (3) to begin transferring files from your computer hard drive to your server …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Now that your theme files have been uploaded to your server, the next step is to log into your WordPress admin area to make sure that your theme has been installed correctly and to activate your new theme.

Skip the section below if you are using FTP to upload your files and go to the section titled “Verify That Your WordPress Theme Has Been Uploaded” at the bottom of this page to continue …

How To Upload A WordPress Theme Using cPanel

Log into your cPanel account …

cPanel Login Screen

Go to Mail, and click on File Manager

cPanel FileManager

Drill down to the “themes” folder and click the Upload button in the File Manager menu …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Click Browse to locate your file …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Locate and select the compressed (zipped) version of your WordPress Theme and click Open to begin importing the file into your server …

How To Install WordPress Themes

After the file has finished uploading, click Reload to refresh your screen …

How To Install WordPress Themes

You should see your uploaded zip file listed in the File Manager window. Select the file you have just uploaded and then click Extract

How To Install WordPress Themes

When the “Extract” screen pops up on your browser, click Extract File(s)

How To Install WordPress Themes

After all of your files are extracted, click Close to exit the “Extraction Results” window and return to the main File Manager screen …

How To Install WordPress Themes

The zipped file containing your uploaded theme is no longer required. Select the .zip file in the File Manager list and click Delete to remove the file from your server …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Now that your file has been uploaded to your server, the next step is to log into your WordPress admin area and make sure that your theme has been uploaded and installed correctly.

Verify That Your WordPress Theme Has Been Uploaded Correctly

Log into your WordPress administration area …

Wordpress Login Screen

In your WordPress dashboard menu, select Appearances > Themes

How To Install WordPress Themes

Your newly uploaded theme will show up in the “Available Themes” section of the Manage Themes tab …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Click Activate to make your newly uploaded theme your site’s current active theme …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Congratulations! Now you know how to manually upload and install a WordPress theme on your website or blog.

***

"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

Disclaimer: WordPress and its related trademarks are registered trademarks of Automattic, Inc. This site is not affiliated with nor sponsored by Automattic, Inc. or the WordPress Open Source project. This site and the services and products offered on this site are not affiliated, associated, sponsored, or endorsed by WordPress, nor have they been tested, certified, or reviewed by WordPress. The owner, contributors and/or advertisers may derive financial benefit from sales of items advertised, reviewed, or linked to this site.

***

Have you found this tutorial useful? If so, please take a moment to share this tutorial with anyone thinking of starting or growing their business online using the links below.

How To Install WordPress Themes Via The WordPress Dashboard

Learn how to install WordPress themes via the WordPress Dashboard in this step-by-step tutorial.

WordPress TutorialThis tutorial was created using an earlier version of WordPress and may contain outdated information. Please bookmark this page as we will be updating this tutorial soon! To be notified of updates to our content, subscribe to our updates list (see sidebar), or Like our Facebook page.

***

WordPress provides a number of integrated search features that allows you to search, import, and install WordPress Themes automatically from your WordPress dashboard. More importantly, any WordPress user can install a theme on their site easily and without any web design knowledge required. You simply choose a WordPress theme (Free or Premium), upload it to your site, and activate it to instantly transform the entire look and feel of your website.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install a theme on your WordPress site or blog via the WordPress Dashboard.

To learn more about using WordPress themes and the benefits and advantages of choosing WordPress themes over traditional web design templates, see the tutorial below:

To learn how to upload and install a WordPress theme manually, see the tutorial below:

How To Install WordPress Themes Via The WordPress Dashboard

Complete the step-by-step tutorial to learn how to install WordPress themes automatically on your site or blog via the WordPress dashboard.

Useful Information

In version 3.8, WordPress introduced a more streamlined grid design to the WordPress ‘Themes’ section …

Themes Section

You can add new themes by clicking the ‘Add New Theme’ button directly in the grid …

Installing Themes

The ‘Theme Details’ screen can be accessed by hovering your mouse over the theme thumbnail and clicking on the ‘Theme Details’ button …

Installing Themes

The ‘Theme Details’ screen has scrollable sections, allowing you to scroll through all the available themes installed on your site …

Installing Themes

***

Installing WordPress Themes – Step-By-Step Tutorial

Log into your WordPress admin section, then scroll down your WP-admin sidebar menu and click on Appearance > Themes

How To Install WordPress Themes

You will be taken to the “Themes” section of your WordPress administration area. Click on Install Themes

How To Install WordPress Themes

The ‘Install Themes’ section allows you to import, upload and install and activate WordPress themes on your site …

How To Install WordPress Themes

There are several options for installing WordPress themes:

  • By URL method
  • Search method
  • Upload method
  • Featured method
  • Newest method
  • Recently Updated method

Let’s go through each of these options now, starting with the Upload Method, as this is most likely the method you will use to upload themes to your site.

Installing WordPress Themes Using The Upload Method

Use the Upload method to upload a theme from your hard drive and automatically install it on your WordPress site. This feature is useful if you want to install a custom WordPress theme (e.g. a theme purchased through a theme vendor), or if your site does not allow you to install a theme directly from the WordPress Theme Directory.

To upload and install a WordPress Theme automatically to your site using the ‘Upload’ feature, make sure that you have downloaded a zipped file containing the theme you want to your hard drive.

Either download a premium theme from the vendor’s site or visit the WordPress Theme Directory and browse through the site until you find a theme that you like.

Tip: Use the WordPress Theme Directory’s Feature Filter to search for free themes based on specific criteria like custom colors, number of columns, support for featured images, full-width template, theme subject, etc …

Theme Directory - Feature Filter

(Theme Directory – Feature Filter)

When you find a theme that you like, click on the Download button to save the theme’s zip file to your hard drive …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Tip

We recommend creating a folder on your hard drive to store all of your WordPress-related files (e.g. updates, plugins, themes, etc.). This will help you keep things organized and save you time when managing your site …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Once you have downloaded your theme, go to your WordPress admin and select Appearance > Themes > Install Themes, then click on Upload in the options menu at the top of the page …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Click on Browse to search inside your hard drive for the theme file to be uploaded …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Locate the theme .zip file you downloaded earlier to your computer, then select the file and click Open

How To Install WordPress Themes

Click on Install Now to import and install the theme file …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Note: You may be asked to enter your FTP details in the “Connection Information” screen. If this happens, enter your “Hostname“, “Username” and “Password” and click “Proceed” to continue …

Wordpress Maintenance Tutorials

If the theme installs successfully, you will see a Theme installed successfully message on your screen. Click on ‘Live Preview’ to preview your theme, return to the main Themes page, or click Activate to begin using the theme on your site straight away …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Once your theme is activated, you can click on ‘Visit site’ to view your site live on your browser (and see your site the way your visitors will see it), or choose another function to keep working inside your WordPress admin area …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Note: “Activating” a theme replaces a previously active theme as the default theme displaying on your site. Your other themes will remain installed and inactive on your site. Inactive themes do not get deleted from your site unless you specifically delete them. You can install as many WordPress themes on your site as your server space will allow.

Installing WordPress Themes Using The Search Feature

Go to your WordPress admin and select Appearance > Themes > Install Themes, then click on Search in the options menu at the top of the page …

How To Install WordPress Themes

The Search feature allows you search for free WordPress themes listed in the WordPress Theme Directory database by entering keywords or selecting specific features …

How To Install WordPress Themes

To search for themes, enter a keyword in the ‘Search for themes by keyword’ field, or select specific features you are looking for by ticking the checkboxes next to the features you want, and click on Find Themes …

How To Install WordPress Themes

A list of themes matching your search criteria is returned by the search feature and displayed in your window. To install a theme on your site just click on the Install Now link below the theme’s thumbnail image …

How To Install WordPress Themes

You can also preview how a theme will look before installing it by clicking on the ‘Preview’ link below the thumbnail image, or click on ‘Details’ to read the theme developer’s description and other information …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Installing WordPress Themes Using The URL Feature

The default theme installation screen is By URL. If you know the location of your theme’s zip file, enter the URL into the location field and click Install Now to install your theme …

How To Install WordPress Themes

The Featured, Newest and Recently Updated methods all work in a similar way. Let’s take a look at these functions now.

Installing WordPress Themes Using The Featured Method

Go to your WordPress admin and select Appearance > Themes > Install Themes, then click on Featured in the options menu at the top of the page …

How To Install WordPress Themes

A list of featured themes on the WordPress Theme Directory is displayed in your window. To install a theme on your site just click on the Install Now link below the theme’s thumbnail image …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Installing WordPress Themes Using The Newest Feature

Go to your WordPress admin and select Appearance > Themes > Install Themes, then click on Newest in the options menu at the top of the page …

How To Install WordPress Themes

A list of newly-added themes to the WordPress Theme Directory is displayed in your window. To install a theme on your site just click on the Install Now link below the theme’s thumbnail image …

How To Install WordPress Themes

Installing WordPress Themes Using The Recently Updated Feature

Go to your WordPress admin and select Appearance > Themes > Install Themes, then click on Recently Updated in the options menu at the top of the page …

How To Install WordPress Themes

A list of the recently updated themes on the WordPress Theme Directory is displayed in your window. To install a theme on your site just click on the Install Now link below the theme’s thumbnail image …

How To Install WordPress Themes

If you experience any problems installing a WordPress theme using the methods shown above, try using the manual method to install WordPress themes described in the tutorial below:

Congratulations! Now you know how to update WordPress themes via the WordPress dashboard.

***

"Your training is the best in the world! It is simple, yet detailed, direct, understandable, memorable, and complete." Andrea Adams, FinancialJourney.org

Disclaimer: WordPress and its related trademarks are registered trademarks of Automattic, Inc. This site and the services and products offered on this site are not affiliated, associated, sponsored, or endorsed by WordPress, nor have they been certified, reviewed, or tested by WordPress. The owner, contributors and/or advertisers may derive financial benefit from sales of items advertised, reviewed, or linked from this site.

***

Did you find this article useful? If so, please consider sharing this article with anyone thinking of starting a business online using the social links below.