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How To Manage WordPress Themes

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How To Manage Your WordPress Themes

This section contains tutorials on how to manage, update, and delete WordPress themes.

If you need to install or reinstall a WordPress theme, then see the tutorials below:

If you need to configure your theme settings, or update, edit or delete theme menus, then see the tutorials below:

The information in this section is useful if you need to reinstall, update or reconfigure your WordPress themes.

How To Install WordPress Themes Using The Search Method

Log into your WordPress administration area …

Select Appearance > Themes from your WP admin menu …

This brings you to the “Themes” screen …

In the “Themes” section, click on the Install Themes tab …

Use the “Search” function or “Feature Filter” function to browse through themes …

WordPress brings up a list of themes matching your selection criteria in the search results screen. If you find a theme you like, click the Install link associated with theme …

When a preview window of the theme pops up, click on Install Now

If a screen pops up asking you to enter your FTP details, add the information to the fields and click on Proceed

If your server environment allows you to perform automatic updates, your selected theme will be uploaded to your site and installed successfully …

Once your theme has been installed, you can preview it, activate it to make it the default theme of your site, or return to the “Themes” section.

How To Install WordPress Themes Using The Upload Feature

The built-in “Upload” feature performs the same basic function as the method shown above, except that it will upload and install a theme file from your hard drive, instead of installing it directly from the WordPress theme directory.

This feature is useful if you want to install a custom theme that is not available to general WordPress users (e.g. a theme purchased through a private site), or 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, first make sure that you have a zipped file containing the theme you want to upload to your site.

You can download themes for FREE from the WordPress Theme directory here:

For additional WordPress theme resources, go here:

Select Appearance > Themes from your WP admin menu …

In the “Themes” section, click on the Install Themes tab …

Click Upload

Click Browse

Locate the WordPress Theme file in your hard drive that you would like to upload to your site (must be a zipped file) and click Open

Click Install Now to proceed …

Your WordPress Theme will be uploaded and installed automatically …

Once your theme has been installed, you can preview it, activate it to make it the default theme of your site, or return to the “Themes” section.

How To Update Your WordPress Theme

Depending on the theme(s) you have installed on your site, you may receive an occasional notification in your WP Dashboard that your theme(s) need updating …

You can see which themes need to be updated by going to your Themes area …

Updating WordPress themes is a simple process. You can update your WordPress themes manually, or via the WordPress dashboard.

Updating WordPress Themes Via Your WordPress Dashboard

Update your theme via the WP Dashboard as shown below:

Select Appearance > Themes from your WP admin menu …

In the Manage Themes screen, locate the theme that needs to be updated and click on update now

A notification window may appear warning you that by updating the theme, you will lose any customizations you have made to the theme. (Note: we recommend using Child Themes to prevent this from happening – see further below for more details.)

Click OK to continue or Cancel to stop …

WordPress will automatically update your theme …

If multiple themes on your site need updating, click on Dashboard > Updates

This brings up the Updates screen. Scroll down to the Themes area …

Select all the themes you want to update and click on Update Themes to complete the bulk update process …

Updating WordPress Themes Manually

Update your theme manually as follows :

Go to your Themes area, locate the theme that needs updating and click on the View version X.X details link …

This brings up a window with the Theme Page from WordPress.org. Click the Theme Download button, then choose Save File from the save dialog window and click OK

Download the latest version of your theme to the WordPress Folder on your hard drive or to any accessible location on your hard drive …

Extract the zip file containing the theme files and upload the new version files to the WordPress Themes directory on your server using FTP, overwriting your existing theme files …

Deleting WordPress Themes

To delete a WordPress theme, locate the theme you no longer want and click on the Delete link …

A confirmation window will appear. Click OK to proceed …

Your theme will be deleted …

You cannot delete your active theme.

To delete a theme that you have specified as your current active theme:

  1. Set another theme as your active theme, then
  2. Delete the newly inactive theme.

Restoring WordPress Themes

To restore a WordPress theme do the following:

Tip: Click the Live Preview links in the Available Themes list to customize and preview a theme before activating it …

You will be able to change the theme’s header, background, title and menus before activating it …

Note: WordPress will restore your site’s settings and widgets automatically when reverting to previous default themes.

Managing WordPress Theme Options

The Theme Options screen allows you to manage features of your theme such as theme color and layout.

Note: The Theme Options screen is only available if the active theme supports this feature and if the theme author has built in configurable options for the theme.

Additionally, the Theme Options screen will be different for each theme. Some themes provide advanced configuration options, while others provide only basic options such as the ability to change the Color Scheme, Link Color, or Default Layout …

To learn more about configuring your Theme options, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Child Themes

If you have made changes to your existing theme files, upgrading your theme may result in your custom modifications being overwritten. To prevent losing your theme modifications, we recommend learning how to create child themes or hiring a web developer to create one for you.

A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality of another theme, called the parent theme, and allows you to modify, or add to, the functionality of that parent theme. When you update the parent theme, your modifications are preserved through the child theme.

We recommend that you become familiar with using child themes, especially if you plan on using themes that get regularly updated.

To learn more about using child themes, visit the official WordPress child theme page here:

Congratulations! Now you know how to install and reinstall WordPress themes.

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