Last updated on August 1st, 2018 at 06:20 pm
So you’ve made up your mind, you’re going to start a blog in hopes of it earning you some income one day. You’ve shopped read different reviews on a variety of WordPress themes and finally decided on the one you’re going to use. In this tutorial, I am going to show you 3 different ways to install your brand new WordPress theme.
If you’re still trying to find out how to choose the right them, read this.
What good is a an awesome theme if you don’t know how to install it? I’m going to walk you through 3 different ways to install a WordPress theme.
If you’re a DIY blogger, it’s important to know that there are different ways to accomplish WordPress tasks. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do something.
I recently wrote a tutorial on the different ways to install WordPress. Everyone does things differently and it’s important to know how to do something more than one way.
As you continue working with WordPress on a regular basis. You may not always be able to upload your theme from the main dashboard. I’ve personally ran into issues with clients hosting accounts not allowing me to upload files via the dashboard.
When this happens, you have to know a work around. I can’t go to the client and tell them that they can’t use that theme, they need to buy another one.
Nope, instead I have to find another way to install their theme.
You may end up having to install your new theme via FTP. That’s why it’s always nice to know how to accomplish something more than one way.
3 Different Ways to Install a WordPress Theme
The method that you choose to install your WordPress theme will depend on 3 things. Click on the method that you want to use to be taken directly to that tutorial.
I’ll be covering all 3 methods. This will help you understand the different ways you can install a WordPress theme.
First Method: Installing a Theme via Themes Page
This method will be used if you’ve chosen a theme from the themes page. All the themes on this page are free and can be used with any self-hosted WordPress blog.
Head on over to
appearance >> themes >> add new
There, are literally hundreds of free themes you can choose from. If you’re confused on which theme to use, read my post on choosing a WordPress theme.
To install the theme, place your cursor over it and you will see the the green activate button.
Click on the activate button. This will activate your theme you will now have the option to begin customizing your theme to make it unique.
There are many different ways to customize a theme, one of the first things I recommend doing is creating a favicon.
Always look for themes that are properly coded. A poorly coded theme could have a significant impact on your blog performance. Most free themes will not have any type of support.
Second Method: Installing a Theme Via a Zipped File
This method is used if you have purchased your theme from a theme developer or downloaded a free theme from the theme directory outside of your WordPress blog.
For this tutorial, I will be uploading a zipped file of the Genesis Framework.
From your WordPress dashboard go to
appearance >> themes >> add new
Browse your computer for the zipped theme file.
Click on the upload button and browse for your zipped theme file on your computer.
Choose your zipped file, click on install now.
Third Method: Installing Via FTP
This method is going to require you to use an FTP client to access your server files.
Open up your favorite text editor. Access your server files, here’s a tutorial on using Filezilla.
If you have several domains, you want to make sure that you’re in the correct folder of the site you want to add the domain.
This is how you’re public_html will look like if you have several sites.
It’s important to find the correct folder of the blog you’re working on. Go to the themes folder inside of the wp-content folder.
This folder contains all the themes and plugins you’re using on your site. We will be uploading the theme to the themes folder inside of the wp-content folder.
You want to drag the whole folder with all your theme files into your themes folder. It may take awhile for it to upload all the files, depending on your Internet speed. After it’s done uploading log back into your WordPress blog.
appearance >> themes and activate the theme.
If you’re using the Genesis Framework, don’t forget to install and activate your child theme.
You’ve just learned 3 different ways to install a WordPress theme. Choose an option that works best for you.
As I mentioned above, there is no right or wrong way to install your WordPress theme. The next thing you should do after you install your theme is to get Analytics set up on your blog.
Final Take Away
I’ve tried to make this as user-friendly as possible. If you’re new to WordPress I know the technical jargon can be confusing. Let me know if this helped you get your theme installed.
Don’t forget to check out my other tutorial that discusses several different methods to install WordPress. Let me know which theme you installed on your WordPress blog. Why did you choose that theme? Is it a free theme or a premium theme?
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)